Mendocino County, like its other wine country neighbors, has had a devastating couple of weeks. Approximately 37,000 acres were decimated and certain wineries were destroyed in the recent wild fires. However, Mendocino residents are strong and united in the message that they are open for business and ready to welcome guests. Organizers continue to plan the 19th annual Mushroom, Wine and Beer Fest held November 3rd through the 12th.
Mendocino County is a mushroom lover’s mecca with more than 3,000 indigenous mushroom varieties, including the rare candy cap mushroom with its intense maple syrup flavor and sweet fragrance that grows only along the northern coast of California. The event features a variety of events including mushroom dinners, winemaker- and brewer-led pairing workshops, cooking classes, musical performances, and exhibits, along with expert-guided mushroom foraging educational tours.
There is an experience for everyone including those with a dedicated sweet tooth. Cowlick Ice Cream Parlor in Fort Bragg offers a mushroom ice cream, which is surprisingly delicious and addicting! Made with sweet local mushrooms, this confectionary concoction tastes like a combination of caramel, butter pecan, and praline.
Ricochet Ridge Ranch offers an equestrian mushroom round-up with a Mushroom Hunt horseback ride every day during the festival. Riders can choose among a variety of rides lasting from 1.5 – 4 hours, and an all-day ride. They also offer Equine and Wine packages that include horseback riding, lodging, and wine tour trips that are catered to each individual group’s needs.
The Stanford Inn on the Mendocino Coast offers a variety of events throughout the festival, including a medicinal mushroom breakfast. Considering the number of different mushrooms available in Mendocino, often the first question a novice mushroom forager asks when encountering a new mushroom is, “Is it edible or poisonous?” An equally interesting question is “How can this mushroom improve my health?” Enjoy the great tasting and medicinally good for you mushrooms in a gourmet eco-friendly prepared breakfast.
If you would like to experience more hands-on cooking, check out Assaggiare Mendocino’s mushroom foray and cooking class led by Julia Kendrick Conway. An intimate group will gather for an adventurous mushroom foray, then attend a cooking class featuring wild mushroom appetizers and dishes highlighting Mendocino County local ingredients. The dishes will be paired with local wines, brews, and ciders.
For a complete event brochure: https://www.mendocino.com/pdf/2017-wine-mushroom-festival.pdf