Category Archives: Festivals

SIFF Wine Competition: Enter Now Through April 5th!

The splendor of the Sonoma International Film Festival may be coming to a close but your wines can still participate! Info below for more details or contact Chay Woerz.

4th Annual SIFF Wine Awards: Sponsored by Safe Harbor Wine Storage &Presented by San Francisco Magazine

How To Enter: Select the categories you want to enter from the list below.  Then provide 2 bottles of wine for each of the categories you are entering.

Deliver wines to SIFF office: Located above Maya Restaurant (103 E Napa Street, Ste. B, Sonoma) by April 5th, 2021.

CATEGORIES! BEST Sparking Wine, Chardonnay, Aromatic White Wine, Pink Wine (still), Red Wine Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Dessert Wine, Port Wine, Sake (NEW)

Winners receive digital laurels to use for your marketing and a framed certificate to hang in your winery or tasting room as well as some serious bragging rights!

Judging will be organized and executed by sommelier Christopher Sawyer and panel of wine experts, on April 9th

The winners will be announced prior to the SIFF Saturday Film Screening on April 24th.

Following the screening the Awards Presentation will then be available on our SIFF Food and Wine Vimeo channel for those that missed it. We encourage you to send us virtual tasting content (10 minutes max) and any special offer (need link, description and promo code) you may have to share with our audience.

Deadline for wine submissions is April 5th and we will need your video by April 15th.

SIFF Wine Awards: Live on Facebook, Friday April 17th!

Hey everybody, as the state, and eventually nation, slowly closed their doors to group endeavors, we were finishing up judging at the fabulous 3rd Annual Sonoma International Film Festival Wine Competition.

With the film festival on hold until July 30-August 2, we are going to give  a sneak preview of the wine award winners for your drinking pleasure!  Follow me at Christopher Sawyer Sommelier to watch my LIVE Facebook unveiling of the winners for 2020 on Friday, April 17th at NOON.

Then mark your calendars for SIFF this summer to celebrate!

See you all then! Chris

My Sip-elicious Seminars at Telluride Wine Festival!

Summer sipping opportunities abound at the Telluride Wine Festival, June 28-July 1! I am returning for my third year as Wine Director and invite you to attend my finely crafted seminars with exquisite winery guests! Peruse the seminar list and wineries below if you need further convincing. Tickets available HERE & hope to see you there ~ Cheers! Christopher

Seminars

The Ultimate Six-Pack!

Appellation Celebration: The Exploration Tour of the West Coast AVA’s turning 35!

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & A True Sense of Place

Extreme Reds: Cult Wines with Class and Charm

The Rebirth of Cool:  Riesling and other Aromatic White Gems

The Duel of Wine Seminar & Film Screening ~ Featuring Star Sommelier Charlie Arturaola

In China with my buddy and Somm star Charlie from the film Duel of Wine!
In China with my buddy and Somm star Charlie from the film Duel of Wine!

Wineries

Alpha Omega ~ Brooks Wine ~ Chalk Hill ~ Cline Cellars ~ Fiddlehead Cellars ~ Flanagan Wines ~ Foley Estates ~ Laurel Glen Vineyard ~ Michael David Winery ~ Montemaggiore ~ Peay Vineyards ~ Pellet Estate ~ Perinet Winery ~ RR Winery ~ Tamber Bey ~ The Calling ~ Tolosa Winery ~ Y. Rousseau Wines ~ And more . . .

Aromatic White Wine Festival: February 24-25

Are you ready to #GoMendo?  Join me this weekend at the 13th Annual Aromatic White Wine Festival in Anderson Valley:  A celebration of Alsace  varietals from around the globe.   (Formerly known as the Alsace Festival).

It all begins Saturday morning, February 24, with Educational Sessions, then the afternoon Grand Tasting with over 100 aromatic white wines, perfectly paired with locally prepared small bites.  Followed by an evening Winemaker Dinner at Scharffenberger Cellars focused on locally sourced ingredients and perfectly paired with exquisite wines.  Sunday February 25 commences the Winery Open Houses, at participating tasting rooms.  See the list of wineries and purchase tickets HERE! 

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Some fine examples of past #GoMendo adventures!

 

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

The Incredible Wineries at Telluride Wine Festival!

Thank yous go all around to these amazing people for coming to Telluride, sharing their wines and making it a great experience for me and the wine lovers in attendance!  Such spectacular memories, many more than in the pictures below.

  • Bob Iantosca of Gloria Ferrer
  • Dave Phillips of Michael David
  • James MacPhail of The Calling
  • Julia Iantosca of Lasseter Family Winery
  • Lise & Vincent Ciolino of Montemaggiore
  • Michael McCullough of Drew Family Wines
  • Mike Sullivan of Benovia
  • Randall Watkins of Laurel Glen
  • Ryan Solis of Kunde
  • Tres Goetting of Robert Biale Vineyards

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Clockwise: Bob pours Brut at the Sunday Brunch; Tres shares his wares at the Grand Tasting; Some delicious selections from The Calling; On the town with Ryan, Mike, Randall taking an obligatory selfie!

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Clockwise: Myself, Lise, Nadia the Somm and Dave at the Trending Now Lunch; Some Rodney Strong & Davis Bynum at the Grand Tasting; The beautiful view of Mountain Village; The first event, Precious Bites Luncheon with Julia, Bob, Mike and myself.

Craft Beer Fest on the river. . . Sept 17th

petcraftbeerMaybe not the river you are thinking of, but distinctive to Sonoma County nonetheless!  The Petaluma River Craft Beer Festival is coming, next Saturday September 17, from 1-5pm.

The festival will include 20 local breweries and some delicious bites.  Add live music to the mix, including our favorite little western swing band Sugar MoonHere is a preview. . .