Category Archives: Festivals

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. . .

Last St Francis Outdoor Film Evening! Visit Jurassic Park on July 28

The 7th Annual “Stars Under the Stars” Outdoor Film Festival at St. Francis Winery finishes off the season with an evening at “Jurassic jpark2Park”! Perhaps not the scariest film of the season following last week’s political fare but definitely a freak fest for the whole family.  I will be there as your festival sommelier to pair St Francis’ world class wines with world class films. Starts at 7pm.

Jurassic Park
Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern & Jeff Goldblum (1993)
Pre-show concert by: Band Camp
Thursday, July 28, 2016

Featured Wines
$10 per glass (Includes a keepsake St. Francis logoed glass) | $8 Refill
2014 Chardonnay, Wild Oak Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
2014 “Old Vines” Zinfandel, Sonoma County

Admission & Popcorn are Free!
Wines and El Coyote Mexican Food will be available for purchase.

St. Francis Film Festival: The Candidate, July 21

candidateThis week at the 7th Annual “Stars Under the Stars” Outdoor Film Festival at St. Francis Winery will be the political classic “The Candidate”, starring a youthful Robert Redford and Peter Boyle.  I will be there as your festival sommelier to pair St Francis’ world class wines with world class films. Starts at 7pm, admission is free!

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The Candidate
Starring Robert Redford & Peter Boyle (1972)
Pre-show concert by: The Atomic Lounge Show
Thursday, July 21, 2016

Featured Wines
$10 per glass (Includes a keepsake St. Francis logoed glass) | $8 Refill
2015 Chardonnay, Sonoma County
2013 Old Vines Zinfandel, Bacchi vineyard, Russian River Valley

St. Francis Film Festival: National Treasure Part 2, July 14

220px-Book_of_secrets_postThe 7th Annual “Stars Under the Stars” Outdoor Film Festival at St. Francis Winery continues.  Get ready for an evening of intrigue with “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”, which includes an introduction by the film’s Executive Producer Charles Segars.  I will be there as your festival sommelier to pair St Francis’ world class wines with world class films. Starts at 7pm, admission is free!

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National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Starring Nicolas Cage (2007)
Pre-show concert by: Ragtag Sullivan Duo
Thursday, July 14, 2016

Featured Wines
$10 per glass (Includes a keepsake St. Francis logoed glass) | $8 Refill
2015 Chardonnay, Sonoma County
2013 Meritage, Anthem, Sonoma County

St. Francis Film Festival: Sleepless In Seattle, July 7th

It’s back again, the 7th Annual “Stars Under the Stars” seattleOutdoor Film Festival at St. Francis Winery.  I will be there every Thursday in July as your festival sommelier to pair St Francis’ world class wines with world class films.  Starts at 7pm, admission is free!

Sleepless in Seattle
Starring Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan (1993)
Pre-show concert by: Z & The Benders
Thursday, July 7, 2016

Featured Wines
$10 per glass (Includes a keepsake St. Francis logoed glass)
2015 Chardonnay, Sonoma County
2014 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

Collage of Memories from an incredible Telluride Wine Festival 2016!

First of all a big THANK YOU to the wonderful folks at Gloria Ferrer, Wilson-Daniels, Deutch Family, Keller Estate, Banfi, Ramey, Failla, Aril, Goosecross, Grieve,  Arista, Garnet,  Palm Bay Imports, E&J Gallo, Rodney Strong, Southern Wines & Spirits, Republic National Distributing Co & Grand Vin, and especially my assistant Teale.  They all made this happen!


Warm welcome to the historic town of Telluride on Main Street with the famous Idarado Legacy Trail and Rocky Mountains in the background. (top/bottom) Exploring the complex flavor profiles of Coastal Pinot Noirs with tasty offerings from The Calling, Garnet Vineyards, Keller Estate, Arista Winery and Three Sticks Wines. Special thanks to Sonoma County Vintners & Petaluma Gap board member Ana Keller for being part of this sold-out seminar for 70 people with me!


For my pairing with the exclusive Caviar Dinner at a private residence in Mountain Village, an all-star lineup of fine European bubbles from Gosset Champagne, Pierre Sparr, and Buglioni. (Left)
-Alsatian Invasion: Fun Sunday morning photo shoot with a bottle of the Pierre Sparr Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose and the spectacular Bridal Veil Falls in the background. (top right to bottom)
-My great friend Lars Leicht of Cru Artisan and Banfi Vintners speaking to a packed house at our fun seminar and tasting, The Extraordinary Tuscan Experience.
-Sonoma County Vintners in bubbly form! Fabulous bottles of the Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs and the J Wine Company Cuvee 20 featured at an amazing Saveur Pass Luncheon & Sparkling Wines to kick off the festival with the towering Mount Wilson in the background.

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Post-Caviar Dinner photo I took of the star chefs I was honored to work with at the Telluride Wine Festival 2016 (from front): James Reaux of the Coast II Coast Restaurant Group; Angela Covington of Manchester Farms Quail; local star Angelee Aurillo; Bernard Guillas of Marine Restaurant in San Diego; and Master Baker Lionel Vatinet.


The brilliant Second Course at the Caviar Dinner created by talented Chef Bernard Guillas of Marine Restaurant in San Diego featuring fresh sashimi-grade Alaskan Halibut, Black River Caviar, and more flavorful accouterments! (top left)
-At the “King Georges” Gala to honor iconic French Chef George Perrier, founder of Le Bec-Fin Restaurant in Philadelphia in 1970, a Soufflé Glace Grand Marnier by Chef Jason Bayle. (left to right)
-#SawyerSelfieDeluxe with Chef Ann Cooper, founder of the Chef Ann Foundation, a magnificent charitable organization focused on making sure kids eat healthy at schools across the nation. Check out www.chefannfoundation.org to learn more information about this amazing project.
-Recreating one of Chef George Perrier’s most famous dishes during his forty-year stint at his famous restaurant in Philadelphia, the Gallette de Crabe “Le Bec-Fin” by Chef James Reaux.

Podcast featuring Sawyer Somm!

In the mix of organizing wine seminars, shipments and special guests for the Telluride Wine Festival, I also made time to record this podcast interview with Susan Viebock at Telluride Inside & Out.  Keep an eye on my social media for interesting wines, guests and activities this week at the festival!

For more about TWF and the Somm go to
Somm Of It All, Christopher Sawyer!

(Much gratitude to Adolfo & Daedalus for their technical assistance!)

Extraordinary Tuscan Experience at TWF – Friday, June 24

Take the shortcut to Tuscany, via Telluride Wine Festival!  Join me and Lars Leicht from Banfi to taste through an amazing samplings of tuscanyVermentino and Bolgheri Rosso from the coast; a new single vineyard Chianti, and bringing it all together with the newly released 2011 Brunellos. Fantastico!

Extraordinary Tuscan Experience
with Cru Artisan Wines/Banfi Vintners
June 24, 2016 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm

  • tuscan-rossoLa Pettegola Vermentino Toscano
  • Fonte alla Selva Chianti Classico
  • ASKA Bolgheri Rosso
  • Poggio alle Mura Rosso di Montalcino
  • Poggio alle Mura Brunello di Motalcino
  • Poggio alle Mura Brunello di Montalcino Riserva

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Taste of Two Valleys with Ramey Wines! TWF – Friday June 24

ramey2Another great seminar and guest at Telluride Wine FestivalJeff Boyer of Ramey Wines, to discuss and taste through a selection of their wines.

The Taste of Two Valleys will encompass the wines of David Ramey, whom has crafted world-class Chardonnay and Syrah with premium grapes grown in Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast appellations in Sonoma County for two decades.  Join us Friday, June 24 from 3:30-4:30pm!

  • ramey1Ramey 2013 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
  • Ramey 2013 Chardonnay, Woolsey Road Vineyard, Russian River Valley
  • Ramey 2014 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
  • Ramey 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  • Ramey 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Pedregal Vineyard, Napa Valley

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