Category Archives: Wine

Nor Cal Fires: Looking Back, Moving Forward & Drinking Wine!

Last month we were in Santa Rosa, my wife and son returned to a treasured park only to find it surrounded by burnt out lots.  The park was only grazed with crisp leaves and they were able to play their requisite basketball.  However, as they put it, felt like being in a forest.

A recent article I wrote, Out of the fires: Wildflowers and Pink Wine for Valley of the Moon Magazine is a look at the natural rebirth of some affected wineries.  The view above from my house during the fires, at the extreme end of southern Sonoma County, and beyond into the entire Bay Area, we all experienced the devastation from afar.

So have we, of course, been following the recovery:  Great news sources are the Press Democrat special section Rebuilding the North Bay, as well as this Facebook Page Rebuild NorthBay Foundation. The emblematic winery Paradise Ridge can be a reminder to us all that LOVE is leading us through!

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Experience the North Coast Wine Challenge 2018!

Last week I spent a few days in the midst of Northern California’s best wines.  Results have been posted and this article in the Press Democrat talks about the selection.  I have shared some pictures and the list below, however there is a much more thorough list of Gold Medal Winners in the D-section of Wednesday’s PD print version.  Peruse, pontificate and plan to attend the North Coast Wine & Food Festival on June 9, to try out these fabulous wines!

North Coast Wine Challenge Winners

Best of the Best: Kokomo 2016 Pinot Noir Gopher Hills Block Peters Vineyard Sonoma Coast

Best of Show Red: Kokomo 2016 Pinot Noir Gopher Hills Block Peters Vineyard Sonoma Coast

Best of Sonoma County: Kokomo 2016 Pinot Noir Gopher Hills Block Peters Vineyard Sonoma Coast

Best of Show White: J. Rickards Winery 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Croft Vineyard Alexander Valley

Best of Show Rose: Rodney Strong Vineyards 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Best of Show Sparkling: Domaine Carneros 2013 Brut

Best of Show Dessert Wine: Sonoma Cutrer Vineyards 2015 Late Harvest Chardonnay

Best of Lake County: Cache Creek Vineyards 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Lake County

Best of Marin County: DeLoach Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir Marin County

Best of Mendocino: Soda Rock 2016 Chardonnay Mendocino

Best of Napa County: Mudita 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Circle S Ranch Atlas Peak Napa

Best of Sonoma County: Kokomo 2016 Pinot Noir Gopher Hill Block Peters Vineyard Sonoma Coast

SAVE THE DATE! June 9th

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Last minute tickets! Hospice du Rhône on April 26-28

Just a short note to say online ticket sales ends this Friday April 20th!   I will be there enjoying the stellar wines and company.  Some availability already SOLD OUT so get them while you can.  If not sold out, tickets to the Opening and Closing Tastings will be available at the door for $10 more. All other tickets must be purchased in advance.

GET YOUR TICKETS!

CA State Fair: Wine Competition Winners Announced

Just a little trek to the State Capital over spring break and guess what we did?  While the fam was out exploring Old Town Sacramento and William Land Park, I participated in this amazing competition! Here are some highlights, with links to more winners at the bottom as well as your chance to taste them for yourself. CHEERS!

Top right photo, at the Sugar Mill in Clarskburg: El Dorado winery owners Greg and Susan Boeger were honored for their family’s achievements in the California wine industry.  In the background is our Chief Judge, Mark Chandler.  www.boegerwinery.com; Other photos showing professional wine judges at work & play!

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Best of Show Red: Double Gold 99
St. Amant Winery
2016 Touriga, The Old Soldier
Amador County

Best of Show White: Double Gold 99
Picchetti Winery
2017 Sauvignon Blanc
Cedar Lane Vineyard
Arroyo Seco

Best of Show Sparkling: Double Gold 99
Gwinllan Estate
2016, Pinot Noir Rose, Brut Sparkling Wine
El Dorado

Best of Show Pink: Double Gold 99
Malene
2017 Rosé
Santa Barbara County

Best of Show Dessert: Double Gold 98
Stephen & Walker
2012 Botrytis Chardonnay, Late Harvest
Mendocino Ridge

Golden State Winery of the Year
Imagery Estate Winery

Golden State Vineyard of the Year Award
Paraiso Springs Vineyard

Wine Lifetime Achievement Awards
Greg Boeger
The Bogle Family

California All Stars Awards
Ken Fugelsang
Dennis Martin

Here is a  searchable list of the 2018 CA State Fair Commercial Wine Competition winners Several opportunities to try these wines upcoming include the Best of California Tasting Event on June 21, or through Taste of California Experience Classes from July 13-29.

Celebrate Signature Sonoma Valley on April 6-8

Signature Sonoma Valley is like no other wine event, an intimate and exclusive deep dive into the wines, terroir and people of Sonoma Valley’s historic wine region. Experience the vineyards and cellars of some of California’s most iconic winemakers, cutting-edge innovators and multi-generational winegrowers.

Want to taste a Hanzell 1977 Pinot Noir or other stunning wines from brilliant cellars? Then join me, Steve Sangiacomo and Don Sebastiani (pictured at right), plus MS Bob Bath, more star somms, and a fabulous cast of winemaking icons at the #LegendsDinner at #SignatureSonomaValley, April 7!

Event TICKETS are available to reserve individually or through the VIP weekend package. Special hotel packages and luxury transportation available on the website. Space is extremely limited – reserve now!

Wineries Register now for Telluride Wine Festival!

Ever dream of the  high-altitude splendors in summertime?  Bring your wines to share and enjoy the spectacular scenes of Telluride, Colorado!  This marks my third year as Wine Director and I look forward to the many festive events including my educational seminars, wine pairing meals, The Grand Tasting and more!

If you are interested in joining us June 28-July 1, then please contact wine@sawyersomm.com to inquire about options that might suit you! 

Wineries can sign-up online at this site: Telluride Wine Festival 2018 Registration

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Attack of the Clones! Or WOPN Strikes Back on March 2-3

Will you be at World of Pinot Noir (WOPN) on March 2-3? If you will be at this Santa Barbara event then please be sure to sign up for my special Saturday seminar ATTACK OF THE CLONES!

A panel of winemakers and I will lead you during my fun and educational seminar. You will get to learn – and taste – the difference between many key Pinot Noir grape clones.  Panelists include:

  • Greg Morthole – Davis Bynum
  • Heidi Bridenhagen – MacRostie Winery & Vineyards
  • Ben Papapietro – Papapietro Perry Winery
  • Amy Thorn – Thorn Hill Vineyards
  • Ben Cane – Westwood Estate Winery

Get your tickets!

Listen Here! The KGO Interview from February 8th.

Here is a quick and easy way to listen to my short discussion on KGO 810AM at 5:30pm with Chip Franklin from February 8th!  Just kick back with cup of something warm and your device now to hear about the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Competition results.

Cheers! Christopher

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!