November 8 event lineup includes top chefs, acclaimed musicians, and more
WILLITS, CA – The Mushroom, Wine and Beer Train is picking up steam, and the November 8, 2014 event (running from 10 am to 5 pm) promises the most impressive program yet. Featuring a culinary competition among local chefs, mushroom walks, wine and beer tastings, music and more, the Mushroom, Wine and Beer Train is a flagship event for the annual Mushroom, Wine and Beer Festival. The event brings an influx of visitors eager to learn about Mendocino County’s rich mushroom tradition and attracts locals year after year.
On the morning of Saturday, November 8, trains will depart from both the Willits and Fort Bragg Skunk Train depots for Camp Mendocino, where a day of festivities awaits. The fun will start as soon as riders board: guests will enjoy live music, wine and beer tastings and a picnic breakfast on board the train. On the Willits train, Signal Ridge Vineyard and Bite Hard Cider will offer tastings of their sparkling wine and “real hard cider,” while on the Fort Bragg train, Handley Cellars and Anderson Valley Brewing Company will offer tastings of their Muscat and brews. Famed train singer Greg Schindel and singer-songwriter Bob Daley will provide musical accompaniment. The Willits train departs at 10:15 am; the Fort Bragg train departs at 10:45 am.
Once guests arrive, they will partake in mushroom discovery walks led by local expert Eric Schramm of Mendocino Mushrooms, a Q&A with Merry Winslow, co-author of The Wild Mushroom Cookbook, a creative mushroom cook-off, wine and beer tastings, and more. It all takes place against the majestic backdrop of Camp Mendocino, tucked away in the redwoods and overlooking the Noyo River, which boasts its own mushroom bounty. The best beers and wines that Mendocino County has to offer will be represented, and renowned musician Steven Bates will provide the entertainment.
Guests will join an expert judging panel in tasting the best wine, beer and mushroom fare in Mendocino County and have the option to vote for the “people’s choice” award in each category. Deciding will be difficult when the competitor list includes such notable chefs as Julia Conway of Assaggiare Mendocino, Nicholas Petti of Mendo Bistro and Barbelow, Marc Dym of Little River Inn, Sandra McElroy of Trillium Café & Inn, and many other qualified entrants.
All good things must come to an end, but boarding the train back will be bittersweet: chocolate and port await guests on the return trip.
All proceeds from the Mushroom, Wine and Beer Train benefit the Mendocino County Museum and help the Museum continue its work of collecting, conserving, presenting and celebrating the stories and lives of the places and people of Mendocino County. Learn more about local history and the Mendocino County Museum’s temporary, permanent and upcoming exhibits at www.MendocinoMuseum.org or visit the Museum at 400 Commerical St. in Willits. The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4:30 m.