Category Archives: news

Great Seminars at the Wine Industry Expo Trade Show in Santa Rosa on November 30th!

For us Wine Trade folks, you can get the love at North Coast Wine Industry Expo Trade Show & Conference at the end of this month!

A great source for cutting edge products and services:  There will be  eight comprehensive winemaking and sales & marketing conference sessions, all of which focus on current industry issues and trends impacting the North Coast.  I am moderating the Pét Nat: Make Your Winery POP! Session, but check out this mind-tingling list of options:

  • Synergistic Action of Enzymes and Tannins in Winemaking
  • Wine & Weed: A New Normal on the Horizon
  • The Influence of Nutrients on Aromatics
  • Canned Wine: Crushing the Stigma by Raising the Quality
  • Advancements in Protein Stability & CMC vs. Traditional Cold Stabilization
  • Fires & Acquisition Impact on the North Coast Grape Market – What Will it Mean?
  • Beyond Social Media 101: The Next Frontier

All with great speakers and information to help attendees better prepare for the coming year.  Twenty dollars is being donatated for each paid registration to the #CAWineStrong Charity Fund, as well as $1 for each person that attends the show. 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

gunbun
felicia
ranch

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.

Live Thurs Feb 16th on KGO! SFWC Public Tasting on Feb 18th.

The final round of our my team’s flights of high-end Viognier.

I will miss the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Public 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!

The Sawyer Somm Show: Exploring Autumn with Wine

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!

 

Virginia Dare wine brand rekindled by Coppola

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.

Classic Virginia Dare white wine label.
Classic Virginia Dare white wine label.

Virginia Dare Winery
22281 Chianti Road, Geyserville
(707) 735-3500
virginiadarewinery.com

Sawyer Somm Newsletter Wins Accolades!

First of all, thanks all of you for reading! We have worked hard to make this a universally legible format, that accommodates multiple email programs. Hopefully you like what you are seeing.

As it turns out our template designers at Mail Poet are in agreement and recently chose The Sommelier Files to be featured on their Showcase page! Check out the creativity of all the winners and read more details at the Mail Poet Blog.

Cheers! Christopher

Jean Arnold Sessions new Exec Director of SVVGA

A hearty congratulations to my friend Jean and the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Association for making their relationship formal!

My fun photo of Jean Arnold Sessions with Alexandra O'Gorman of Ramey Wines and Summer Kostik Jeffus of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits at the Sonoma County Barrel Auction in April.
My fun photo of Jean Arnold Sessions (center) with Alexandra O’Gorman of Ramey Wines and Summer Kostik Jeffus of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits at the Sonoma County Barrel Auction in April.

“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!