Welcome to California! You are about to experience 9 days filled with the best California has to offer, including more than 600 wines presented by hundreds of winemakers and growers (and a few local MWs).

Day 1: Thursday, October 18, 2018

Note: There will be shuttle(s) from LAX to Santa Barbara

Check in to the Hotel Californian (we will have a hospitality suite on site all day) 

Funk Zone” Self-guided tour

6:00pm – 8:30pm: Casual Welcome Dinner poolside at the Hotel Californian (18h00 – 20h30) – Walk around tasting

Wines: Cambria, Field Recordings, Kunin Wines, L. A. Lepiane, La Voix, Lo-Fi, Pence, Niven Family, Star Lane and Dierberg

Overnight – Hotel Californian (Santa Barbara)

Day 2: Friday, October 19

7:00am – 8:30am: “The State of the State” Breakfast with Karen Ross, California Secretary of Agriculture and Linsey Gallagher, Vice President International, California Wine Institute

9:00am – 10:30am: Sta. Rita Hills Tasting (Sta. Rita Hills, AVA)

Panel: Sashi Moorman – moderator, Justin Willette, Steve Fennell and Matt Dees

Wines: Domaine de la Côte, Tyler, Mail Road, The Hilt and Sanford

11:30am – 1:30pm: Chardonnay Lunch in the Vineyard – Domaine de la Côte

The Geology of Sta. Rita Hills with Brenna Quigley

with Sashi Moorman, Justin Willette, Steve Fennell, Amy Christine MW,  Peter Hunken, Gavin Chanin, Rick Longoria, John Faulkner and Chad Melville

Wines: The Joy Fantastic, Black Sheep Finds, Chanin, Longoria, Melville, Sanford, Bien Nacido and Pence

2:00pm: Check into the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott

4:30pm – 6:00pm: Rhône Wines of Santa Barbara at Stolpman Vineyards (Ballard Canyon, AVA)

Panel: Justin Knock MW – moderator, Pete Stolpman, Adam Tolmach, Dave Potter, Ruben Solorzano (viticulture), Matt Kettmann and Angela Osborne

Wines: Stolpman, Potek, A Tribute to Grace and Ojai

6:00pm – 8:00pm: Dinner at Stolpmans Villa Angeli

with Pete Stolpman, Adam Tolmach, Dave Potter, Magan Eng, Ruben Solorzano, Ernst Storm and Angela Osborne

Wines: Stolpman, Kunin, Potek, A Tribute to Grace, Jonata, Storm, Beckman and Kunin

Overnight – Santa Ynez Valley Marriott (Buellton)

Day 3: Saturday, October 20

7:00am – 8:30am: Breakfast at the Hotel

10:00am – 10:30am: Miller Family Seated Tasting

with Nicholas Miller and Trey Fletcher

10:30am – 11:45am: Bien Nacido Vineyard Walk Around Tasting (Central Coast, AVA)

Vintners: Fabien Castel, Mike Waller, Gabe Fabela, Cameron Porter, Bob Lindquist and Marisa Beverly

Wines: Ojai, Migration, Calera, Tyler, Presqu’ile, Clendenen and Au Bon Climat/Qupé

12:00pm – 1:30pm: Au Bon Climat Winery/Qupé Lunch (Santa Maria Valley, AVA)

with Jim Clendenen, Bob Lindquist, Nicholas Miller, Richard Sanford, Fabien Castel, Mike Waller, Cameron Porter and Gabe Fabela

3:00pm: Check into the Paso Robles Inn

3:00pm – 5:00pm: MW Challenge!

(optional) Taste through 6 to 8 wines blind and win fun stuff!

5:30pm – 6:30pm: Phenolics: Vineyard to Bottle at DAOU Vineyards (Adelaida District, Paso Robles, AVA)

Panel: Daniel Daou, Scott Shirley, Guillaume Fabre, Stephan Asseo and Kevin Willenborg

Wines: DAOU, JUSTIN, Clos Selene, L’Aventure and Vina Robles

6:30pm – 8:00pm: Dinner at DAOU Vineyards

with Daniel Daou, Scott Shirley, Guillaume Fabre, Stephan Asseo, Kevin Willenborg, Austin Hope, Steve Lohr and Gary Eberle

8:30pm – 10:30pm: Paso Robles Western – Themed After Party

Wines: Alta Colina, Ancient Peaks, Ponte, Saracina, Marimar, Wente, Kukkula, J. Lohr, Hope and Firestone beer

Special Feature: California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance Certified Wines

Overnight – Paso Robles Inn (Paso Robles)

Day 4: Sunday, October 21

7:30am – 9:00am: Breakfast with Allison Jordan, Executive Director, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance

10:00am – 11:30am: Tablas Creek Vineyard Tour with Jason Haas (Adelaida District, Paso Robles, AVA)

Tasting of Rhône wine grape components

11:30am – 12:30pm: Tablas Creek Vineyard Lunch under the arbor

with Jason Haas, Anthony Yount, Brian Terrizzi, Jordan Fiorentini and Ryan Pease

Wines: Tablas Creek, Giornata, Epoch, Kinero, Denner and Paix Sur Terre

3:45pm: Check into the Juniper Hotel

5:00pm – 6:00pm: Ridge Monte Bello winery tour with Paul Draper (Santa Cruz Mountains, AVA)

6:15pm – 7:30pm: Ridge Vertical Tasting Monte Bello, Geyserville and Lytton Springs

Vintages: 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995, 1999, 2005, 2013 and 2015 vintages

7:30pm – 9:00pm: Dinner at Ridge

with Paul Draper, Ellie and Jeffrey Patterson

Wines: Ridge Monte Bello (finished wines and barrel samples) and Mount Eden Vineyards

Overnight – Juniper Hotel (Cupertino/Silicon Valley)

Day 5: Monday, October 22

7:30am – 8:30am: Breakfast at the Hotel

11:30am – 12:30pm: Heritage Vineyards and Wines tasting in Bedrock Vineyards (Sonoma Valley, AVA)

Panel: Morgan Twain-Peterson MW, Joel Peterson, Tegan Passalaqua, Will Bucklin and Bob Biale

Wines: Bedrock Wine Co., Once and Future, Ravenswood, Turley and Bucklin

12:30pm – 1:30pm: El Molino Central (Mexican) lunch (Sonoma Valley)

with Morgan Twain-Peterson MW, Joel Peterson, Tegan Passalaqua, Will Bucklin, Bob Biale, Brenae Royal, John Concannon and Charlie Hossom

Wines: Bedrock, Once and Future, Carlisle, Louis M. Martini, Concannon, Black Stallion and Turley

1:30pm – 2:30pm: Ancient Vines tour with Joel Peterson

3:45pm: Check into H2 and Harmon Guest House (Healdsburg)

3:45pm – 5:30pm: MW Challenge!

(optional) Taste through 6 to 8 wines blind and win fun stuff!

6:00pm – 7:30pm: Walk-around tasting hosted by Sonoma County Vintners at Francis Ford Coppola  Winery (Alexander Valley, AVA)

Wines: Aperture, Boisset Collection, Chalk Hill, Devil Proof, Davis Bynum, Donelan, Dry Creek, Ernest, Francis Ford Coppola,  Kanzler, La Pitchoune, Laurel Glenn, Mauritson, Pedroncelli, Rodney Strong, Schug, Seghesio Family and Senses

7:30pm – 9:30pm: Dinner with Sonoma County Vintners at Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Overnight – H2 and Harmon Guest House

Day 6: Tuesday, October 23

8:30 – 9:30am: Breakfast at the hotel

10:00am – 10:30am: Reception at La Crema

10:45am – 12:15pm: The History of California Chardonnay in 9 wines at La Crema (Russian River, AVA)

with Elaine Chukan Brown

Wines: Stony Hill, Hanzell, Grgich, Ramey, Kongsgaard, DuMOL,Ceritas, Matthiasson and Enfield

12:15pm – 1:30pm: Vintner Lunch at La Crema

with Elaine Chukan Brown, Dave Ramey, David Hayman, Steve Matthiasson, Randy Ullom, Andy Smith, Niki Wente and Jamie Kutch

3:00pm: Check into the Timber Cove Resort

 4:45pm – 6:00pm:  California Cool with Geoff Kruth, MS (Fort Ross Seaview, AVA)

Wines:  Jolie-Laide, Tatomer, Ryme, Hanzell, Ceritas, Krater,  Raen, Lost and Found, Jaimee Motley and Arnot Roberts

6:00pm – 7:00pm: Sunset Sparkling Wine Reception

Wines: Iron Horse and J

7:00pm – 8:00pm: “A Truly Blind Wine Experience“, Sensory wine tasting with Hoby Wedler and Justin Vallandingham

8:00pm – 9:30pm: Pinot Noir and friends tasting bar – Timber Cove dinner

Wines: Ceritas, Alma Fria, Anthill Farms, Benovia, Drew, Freeman, Lost & Found, Lutum, Bodega, Jenkins, Peay, Radio-Coteau, Scherrer

Vintner Guests: Caroll Kemp, Anthony Filiberti, Jason Drew, Catherine Kistler, Nick Peay, Ken Freeman and Eric Sussman

Overnight – Timber Cove Resort

Day 7: Wednesday, October 24

7:30am – 9:30pm: Buffet breakfast at the hotel

8:00am – 9:00am: Yoga (optional) overlooking the Pacific Ocean

9:30am – 10:30am: Coastal Wines of Northern California

Panel: Jasmine Hirsch, Ted Lemon, Ehren Jordan and Chantal Forthun

Wines: Hirsch, Littorai, Failla and Flowers

11:00am – 1:00pm: Hirsch Vineyard Tour and Lunch (Fort Ross Seaview, AVA)

with Jasmine Hirsch, Ted Lemon, Ehren Jordan and Chantal Forthun

3:30pm: Check into the Harvest Inn

5:00pm – 6:30pm: The Evolution of Napa Through the Decades tasting at Robert Mondavi Winery (Oakville, Napa Valley, AVA)

Panel: Peter Marks MW, Nova Cadamatre MW and Matt Deller MW

Wines:  Robert Mondavi, Dunn, Colgin, Heitz, Schrader and TOR

6:30pm – 9:00pm: Unexpected Napa Valley – Reception and Dinner with the Napa Valley Vintners – 50 Vintners with 100 wines!

with Andre Crisp, Andrew Schweiger, Andy Erickson, Anthony Scotto, Armen Khachaturian, Barton O’Brien, Bruce Regalia, Caitlin Vartain, Caitlyn McCourmick, Catherine Durand, Catherine Eisele, Chris Kajani, Christy Spoto, David Tate, David Pramuk, Delia Viader, Dianna Varozza, Doug Hengehold, Doug Shafer, Gary Lipp, Gary Luchtel, Gordon Waggoner, Greg DeLeo, Gretchen Brakesman, James Leahy, James Stewart, Jamie “JJ” Dowell, Jeff Crawford, Jennifer Rue, Jenny Wagner, Jerry Seps, John Skupny, John Taylor, Kacey Stotesbery, Katie Griesbeck, Kian Tavakoli, Kiersten Bjorkman, Maria Newman, Matt Reid, Matthew Regan, Melissa Greenwood, Melissa Miller, Michala Jeberg, Michelle Faustini, Mike Conversano, Rick Jones, Shirley Dean, Simon Faury, Stephanie Douglas, Stephen Corley, Stuart Spoto, Suzanne Phifer Pavitt, Suzanne Tate, Tim Persson and Todd Heth

Wines: Acumen, Aratas, Barnett, Benessere, Blackbird, Bouchaine, Cakebread Cellars, Castello di Amorosa, Clos Du Val, Coho, Constant, Fairwinds Estate, Faustini, Favia, Fortunati, Gamble Family, Inglenook, J. McClelland Cellars, Jamieson Ranch, Jean Edwards, Jones Family, Ladera, Lang & Reed, Luna, Marston Family, Materra, Cunat Family, Merryvale, Modus Operandi and Robert Mondavi Winery

Overnight – Harvest Inn (St. Helena)

Day 8: Thursday, October 25

7:30am – 8:30am: Breakfast with Annette Alvarez-Peters, AIWS, CWE, Asst. Vice President/GMM – Beverage Alcohol, Costco Wholesale

9:00am – 12:30am: The California Wine Business Through the Lens of E & J Gallo Winery at Louis M. Martini Winery (Saint Helena, AVA)

Join members of E & J Gallo Winery’s family and executive team for an insider’s look at the wine business (discussion, tasting and lunch).

1:30pm – 3:00pm: The Six Mountains of Napa Valley with Kelli White at OVID Winery (Napa Valley, AVA)

Wines: Mayacamas, Rudd, Philip Togni, Vineyard 7 & 8, Dyer, Lokoya, Au Sommet, Scribe, OVID, Pulido – Walker, Angwin Estate and Dana Estate

5:00pm – 6:30pm: Consulting in Napa Valley at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (Stags Leap District, AVA)

Panel: Heidi Barrett, Jeff Ames, Philippe Melka and Renzo Cotarella

6:30pm – 7:30pm: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Reception

7:30pm – 9:00pm: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Dinner – California Wines Icons

with Tor Kenward, Cathy Corison, Nate Weis, Dan Petroski, Hailey Trefethen, Margo Van Staaveren, Beth Novak Milliken, Gina Gallo, Jean-Charles Boisset, Suzanne Groth, Lou Kapcsandy, Phil Wente and Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

Wines: Tor, Corison, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Antica, Silver Oak, Larkmead, Trefethen, Spottswoode, Boisset, Groth, Kapcsandy, Benziger, Wente and Chateau St. Jean

Overnight – Harvest Inn (St. Helena)

Day 9: Friday, October 26

6:00am – 8:15am: Hot air balloon rides over Napa Valley (optional)

7:30am – 9:00am: Breakfast at the Hotel

10:30am – 12:00pm: Screaming Eagle Master Class with Mary Margaret McCamic MW

Screaming Eagle’s winemaker Nick Gislason and Sales Manager Mary Margaret McCamic MW lead a discussion and tasting centered around what it takes to craft Screaming Eagle. Using the 2016 vintage as a guide, Nick and Mary Margaret will address farming on the estate, the philosophy around work in the vineyard and in the winery, as well as various considerations taken when putting together the final blend for Screaming Eagle’s two wines, the flagship Cabernet Sauvignon and the Merlot-based expression, The Flight.

12:30pm – 2:00pm: Burgers and Blends at Compline, Downtown Napa

with Matt Stamp MS, Ryan Stetins, Katharine DeSante, Laura Brennan, Christopher Vanderdrissche, Mike Schieffer, Joan Kautz, Kendra Altnow and Tim Hall

Wines: Desante, Inconnu, White Rock Vineyards, Fine Disregard, Ironstone, Trinchero, Fetzer, LangeTwins and CrossBarn

3:00pm: Check into the Harbor Court Hotel

3:00pm – 5:00pm: MW Challenge!

(optional) Taste through 6 to 8 wines blind and win fun stuff!

7:00pm – 8:00pm: Waterbar – Sparkling reception

with Eva Bertran, Eileen Crane and Hugh Davies

Wines: Gloria Ferrer, Domaine Carneros, Schramsberg and Mumm

8:00pm – 10:00pm: “The BIG Goodbye!” at Waterbar – Light and Fresh California Dinner with large format bottles

Wines: Kutch, Mount Eden, Talley, Domaine de la Côte, Patz & Hall and Sandhi (and many more…)

Overnight – Harbor Court Hotel (San Francisco)

Day 10: Saturday, October 27
Breakfast (8:00am – 11:00am) and Goodbyes or…..At the conclusion of this year’s California trip the IMWNA is hosting a dinner for Members Only. The reception and dinner are on October 27 at China Live ( at 644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133. Reception begins at 6pm, dinner is at 7pm. RSVPs must be sent to Doug Frost, by October 15.  All dinner costs will be covered by the IMWNA but we are asking those who live here to bring a bottle or two (I’ll make sure we have some sake and beer too).

Meanwhile, the “Considering Merlot Tasting” (a follow-up to the popular IMWNA panel Cabernet and Cabernet Franc tastings) will take place that afternoon from 2pm to 4pm at the Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf. Please note info below:

“Considering Merlot” Panel Tasting, Institute of Masters of Wine

The Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) will hold a panel tasting of top Californian Merlot-based wines at the Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco on Saturday October 27th 2018.

As a follow-up to the popular IMW panel discussions addressing American Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, Mary Margaret McCamic MW and Tim Marson MW will lead a discussion with high profile Napa winemakers (to be announced) considering the merits of Merlot as a both a single variety and a component in a blended wine. Using wines produced from Merlot as a guide, the panel will explore topics that cover the grape variety in the vineyard, technical decisions in the winery, age ability, as well as Merlot’s evolving commercial appeal.

The 2.00pm to 4.00pm seated tasting will be limited to 60 attendees.
Reduced rate tickets for MWs are $50 and may be purchased at: with the promo code: vino!

Please email Nancy Johnson at if you have any questions.

Tickets are non-refundable but may be transferred. Please purchase early to ensure ticket availability as this event will sell out quickly.
Dress: Wine Country Casual.