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.
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
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.
I am flying all over the airwaves these days so try to target in on a time to listen to Foodie Chap this week, with host Liam Mayclem, starting today March 6th! Liam and I will be discussing Flavor! Napa Valley and his role as Guest MC. KCBS is at 740 AM and 106.9 FM.
I will miss the San Francisco Chronicle Wine CompetitionPublic Tasting this year, but instead I get to share my thoughts about the exciting results from a wine judge’s perspective ahead of time on KGO! Catch me tonight, February 16th, from 8:45 to 9pm with Pat Thurston.
The SFWC Public Tasting will be Saturday, February 18th at Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco from 1:30-5pm. Get your tickets HERE!
In the latest episode of The Sawyer Somm Show, join me as I discuss some recent events, wines for fall and some intriguing wine news; Making wine with biodynamically farmed grapes (and marijuana)
Constellation Brands Eyes $1 Billion Sale of Canadian Wine Business.
Featured wines include Frivolo Moscato Blanco CA – Noceto 2014, Borne 2014 Pinot Noir Anderson Valley, mile marker 33.89, 50 Year Anniversary Robert Mondavi, Maestro 2013 and many more!
We’ve all seen the billboard driving north on Hwy 101, right? Well Virginia Dare has returned thanks to the direction of Francis Ford Coppola Winery. You can read my brief article about it in Napa Sonoma Magazine, published February of this year.
“It has been a long-held dream of mine to be a leading voice for our wine community. The vintners of Sonoma County have many stories to tell. These stories bring to life the challenges of working with such diversity of land, dedication to sustainable grape growing for the highest quality of winemaking, while working together to care and support our agriculture and our community. This is an exciting time to be part of the Sonoma County Vintners.” — Jean Arnold Sessions.
You can read details about their joint venture HERE!
After the devastating Valley Fire last autumn local organizations and citizens have been collaborating in a multitude of ways to help support the recovery and redevelopment of Lake County. It seems the efforts are making a difference, particularly in regards to their wine industry, with events in addition to ample tourism.
Read this recent Press Democrat article by Bill Swindell to find out more and perhaps think about ways we can continue supporting our neighborto the North: