Top Wine Buyers and Sommeliers Build Wine Knowledge at Sonoma Summit

Sonoma Summit attendees take a moment from their tour and tasting of vineyards in the Rockpile AVA for a group photo. Photo: George Rose

Sonoma County Vintners and Sonoma County Winegrowers, in partnership with Full Circle Wine Solutions, presented the fifth annual Sonoma Summit November 5-7 at wineries and vineyards throughout Sonoma County. The event convened 31 top wine decision makers from across the US and Canada for three days of intensive tastings and education under the tutelage of Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein and Full Circle Wine Solutions in a program designed to deepen knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the region.

In the span of their three day visit, Sonoma Summit attendees traveled to four Sonoma County AVAs, tasted over 80 wines, and met countless vintners, growers, and chefs during the program. Events took place in vineyards and wineries, as well as the new Culinary Center at Santa Rosa Junior College. Attendees represented a broad array of local and national accounts from across the United States and Canada.

“Post-event surveys indicate that most attendees intend to carry more Sonoma County wines on their restaurant wine lists after completing the program, and that shows us that we have accomplished our goals when we see those results”, said Sonoma County Vintners executive director Honore Comfort. “When we conduct well organized and focused educational programs with leaders in the wine industry, the quality of Sonoma County wine sells itself.”

“The whole event was absolutely relevant and clearly done for sommeliers by a sommelier,” commented Jared Hooper, wine director at The Royce at the Langham Huntington, Los Angeles. “Learning about the different aspects of Sonoma County definitely gives me a better understanding of the whole.”

“The experience was a deep dive into Sonoma County–not a cosmetic deal,” said Philadelphia journalist and wine consultant Marnie Old. “Evan does a great job of adding multiple layers of communication. Regardless of your level of experience, you can take something from the event.”

“Even though Sonoma County isn’t a new region to me, the diversity I’ve experienced during this event has been remarkable,” said Thomas Price, MS, wine director at the Metropolitan Grill, Seattle. “The Sonoma County Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines we’ve tasted have been spectacular, and the visit to the Rockpile vineyard was off the hook.”

“The Sonoma Summit program improves understanding of Sonoma County’s regions, growers, and producers, and our attendees leave with higher appreciation and understanding for our wines,” said Sonoma County Winegrowers president Nick Frey. “We work to deepen their connection with Sonoma during their time with us, and we had an enthusiastic group this year. Their response to our wines was gratifying to see.”

 

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