SOURCE: Jackson Family Wines

July 15, 2015 14:38 ET

Enjoy Sonoma County Flavor at the 19th Annual Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival

Taste More Than 150 Varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes, New Release Wines, and Fresh Local Food from Bay Area Restaurant Chefs

SANTA ROSA, CA--(Marketwired - July 15, 2015) - On Saturday, September 26, the Kendall Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens will open their doors for the annual Kendall-Jackson® Heirloom Tomato Festival, now in its 19th consecutive year. This year's festival benefits Ceres Community Project. The Heirloom Tomato Festival is one of the region's most anticipated events showcasing Sonoma County's seasonal bounty, and this year will also feature a unique collaboration with Tesla Motors. Tickets provide all-day access to an unforgettable lineup of attractions, including samplings of more than 150 varieties of heirloom tomatoes (grown in the Kendall-Jackson culinary gardens); a chef competition featuring Bravo's Top Chef® contenders; and tomato-inspired dishes from nearly 50 prominent wine country and Bay Area restaurant chefs and food purveyors. Guests will also enjoy wine tasting, live music by Grammy nominated Andre Thierry, and educational wine and garden seminars.

The popular Chef Challenge includes: Executive Chef for Kendall-Jackson, Justin Wangler; Two Michelin Star Chef and Top Chef Master Season 5 winner, Douglas Keane; Former Top Chef Contestant, Chef and Top Chef All Stars Contestant Casey Thompson; and Chef and Former Top Chef Masters Season 5 Contestant Sang Yoon. The chefs will be whipping up masterpieces featuring heirloom tomato varieties and a basket of mystery ingredients, all paired with Kendall-Jackson wines.

Ceres Community Project is the beneficiary of the event and will have representatives at the festival educating guests on its mission to create health for people, communities and the planet through love, healing food and empowering the next generation. Ceres Community Project supports Sonoma and Marin county individuals dealing with serious illness with 95,000 free or low-cost, delivered and nutrient-rich prepared meals annually, along with nutrition education, and a community of caring.

Guests at the 2015 Tomato Festival can discover the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens recently expanded culinary and sensory gardens. Culinary gardener Tucker Taylor will lead educational tours throughout the day to reveal the captivating garden transformation, including an exploration of the garden's wide variety of specialty produce and beautiful design enhancements.

General admission tickets for the Heirloom Tomato Festival are $95 or $175 for Premier Access tickets, with exclusive pricing available for Kendall-Jackson Wine club members on either package. More information on ticket packages is available online at http://www.kj.com/visit-tomato-festival. The event will be held at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens, 5007 Fulton Road, in Fulton, CA, just a few miles north of Santa Rosa.

About Kendall-Jackson Winery

Kendall-Jackson is one of America's most beloved family-owned and operated wineries. Founded by entrepreneur and visionary Jess Jackson and now led by his wife Barbara Banke and their children, Kendall-Jackson is based in Sonoma County and offers a range of acclaimed wines grown on the family's estate vineyards along the coastal ridges of California. A leader in sustainable vineyard and winery practices including solar cogeneration, water conservation, and natural pest control, 100% of Kendall-Jackson's vineyards in California are SIP Certified (Sustainability in Practice). Learn more online at www.kj.com, and follow KJ on Facebook. Engage in this year's Tomato Festival conversation on Twitter via @KJWines and #Kjtomfest.

About Ceres Community Project

Ceres Community Project provides free and low-cost nourishing whole foods meals to community residents dealing with cancer or another serious illness. The meals provide vital foundational support that increases clients' ability to heal, helps them feel cared for by the community, and gives them direct experience of the benefits of healthy eating. All of the meals are prepared by 14 - 19 year olds who volunteer as the program's gardeners and chefs. Teens learn to grow, cook and eat healthy foods, gain life and work-ready skills, develop team and leadership abilities, and discover their capacity to make a difference in the world. Founded in Sebastopol, California in 2007, Ceres has now provided more than 350,000 meals for 1,800 client families across Sonoma and Marin counties, and trained 10 groups to replicate the model in communities across the country.

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