Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival Adds Free Breathalyzer Service for Guests

Food extravaganza goes extra mile to encourage safety

Aug 09, 2010, 11:55 ET from Jackson Family Wines

SANTA ROSA, Calif., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- There will be a new facet to the 14th Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival when the event opens on September 11th at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center here. For the first time, festival goers will be provided free access to breath-alcohol tests if they wish.

San Francisco-based KHN Solutions, makers of the BACtrack® breathalyzer, will have a booth at the event and will provide free tests to anyone who wants one.

"We've done many events from sporting venues to the Consumer Electronics Show," said company CEO Keith Nothacker. "It's fun for people. They're interested in seeing what their blood alcohol levels really are. It's part curiosity, part wisdom."

"We've never had a problem with over-consumption at our event," said Mark Mathewson, general manager of hospitality for Jackson Family Wines, the company that owns Kendall-Jackson. "Yet having this available is a great way for us to create awareness and promote responsibility."

The BACtrack® booth will be staffed by KHN employees who will also distribute information on responsible drinking.

"I think people are going to appreciate our focus on safety and at the same time have some fun with this," Mathewson said.

The Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival—sponsored by Kendall-Jackson Wines on behalf of the School Garden Network—takes place Saturday, September 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center at 5007 Fulton Road in Santa Rosa.

The granddaddy of tomato festivals, the event contributes all its net proceeds to the School Garden Network of Sonoma County—an organization that helps students develop dedication to the environment, academic achievement and their communities, with hands-on learning about food and nutrition.

This year, the event will also host, for the first time, celebrated gardening guru, Amy Goldman. Ms. Goldman, from New York, began her love affair with vegetables over 20 years ago, growing them for state fairs. She won her share of ribbons and began working with groups like the Seed Savers' Network, which strive to preserve heirloom varieties. Her experiences led her to write books, the latest of which is The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table - Recipes, Portraits and History of the World's Most Beautiful Fruit. She will be conducting a tomato seminar for festival-goers.

The event also features many of the country's best chefs creating new, imaginative and delicious gourmet masterpieces with heirloom tomatoes—all designed to pair perfectly with the region's wines. Over 50 gourmet restaurants will be represented: coming from as far away as Chicago.

The site of the festival features a 2-1/2-acre organic sensory garden with plantings that mimic the tastes of wines, and a full culinary garden from which more than 175 varieties of heirloom tomatoes are picked fresh for the festival creations.

The event has continuous live music, vast food- and wine-tasting booths, and wine education seminars. In addition, nationally-renowned chefs will compete, "smackdown" style, for top culinary honors.

Tickets for the perennial sell-out are pre-sold only and are available online at, or at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center at 5007 Fulton Road, or at the Kendall-Jackson Healdsburg tasting room at 337 Healdsburg Avenue, or by phone at 800.769.3649. Tickets are $65 / Wine Club Members $60.

SOURCE Jackson Family Wines