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~Wine Country Chefs Provide Recipes and Wine Pairings that Wow this Holiday Season~

SANTA ROSA, CA, November 15, 2010 – With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, California’s Sonoma County Vintners have gathered recipes from culinary personalities at area wineries to create delicious dishes designed to make it easy to enjoy a taste of Sonoma County at home this holiday season.  Each dish has been paired with a Sonoma County wine for the ultimate holiday indulgence, and the recipes can be found at www.sonomawine.com/sonoma-style/recipes and on the Sonoma County Vintners Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SonomaVintners.    
Whether it’s an elaborate dinner for Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas or New Years, or fare for a holiday fete, Sonoma’s chefs have created menu items that will tantalize the senses.  For a light appetizer, Mark Caldwell, executive chef at J Vineyards & Winery, suggests Lemon and Olive Crostini served with chilled Champagne or sparkling wine such as the winery’s J Vintage Brut or J Cuvee 20 Brut.  For a soup course that warms to the core, Todd Knoll, estate executive chef at Jordan Vineyard & Winerysuggests the Maui Onion Soup paired with a Jordan Chardonnay. Chef Bruce Riezenman from Park Avenue Catering offers up a Butternut Squash and Leek Tart with Pancetta that works perfectly as an appetizer, first course, or even with a salad for lunch or brunch.  The key to the tart is fresh ingredients, along with a glass of Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay. 
This year Chris Hanna, president of Hanna Winery & Vineyards, and author of the newly released cookbook, “The Winemaker Cooks”, suggests forgoing a traditional turkey or ham and instead trying a Rosemary-Crusted Standing Rib Roast with Bordeaux Gravy and Sumptuous Herbed Popovers, served with a Bordeaux blend to stand up to the meat’s elegance.  One to try is Hanna’s Bismark Mountain Vineyard Titan which is a proprietary blend using all five of the vineyard’s Bordeaux varieties.   
For a decadent end to the holiday meal, try Italia’s Cream Puffs from RUSTIC, Francis’s Favorites, the full-service restaurant at the newly renovated Francis Ford Coppola Winery.  This delightful dessert pairs wonderfully with the winery’s Francis Ford Coppola Reserve Semillon.
With more than 60,000 acres of growing possibilities, Sonoma County yields some of the world’s most renowned wines and world-class restaurants.  Complete recipes for each dish, along with additional recipes and suggestions from chefs in Sonoma County, can be found at www.sonomawine.com/sonoma-style/recipes and on www.facebook.com/SonomaVintners.  Sonoma County wines can be purchased at local wine purveyors around the country.  To learn more about Sonoma County wines, visit www.sonomawine.com.

~ Sonoma County Wine, Grapes and Tourism ~
Sonoma County, California, located just 30 miles north of San Francisco, offers world-class wines from more than 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.

www.sonomacounty.com Sonoma County Tourism Bureau

www.sonomawinegrape.orgSonoma County Winegrape Commission
www.sonomawine.comSonoma County Vintners

Media can also visit www.louhammond.com for latest press releases and images. Follow on Twitter at LouHammondPR or find us on Facebook.

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Sonoma County Vintners Awarded US Department of Agriculture Value-added Producer Grant

First-time grant to fund new and existing marketing programs for Sonoma County wineries and winegrapes

Sonoma County Vintners, a marketing organization of 165 Sonoma County wineries, was awarded a Value-Added Producer Grant of almost $300,000 ($299,638) from the US Department of Agriculture to promote Sonoma County wines and winegrapes to new consumers across the country. The 2010 grant recipients were announced June 3 and the Sonoma County Vintners was named as one of only 13 organizations in California to receive funding.

Sonoma County Vintners was the main applicant for the grant, with Sonoma County Winegrape Commission named as a partner organization. The awarded funds will be used in several regional and national shared marketing programs and events, including new programs targeting the Generation X and Millennial wine-drinking population and top influencers in the wine trade. These programs will benefit wineries and growers across the county, and will be executed in partnership with the wine and tourism organizations in Sonoma County.

This is the first time Sonoma County Vintners has applied for this grant. It was one of three regional winery associations receiving the funding, joining Monterey Wine Growers Council and Livermore Valley Wine Growers. Recipients selected represented organizations in 45 states and Puerto Rico and grants awarded totaled $22.5 million.

“Obtaining this grant would not have been possible without the county-wide collaboration of our AVA associations, Sonoma County wineries, and the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission. It is a triumph for our staff, our Board of Directors, and all of our wine and tourism partners,” said Honore Comfort, executive director of Sonoma County Vintners. “In this challenging economy, it is even more important to tap external resources and partnerships to promote Sonoma County wines in the marketplace, plus it allows us to offer our members even more value for their dollar.”

To view the US Department of Agriculture press release and Value-Added Producer Grant recipient list, visit http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=2010/06/0302.xml


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