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Top Sommeliers from US and Canada attend 2011 Sonoma Summit


Santa Rosa, CA, November 15, 2011 - The fourth annual Sonoma Summit brought 35 top wine buyers and sommeliers to Sonoma County for a three-day immersion in Sonoma County wines November 7-9. Sonoma Summit is jointly sponsored by Sonoma County Vintners and the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, and is produced by Full Circle Wine Solutions and moderated by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein.

In addition to tasting over 80 of Sonoma County’s finest wines during seven master classes and other events and activities, attendees met over 45 Sonoma County winemakers and grape growers, which allowed them the opportunity to hear about the vineyard sites, growing conditions, and winemaking firsthand.

Attendees represent some of North America’s most prestigious restaurants and hotels and are considered influencers and thought leaders in the wine trade. “Our goal is to teach the thought leaders in key accounts and markets across the US and Canada, so that they can deepen their understanding and appreciation of all that Sonoma County wine offers, and become ambassadors for our wines in their home markets,” said Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director Honore Comfort.

“This year’s Sonoma Summit allowed us to showcase the interactions between grower and winemaker that are essential to producing world class wines,” said Nick Frey, President of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission. “A Sonoma County grape grower participated in almost every session, providing our guests with additional perspective and insights.”

“The organization of this event was top-notch and one of the best I have ever attended,” said Robert Smith, MS, Wine Director at Picasso Restaurant, Bellagio Resort, Las Vegas. “I leave with a full sense of the people, more understanding of the place, and stories to take home with me.”

“I gained a sense of why I like the wines so much, especially Chardonnay and Pinot Noir,” Said Jonathan Pullis, MS, Wine Director, The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado. “Being here and getting a better sense of place is a real plus. I have a better understanding now of the great balance of the wines, and how it comes to be.”

“It was incredible and a great honor to be here,” said Wilfred Wong, Head Buyer at Beverages and More! “The program is perfect for any serious wine professional and there is plenty to learn no matter how long you have been in the business.”

“The talk about sites, clonal selections, and soils was fascinating. The future of these relatively new growing areas will be even more interesting for me to watch evolve with the deeper understanding that I have gained,” said Jennifer Heuther, MS, Director of Food and Beverage for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Toronto, Ontario.

“As someone who offers so many Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays on their wine list, being amongst the vineyards, winemakers and other sommeliers to share ideas and explore the wines was really powerful, especially in this type of group and format,” said Jennifer Knowles, Wine Director, Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia

About Sonoma County Vintners

Sonoma County Vintners is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to increasing awareness and improving the quality image of its wines to consumers, media, and trade locally and globally. With almost 65,000 vineyard acres planted among the county’s 13 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), Sonoma County is considered one of the world’s premier winegrowing regions, producing an unparalleled range of varietals and wine styles. SCV has promoted this diversity and quality since 1944, and currently represents more than 175 member wineries and 25 Affiliate Members. For more information on the wines and wineries of Sonoma County, visit www.sonomawine.com.

About Sonoma County Winegrape Commission

The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission was established in 2006 as a non-profit marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. SCWC’s goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality and diversity of Sonoma County’s grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers around the world. For more information about SCWC and its programs, visit www.sonomawinegrape.org

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Sommeliers at 2011 Sonoma Summit
2011 Sonoma Summit attendees from the US and Canada at MacMurray Ranch in Russian River Valley.


Spoil Loved Ones This Holiday Season with Sonoma County's Ultimate Luxury Gift Package


~ Offer features exclusive wine experiences, luxury villa with personal chef, concierge service, and more ~

SONOMA COUNTY, CA, October 18, 2011 – Sonoma County, known as one of California’s top wine and culinary destinations, has created a one-of-a-kind experience for food and wine lovers seeking a holiday gift that offers exclusivity and the ultimate pampering. Produced by the Sonoma County Vintners, BeautifulPlaces and Vérité wines, the “Sonoma County Ultimate Luxury Package” captures Sonoma County at its best by blending highly sought after award-winning wines, luxurious offerings from the region’s finest chefs, lavish accommodations and elite spa experiences.
The “Ultimate Sonoma County Luxury Package” for six guests (three couples) includes:

  • Seven-day stay in luxurious villa including, daily housekeeping and all fees ; Villa choices include a range of styles  and locations throughout Sonoma County - many with  vineyard views, wine cellars, wine caves and more.
  • Two  lavish gourmet dinners for six prepared in the villa by top local chefs, featuring specially selected Sonoma County wines
  • Guided visits to local artisan food specialists, or arrangements to take in Sonoma County’s natural wonders, from coastal or Redwood forest walks, to a jeep tour or zipline adventure
  • Car service/driver for up to five hours per day for three days of the stay
  • In-villa spa services or visit to exclusive Sonoma County spa
  • In-villa wine tastings or wine pairings with vintners, custom winery tour itineraries and VIP access through Sonoma County Vintners in Sonoma’s 13 distinctive wine producing regions

Additionally, a never-before-offered intimate wine experience with Vérité winery will allow the guests to enjoy:

  • A private vertical tasting of Vérité award winning wines, each receiving 99 points or higher;
  • A tasting and full discussion with Vigneron Pierre Seillan to learn about his vineyard practices and philosophy;
  • Lunch prepared by the Estate Chef, featuring many Sonoma County delicacies and pairing with wines personally selected by Pierre Seillan from his private cellar.
  • Immediately following lunch, guests will be whisked away on a private helicopter tour of vineyards, showcasing Sonoma County’s beauty and diversity.
  • To commemorate the day, each couple will go home with a bottle of Vérité signed by Pierre Seillan.

            Only one “Ultimate Sonoma County Luxury Package” will be sold, though it may be scheduled year-round. The price is approximately $40,000, based on six guests and chosen amenities. For more information or to book the package, call 800-495-9961 or visit http://www.beautiful-places.com/special_offers/ultimate_sonoma.

About Vérité
The Vérité Estate is located in a beautiful spot in the foothills of Sonoma County's Mayacamas Mountains, where the Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill and Knights Valley appellations come together. The name Vérité, French for truth, stands for wines that reflect their soil with integrity. www.veritewines.com

About BeautifulPlaces
SAVOR LIFE!  BeautifulPlaces has created a new dimension in travel offering guests an authentic lifestyle experience in a variety of prime destinations around the world – the wine regions of Northern California, France and Italy…the resort areas of Mexico, Palm Beach, the Bahamas, Nantucket, and, most recently, The Hamptons and Aspen/Snowmass.  In addition to a select portfolio of villa and estates rentals, BeautifulPlaces’ concierge division handles all personal arrangements; plans custom itineraries; creates exclusive experiences and hands on activities for guests; and provides insider tips about the destination.  Unlike hotels, a villa stay ensures the utmost in privacy, security, and a relaxed informality for an ideal vacation.  BeautifulPlaces is headquartered in Sonoma, California.  For more information and reservations, call 1-800-495-9961 or 707-996-0266. www.beautiful-places.com

About Sonoma County Wine, Grapes and Tourism
Sonoma County, California, located just 30 miles north of San Francisco, offers world-class wines from over 350 wineries in 13 designated wine regions, cuisine featuring locally grown and artisan products, and destination resorts including 40 spas and 21 golf courses. It is the birthplace of premium California wine more than 150 years ago.  As leaders in sustainable farming, a majority of the 62,000 total vineyard acres follow the California statewide guidelines. Family heritage, community and dedication to the land are what make Sonoma County a friendly first-rate wine and food destination.

Sonoma County Tourism Bureau
www.sonomacounty.com / http://www.facebook.com/sonomacountyca / http://twitter.com/insidesonoma

Sonoma County Winegrape Commission
www.sonomawinegrape.org / http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sonoma-Grapes/133401176715690
/ http://twitter.com/Sonomagrapes

Sonoma County Vintners
www.sonomawine.com / http://www.facebook.com/SonomaVintners / http://twitter.com/sonomavintners


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