Category Archives: Wine

For The Love of Napa concert raises spirits and funds for fire relief!

There are so many incredible people coming together in support of those affected by the recent fires.  For The Love of Napa featured an amazing concert with Michael Franti and Spearhead and Vintage Trouble.  With so many affected, this is a chance for locals to show their resilience as a community and lift their spirits through the healing power of music. One-hundred percent of ticket sales went to victims of the region’s recent wildfires through the Napa Valley Community Foundation.

It all took place at Robert Mondavi Winery, in conjunction with BottleRock Presents, and raised in excess of $90K for fire relief.

THANK YOU to all that contributed time, money, music and wine!

 #NapaStrong #WineCountryStrong
#CAWineStrong #FeastItForward

Get the results! 2017 Harvest Challenge

Well it was all quite a challenge indeed to make this happen in the midst of the October fires.  For that reason with every entry made to the 2017 Harvest Challenge, the net portion of proceeds are being donated to aid in recovery from the recent Northern California Wildfires.  Check out the links below for results! #CAWineStrong

Many thanks and appreciation are also extended to Cline Cellars for hosting the judges to a marvelous feast from A Girl In The Fig by chef John Toulze.  Cheers to all!

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Dec 2nd: Pairings for the Senses Returns!

Here is your second chance to experience the best of art, poetry, food, and wine all in one place! Pairings for the Senses is a Sonoma Valley Museum of Art concept inspired by the long-running event Flight of Poets, organized by Bay Area poets Hollie Hardy and Tess Taylor, and myself (Sonoma Sommelier Christopher Sawyer), where live poetry readings are paired with the perfect Sonoma County wines.

Chef Bryan Jones in the kitchen at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards.
Chef Bryan Jones in the kitchen at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards.

Get your TICKETS to join us Saturday December 2nd, 5:30-7:30:  I will be the MC for the evening, with another amazing line up of Poets, Chefs, and Vintners sharing how it all comes together in a set of dynamic pairings to delight all our senses.

The POETS: Introduction by Tess Taylor, Hollie Hardy, Iris Jamahl Dunkle, Tongo Eisen-Martin

The CHEFS & WINES: Armando Navarro of El Dorado Kitchen, Bryan Jones of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Carlo Cavallo of B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille, Jeff Tyler of Palooza Gastropub, Muscardini Cellars, Gloria Ferrer, La Rochelle Winery

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Top to bottom: Poet Iris Jamahl Dunkle, Muscardini Cellars selection: Chef Armando Navarro preps at EDK (PD photo); Gorgeous view of La Rochelle Winery

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!

PinotFest in SF! Saturday November 18th

The action happens at the Farallon in San Francisco with an amazing list of participating wineries and North Bay Fire Relief raffle of Magnums.  Be sure to get your tickets to the 19th Annual PinotFest!

I’m not kidding about these wineries! Alma Rosa, Au Bon Climat, Big Table Farm, Bonaccorsi, Byron, Calera, Charles Heintz, Chehalem, Cobb, Costa de Oro, Cristom, Domaine Drouhin, En Route, Ernest, Etude, Failla, Fiddlehead, Flowers, Foxen, Freeman, Gary Farrell, Gloria Ferrer, Handley, Hartford Court, Hitching Post, Joseph Phelps, Keller Estate, Kendric, Kosta Browne, LaRue, Littorai, Lutum, Marimar Estate, Melville, Merry Edwards, Morgan, Nicolas Jay, Paul Hobbs, Paul Lato, Peay, Radio Coteau, Saintsbury, Siduri, Sinor LaVallee, Soter, Talisman, Talley, Testarossa, Tendril, Thomas Fogarty, Twomey, Wayfarer, Whitcraft, WillaKenzie, Williams Selyem

Then there is the Pinot Noir Pop Up – Focus New Zealand: Lime Rock, Escarpment, Ata Rangi, Neudorf, Huia, Greywacke, Villa Maria, Giesen, Mt. Beautiful, Pegasus Bay, Amisfield, Loveblock, Mt. Difficulty, Felton Road, Burn Cottage, Ostler

#PinotFest2017 #PinotFestSF #WineCountryStrong

Fire Relief Fundraiser! November 10th at Gravenstein Grill

#WineCountryStrong

Another fabulous way to support your community! Join me and Ziggy the Wine Gal at this Superstar event to raise funds for the North Bay Fire Relief, an incredible effort to help our neighbors rise from the ashes.

Gravenstein Grill
8050 Bodega Avenue Sebastopl, CA 95472
6pm to close
$100 suggested donation

There will be an amazing selection of wines, many from Russian River Winegrowers and the Coffey Park areas, being poured and up for auction!  Cocktails and appetizers to enjoy while perusing the silent auction, then get ready for live bidding at 7pm.

Reserve your space at
(707)-634-6142 or brandon@gravensteingrill.com 

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