PinotFest in SF! Saturday November 18th

The action happens at the Farallon in San Francisco with an amazing list of participating wineries and North Bay Fire Relief raffle of Magnums.  Be sure to get your tickets to the 19th Annual PinotFest!

I’m not kidding about these wineries! Alma Rosa, Au Bon Climat, Big Table Farm, Bonaccorsi, Byron, Calera, Charles Heintz, Chehalem, Cobb, Costa de Oro, Cristom, Domaine Drouhin, En Route, Ernest, Etude, Failla, Fiddlehead, Flowers, Foxen, Freeman, Gary Farrell, Gloria Ferrer, Handley, Hartford Court, Hitching Post, Joseph Phelps, Keller Estate, Kendric, Kosta Browne, LaRue, Littorai, Lutum, Marimar Estate, Melville, Merry Edwards, Morgan, Nicolas Jay, Paul Hobbs, Paul Lato, Peay, Radio Coteau, Saintsbury, Siduri, Sinor LaVallee, Soter, Talisman, Talley, Testarossa, Tendril, Thomas Fogarty, Twomey, Wayfarer, Whitcraft, WillaKenzie, Williams Selyem

Then there is the Pinot Noir Pop Up – Focus New Zealand: Lime Rock, Escarpment, Ata Rangi, Neudorf, Huia, Greywacke, Villa Maria, Giesen, Mt. Beautiful, Pegasus Bay, Amisfield, Loveblock, Mt. Difficulty, Felton Road, Burn Cottage, Ostler

#PinotFest2017 #PinotFestSF #WineCountryStrong

Fire Relief Fundraiser! November 10th at Gravenstein Grill

#WineCountryStrong

Another fabulous way to support your community! Join me and Ziggy the Wine Gal at this Superstar event to raise funds for the North Bay Fire Relief, an incredible effort to help our neighbors rise from the ashes.

Gravenstein Grill
8050 Bodega Avenue Sebastopl, CA 95472
6pm to close
$100 suggested donation

There will be an amazing selection of wines, many from Russian River Winegrowers and the Coffey Park areas, being poured and up for auction!  Cocktails and appetizers to enjoy while perusing the silent auction, then get ready for live bidding at 7pm.

Reserve your space at
(707)-634-6142 or brandon@gravensteingrill.com 

Napa Valley Film Festival: November 8-12

It’s not just for movies anymore!  NVFF is the ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, throughout the vibrant Napa Valley. Attendees enjoy cooking demonstrations, afternoon wine tastings, winemaker dinners and more, as well as an amazing selection of films!

This year the Caldwell Vineyards Maverick Tribute will be given to Will Ferrell.

The new Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch Humanitarian Tribute will be presented to actors Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

Other actors receiving recognition in 2017 are Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated,” “The Intern”), Michael Shannon (“The Shape of Water,” “The Current War”), and Michael Stuhlbarg (“Call Me By Your Name,” “The Shape of Water”) at various scheduled events.

Hope to see you there! Christopher

Pairings for the Senses: Wine, Poetry, Food & Art!

The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is thrilled to announce our Fall 2017 season of Pairings for the Senses. I will be your MC for the evening festivities, introducing our visiting poets, vintners, and chefs, and talking with the audience about how each taste component complements one another and pairs with the selected artwork.

November 4, 5:30-7:30pm
POETS: Introduction by Hollie Hardy, Tess Taylor, Bruce Snider,
Tomas Moniz
 CHEFS: Sheana Davis–The Epicurean Connection, Ed Metcalfe–Shiso Modern Asian Kitchen, David Bush–Oso Sonoma, Matthew Nagan–Schellville Grill
WINERIES: Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Anaba Wines, Jeff Cohn Cellars, and Gundlach Bundschu Winery

ARTDavid Ligare: Magna Fide (The Great Belief) and Forge and Stone: Contemporary California Women Sculptors

 Don’t wait to purchase tickets—seating is limited to just 75 people each night.  Tickets (per night): $35 SVMA members and $40 general public
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Make Way for the Vampyre Sommelier!

It is time for the Vampyre Sommelier to make his seasonal appearance!  He has been keeping busy this year, with a jaunt in Pill Head, an upcoming Artsploitation film with some of the same folks.  Scroll down to see the V.S. in action!

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The Vampyre Sommelier’s Dilemma from Raymond Scott Daigle on Vimeo.

Harvest Dinner & Fire Relief Fundraiser on November 1st!

Join me  along with Radio-Coteau wines for the Gravenstein Grill Harvest Dinner by Executive Chef Bob Simontacchi, with guest Winegrower Eric Sussman!   This is an excellent opportunity to savor a delicious feast, paired with wine while also benefiting the Fire Relief Fund of Sonoma & Napa CountiesThis delicious menu includes:

Heirloom Tomato Soup with Brioche Grilled Cheese
Aged White Cheddar, Local Heirloom Tomatoes
“Eye Cyder” Unfiltered Gravenstein Cider from Sebastopol Grown Apples

Seared Dayboat Scallop Creamed Brussel Sprout Leaves, Tarragon, Hazelnut, & Lemons
2016 County Line Chardonnay, North Coast

Butternut Squash Gnocchi Foraged Mushrooms, Brown Butter, & Parmesan
2013 Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir, Dierke Vineyard, Sonoma Coast

Tomato, Orange & Rosemary Braised Lamb Shank Cauliflower Puree, Spinach, Pine Nuts, & Golden Raisins
topped with Gremolata

2013 Radio-Coteau Syrah, Dusty Lane, Sonoma Coast Chocolate “Bomb”

Kahlua Chocolate Mousse, Coffee Genoise,
Espresso Creme Anglaise

2013 Radio-Coteau Lemorel “Estate” Sonoma Coast Zinfandel

The Harvest Dinner is $120/person, RSVP Required – call (707) 634-6142: 15% of which benefits the Fire Relief Fund of Sonoma & Napa Counties.

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Pinot on the River at Healdsburg Plaza, October 22nd

Plan a great day to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County!  Pinot On The River is a fun filled weekend event , in the delightful Russian River Valley town of Healdsburg.  Visit with winemakers and fellow Pinot-lovers to focus on limited production West Coast Pinot Noirs.

The Sunday October 22nd Pinot Noir Grand Tasting, will have over 100 wineries plus guest Artisan Food Vendors on the downtown Healdsburg Plaza Square.  Get your tickets HERE!

Wildfire Devastation Too Close To Home

From my heart, I want to thank all the great people from around the globe who sent notes asking if my family and home are okay during the horrific spread of wildfires in Northern California. While I’m happy to say we are doing fine, I am heartbroken over the  suffering of so many friends through the loss of their homes, wineries, businesses or even their job because of the wildfires that are still not under control in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Calaveras and Yuba counties.

The devastation of Willi’s Wine Bar.

On a more personal level, the Mark West-Fountaingrove area that I grew up in, north of Santa Rosa, is completely gone too. The loss and damage to a number of schools and hospitals will have a huge impact on the community as well. The destruction makes me think about the 1989 Earthquake, 9/11 and the terrible storms that have hit the southern states in recent years. Luckily, the amount of lives lost so far has been minimal. But the damage and scares from the fires will be very obvious for many years to come.

This morning we made donations at our local drop-off zone here in Petaluma, and will wait to hear other ways we can help. But rest assured I’ll always wear my heart on the sleeve when October 9th rolls around for the rest of my life. Stay safe and appreciate life my friends.  You can help too either by volunteering at a local shelter or donating to the Napa and Sonoma Fire Relief fundraiser!

Much love to all and stay safe! Chris

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Top to bottom: A photo taken by my friend Sarah Stierch of the horrific fire heading towards Scribe Winery and the adjacent Gundlach Bundsch property in Sonoma Valley; The ruins of my dear friend Felicia’s house near Glen Ellen; Smoke-filled view from my house in Southern Sonoma County.