Autumn Food & Wine Festival | A food lover’s dream

Participants perusing the vendors and booths in the Village at Northstar. | Courtesy Northstar California

The 34th annual Autumn Food & Wine Festival at Northstar California will elevate your palate with delectable tastes, delicious sips and dazzling demonstrations by local and regional chefs, food vendors, and wine and spirit producers from Northern California. The festival, held over three days, from Sept. 20 to 22, is a food lover’s dream.

The event will also highlight sustainability and waste reduction as Vail Resorts look to reduce its carbon footprint.

If you are a self-proclaimed foodie, this event is not to be missed. There will be plenty of scrumptious things to sip and savor along with tempting opportunities to experience and explore.

“Vail is a company committed to zero carbon emission by 2030. We are partnering with vendors and we’ll have a booth at the festival to learn about initiatives for zero waste,” says Susan Whitman, Northstar communications manager.

Chef samplers of tasty treats offered at the Autumn Food & Wine Festival. | Courtesy Northstar California

“These initiatives are a part of Vail Resorts’ Epic Promise and commitment to zero, delivering on zero-net emissions, zero waste to landfill and zero-net operating impact to forests and habitat by 2030,” adds Northstar senior communications specialist Kayla Elias, who is excited about the upcoming event.

The event kicks off Friday with a locally sourced dinner hosted by Northstar’s Zephyr Lodge and Bentley Ranch and Bentley Heritage Distillery. The event reflects Northstar’s mission to source local and sustainable food options. The dinner is a waste-managed event in partnership with Clean Vibes, a company dedicated to responsible on-site waste management at events.

Chef samplers of tasty treats offered at the Autumn Food & Wine Festival. | Courtesy Northstar California

Saturday and Sunday vendors will fill the Village at Northstar with tastes of delicious food and wine. Attendees can peruse the gourmet marketplace and shop for unique items. Some of the vendors include: Boochcraft, Blind Dog Coffee, Charbay Distillery, D’lish Catering, Granlibakken Resort, Nick’s Cove and Sunnyside Restaurant.

Sunday is the annual Grand Tasting & Culinary Competition. Chefs compete in two categories: best food and best marriage of food and beverage. One of the chefs competing this year is Jon Blackley of Michael Mina’s Bourbon Pub, which will open its doors at Northstar this winter.

Courtesy Northstar California

A panel of industry experts including award-winning chefs: Douglas Dale of Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique in Tahoe City and Jean-Pierre Doignon of the former restaurant Le Bistro, Lara Ritchie, chef and culinary director of Nothing To It Culinary Center in Reno, and syndicated wine writer Jean Sexton will judge the gourmet competition. Festival attendees can participate by trying delicious pairings and voting for the People’s Choice Award winner.

Other experiential events include a dinner and release party hosted by the Northern California Charbay Distillery. The official launch party features Charbay’s latest handcrafted spirit, R5 Lot No. 5, Fire Relief Whiskey. Local bartenders will use a previous lot of whiskey in a battle for the title of Autumn Food & Wine Master Mixologist, while guests enjoy their cocktail creations. In addition to tastings, the distillery will host a family-style dinner curated by Charbay, which owns the title of Grand Master Distiller. This is granted to a distiller that has distilled four of the major spirit categories: Brandy, Whiskey, Rum and Tequila.

If hiking and sipping calls, sign up to participate in a progressive wine hike and picnic. The Progressive Picnic on Northstar Mountain is a scenic hike through the Tahoe National Forest to three trailside tasting stations at which participants can sample various varietals of craft beers from 10 Barrel Brewing Co. and gourmet tapas.

If you are a self-proclaimed foodie, this event is not to be missed. There will be plenty of scrumptious things to sip and savor along with tempting opportunities to experience and explore. | northstarcalifornia.com