41st Annual Wine Tasting
April 9 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm$55 - $60
A Wine Tasting with a History of Its Own As one of the state’s earliest premium wine tastings, it started in 1977 with a dozen wineries from mostly Napa and Sonoma gathering in the upstairs parlor at Columbia State Park’s City Hotel. The historic Gold Rush facility, operated by a nonprofit corporation, had recently become an instructional site for the growing Hospitality Management program at nearby Columbia College. That first tasting was attended by just under 100 guests who enjoyed wines from critically acclaimed wineries at a time when California wines were finally gaining wide recognition. Focusing on these small boutique wineries, attendees enjoyed these special wines along with hors d’oeuvres prepared by the College’s Hospitality Management students. The City Hotel Wine Tasting event soon outgrew its original site and within several years expanded to include several other tasting locations in the Park’s historic buildings and was renamed the Columbia Wine Tasting.
“We also saw an increase of wineries emerging from our own Sierra Foothills and expanded it to include the growing number of terrific producers in nearby Amador and Calaveras counties” according to Tom Bender, a long time instructor in the program and one of the original event organizers. “But we continued to have strong participation from some of the state’s most prestigious wineries because of the tasting’s unique location and support of the culinary program.”
Now in its 41st year, close to 80 wineries now participate in a number of historic sites within the Park. Students are still preparing flavorful treats along with a number of local food specialists. Funds continue to support student scholarships and the highly regarded Hospitality Management program. A special thanks to the Columbia State Historic Park and the Columbia College Foundation for being supporters of this unique wine event.