TAHOE, Calif. — The 27th Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival, long considered one of the region's premier gourmet events, has increased the number of its programs — now offering nine days of festivities.“Travelers have a healthy appetite for culinary tourism,” said Chief Marketing Officer Andy Chapman of the North Lake Tahoe Chamber/CVB/Resort Association. “They are eager to experience the food and wine of a particular region as part of their vacation. With this in mind, we expanded what was already an exceptional event and made it even better, offering nine days instead of three of tastings and classes.”Another noticeable change to this year's Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival is the expansion of the event to every corner of North Lake Tahoe. Visitors may literally pick and choose when and where to partake from the Lake's West Shore to sandy Kings Beach and even Truckee Saturday, Sept. 1 through Sunday, Sept. 9.New events are many and include Bacon, Beer and Bluegrass (Sept. 1) at the West Shore Caf andamp; Inn in Homewood. Guests will sample five varieties of bacon recipes prepared by classically trained, professional chefs that are paired with five unique microbrews — all while listening to a live, spirited bluegrass band.Also new are the Alpen Wine Fest at the Village at Squaw Valley (Sept. 2) and educational classes at Uncorked Wine Bar in the Village at Squaw Valley and at their Tahoe City location (Sept. 3 and 6).Attendees have an opportunity to shop, cook, learn and dine with Chef and Owner Douglas Dale of Wolfdale's Cuisine Unique in Tahoe City at his Farmer's Market/Hands-On Cooking Class (Sept. 6). Participants will shop locally with Douglas, cook together and enjoy a four-course luncheon complete with wine pairings.This year's event will also feature a first-time ever winemaker dinner at the famed Soule Domain in Crystal Bay (Sept. 6). The cozy cabin setting is home to the exquisite pairings of Chef and Owner Charlie Soule with the award-winning wines of Mt. Vernon Winery, a previous winner at the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival.Many of the festival's most popular programs are back, but enhanced.The Grape Stomp has changed location and will now be hosted at Tahoe City's Cobblestone Center and sponsored by Uncorked Tahoe City (Sept. 7). Teams of stompers will crush grapes the Old World way with bare feet in wacky costumes with the country's largest alpine lake as a backdrop.Although the focus has traditionally been wine, this year's event will diverge featuring a unique beer class as part of its educational seminars on Saturday (Sept. 8) at the Village at Northstar. The “Belgian Brews and Cheese Pairing” has renowned cheese expert Laura Werlin pairing Belgian-style and IPA-style beer with a variety of domestic cheeses.Many of the festival's free programs also return for Sept. 8 at the Village at Northstar, including outdoor grilling and cooking seminars, gourmet marketplace, hands-on cooking and butchering demonstrations, as well as the ticketed Wine and Brew Walk and Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cookoff and Charbay Artisan Winery and Distillery Release Party.The pinnacle of the event, the Culinary Competition and Grand Tasting, returns (Sept. 9) at the Village at Northstar with more than 30 restaurants, caterers and chefs developing bite-sized dishes that pair perfectly with a single varietal or vintage wine, beer or spirits.The Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival is sponsored by Sunset Magazine, Northstar California, Charbay and Stella Artois.For more information about the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival, a complete list of events and prices, special festival lodging packages and to purchase individual event tickets, click to www.TahoeFoodandWine.com.Visitor informationVisitor information centers are located at 100 North Lake Blvd. in Tahoe City and 969 Tahoe Blvd. in Incline Village, Nev. The North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus, Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau and the North Lake Tahoe Chamber/CVB/Resort Association, work together to promote North Lake Tahoe as a premier, year-round destination.
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