The rising wine experts, known as the “Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sommelier Stars,” are sponsored by Rodney Strong Vineyards and Southern Wine & Spirits. The somms will be immersed in Sonoma to gain an even deeper understanding of the region and the wines. They will also lead seminars and tours at Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch in Healdsburg on Saturday, September 1 as well as provide custom wine service to auction guests at the 20th annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood on Sunday, September 2.
The 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sommelier Stars are:
• Charlie Berg – BOURBON STEAK, Washington DC
• Nichole Dishman – Viognier Restaurant, San Mateo, CA
• Sian Ferguson-Nagan – Root Down & Linger, Denver, CO
• Michael Garcia – Southern Wine & Spirits, San Francisco, CA
• Bjorn Kock – Salt House, San Francisco, CA
• Mariya Kovacheva – Café Boulud, Palm Beach, FL
• Dana Manison – Southern Wine & Spirits, San Francisco, CA
• Christopher McFadden – Hy’s Steakhouse, Vancouver, BC
• Jennifer Perlstein – Americano Restaurant at the Hotel Vitale, San Francisco, CA
• Bert Rangle – River's End, Jenner-by-the-Sea, CA
• Stefen Soltysiak – Rodney Strong Wine Estates, Healdsburg, CA
• Deirdre Summers – Scala's Bistro, San Francisco, CA
• Ryan Williams – Ana Mandara, San Francisco, CA
Proceeds from Sonoma Wine Country Weekend benefit local communities and charities serving students, children, farm workers and people in need. To date, more than $11 million has been raised jointly by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners. The 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is set for Labor Day Weekend, August 31 – September 2, 2012.
For those who cannot attend the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, yet would still like to participate in the charitable effort, an online auction of additional lots, including many of Sonoma County’s finest large format wine bottles and exclusive experiences, is open for bidding through September 7, 2012 at http://www.biddingforgood.com/sonomawinecountryweekend.
About Sonoma Wine Country Weekend:
Produced in partnership by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and the Sonoma County Vintners, the 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend event features the Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch®, the Sonoma Starlight Supper Club at Francis Ford Coppola Winery sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, the 20th Annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak, and an assortment of additional winery-hosted events throughout Sonoma County. www.SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com. Proceeds from Sonoma Wine Country Weekend support Sonoma County non-profit organizations. To date, a cumulative total of more than $11 million has been donated directly to Sonoma County non-profits by the local wine community through this event.
About Visa Signature
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is presented by Visa Signature which offers account holders a range of benefits that provide special access and can save time and money. In addition to points, miles, cash back or other premium rewards offered by Visa Signature partners, account holders enjoy perks such as 24/7 complimentary concierge services, the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and exclusive offers for fine wine and food, travel, and sports and entertainment events. For more information on Visa Signature and issuers offering Visa Signature visit www.visa.com/signature.
About Rodney Strong Vineyards
Rodney Strong Vineyards is dedicated to crafting world-class wines that capture the essence of Sonoma County. Rodney Strong sustainably farms 14 estate vineyards and produces wines from Sonoma County’s finest appellations – Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill and Sonoma Coast. The winery was founded in 1959 by Sonoma County wine pioneer Rodney D. Strong as the 13th bonded winery in the county. It was purchased by the Klein family, a fourth generation California farming family, in 1989. The company aspires to conserve and protect the environment in all its operations. For more visit www.rodneystrong.com.
About Chateau St. Jean
Founded in 1973 in the Sonoma Valley, Chateau St. Jean is the quintessential Sonoma winery. Chateau St. Jean produces an extensive portfolio of Sonoma County wines as well as vineyard designated wines, limited production Reserve wines, and the flagship Cinq Cépages Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren, who was named “Winemaker of the Year” for 2008 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, has been with Chateau St. Jean for over 30 years. Chateau St. Jean is the first Sonoma winery to be awarded the prestigious “Wine of the Year” award from Wine Spectator Magazine for its 1996 Cinq Cépages, a Bordeaux style blend of “five varieties” and has long been recognized as a leader in vineyard designated wines. For more visit www.chateaustjean.com.
About Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Francis puts it best, saying the winery is, “A wine wonderland, a park of pleasure where people of all ages can enjoy all the best things in life – food, wine, music, dancing, games, swimming and performances of all types. A place to celebrate the love of life.” Francis Ford Coppola Winery is located at 300 Via Archimedes in Geyserville, California, accessed from US HWY 101 and the INDEPENDENCE LANE exit. Among the many unique attractions at the property, Francis Ford Coppola Winery features wine tasting, two restaurants, a swimming pool, a movie gallery, a performing arts Pavilion and a park area with game tables and bocce courts. Francis Ford Coppola Winery opens at 11 a.m. daily. For more information, call (707) 857-1400, toll free (877) 590-3329 or visit www.FrancisCoppolaWinery.com.
About MacMurray Ranch
Nestled in the heart of the Russian River Valley, the historic MacMurray Ranch is home to award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. MacMurray Ranch Winemaker Chris Munsell crafts a collection of elegant, expressive wines from cool-climate vineyards in California and Oregon, reflecting a passion for the special places that create extraordinary grapes. Kate MacMurray, daughter of Hollywood legend Fred MacMurray, remains deeply connected to MacMurray Ranch, carrying on the legacy of this iconic Sonoma landmark. Learn more at www.macmurrayranch.com.
About 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sponsors and Beneficiaries
A partnership between Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is California’s premier wine, food and social event, taking place on Labor Day weekend each year. The events comprising Sonoma Wine Country Weekend have raised over $11 million in support of local charities that benefit students, children, farm workers and people in need. The 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is presented by Visa Signature®. In addition to Visa Signature, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend sponsors include: TricorBraun WinePak, MacMurray Ranch®, Buick, Cooking Light, Wine Spectator, San Francisco Magazine, Chateau St. Jean, Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Kaiser Permanente. For a complete list of beneficiaries and sponsors, please visit www.SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com.
About Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance and Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners
The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA) is a non-profit trade organization serving over 500 members who share a mission to promote awareness of Sonoma Valley’s grapes, wine, and history as the birthplace of the California wine industry. The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Foundation (SVVGF) is a non-profit 501c.3 organization that has raised over $8,000,000 for local Sonoma Valley charities. For more information on the SVVGA and SVVGF, please visit www.SonomaValleyWine.com.
Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions, noted for its heritage of artisan winemaking, distinct growing regions, and extraordinary quality. Founded in 1944, SCV represents more than 175 wineries of all sizes throughout the county. Learn more about SCV at www.SonomaWine.com.
Journalists: High-resolution artwork is immediately available. For more information, to speak with an event representative or to inquire about press credentials for the 2013 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend please email or call Lisa Adams Walter at (707) 255-0300 or email@example.com. For more information visit www.SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com, like it on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/winecountryweekend and follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SonomaWCW.
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