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SONOMA COUNTY: Praise for The Olive Press’ Sevillano

The results are in for the Sonoma County Harvest Fair’s 2014 Olive Oil Competition, with the Sevillano olive oil from The Olive Press of Sonoma winning Best of Show.

“Sevillano is something we try to make every year,” said Chris Gilmore of The Olive Press. “It’s a difficult olive. It’s very large, typical of a martini olive, but the oil content is quite low.”

Despite its challenges, Gilmore said the Spanish olive makes a beautiful oil, with a light, grassy flavor that is the equivalent of the wine world’s Beaujolais Nouveau.

“It’s a very early harvest,” he said. “You want to get it early and use it up.”

The Olive Press, which has stores at the Oxbow Market in Napa and at 24724 Arnold Drive in Sonoma, currently is out of the Sevillano oil but will have more come January.

For Sonoma County oils, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery won a double gold for its Mountain Estate Oil in the delicate category; Medlock Ames won a double gold for its blend of seven olives in the robust category; RobiSonoma RRV won a double gold for its blend of Arbequina and Koroneiki olives.

For California-grown oils, The Olive Press won double golds for both the Sevillano and Ascolano oils in the light category; and Dry Creek Olive Company won a double gold for Maurino in the light category and for its Mediterranean Blend in the medium category.

In the California Grown Flavored category, Dry Creek Olive Company won a double gold for its Lime Olive Oil; and Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery won a double gold for its Meyer Lemon Olive Oil.

For the complete list of winners, go to harvestfair.org.

SANTA ROSA: Wine Library plans 25th anniversary

The Sonoma County Wine Library will present its 25th anniversary Gala from 2 to 5 p.m. Aug. 10 at the DeTurk Round Barn in Santa Rosa.

The afternoon includes wine tasting with 25 wineries, food pairings by Park Avenue Catering, live music by Heard These Cats and a silent auction of large format bottles.

Bo Simons, who served as wine librarian for most of its first 25 years, will be honored. Tickets are $45, or $80 per couple. winelibrary25.eventbrite.com.

The DeTurk Round Barn is located at 819 Donahue St.


West Sonoma Coast Vintners will host the West of West (WOW) festival this Friday through Sunday at The Barlow in Sebastopol.

The festival begins Friday night with welcome dinners with winemakers. Saturday morning features seminars, interviews and flight tastings, followed by a Grand Tasting in the afternoon and a Grand Dinner in the evening.

The festival culminates with a Grand Tasting on Sunday afternoon.

Tickets range from $100 to $175. westsonomacoast.com or 1-888-878-9645.

SANTA ROSA: New classes at Savory Spice Shop

Santa Rosa’s Savory Spice Shop has launched a new series of international cooking classes for the late summer.

On Sunday, chef instructor Jennifer Torrey will go to Greece for a menu of traditional festival foods, from Baklava to Moussaka.

On Aug. 17, she will swing by Portugal for some soul-comforting dishes, including Chicken Piri Piri and Pasteis de Nata (custard tarts).

On Sept. 7, she returns home for a festive Sonoma County Harvest Party, featuring Wine Country cuisine with Mediterranean influences.

Classes start at 4:30 p.m. and cost $30, including recipes. To reserve: 284-1310. The store is located at 317 D St.

SANTA ROSA: Heirloom festival tickets on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival to be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens.

Now in its 18th year, the festival showcases more than 150 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, a chef’s competition featuring Bravo’s Top Chef contenders and tomato-inspired dishes from nearly 50 chefs and purveyors.

Tickets are $95. To reserve: kj.com/visit-tomato-festival.

SONOMA: Winemaker dinner set for Ramekins

Ramekins in Sonoma is hosting a winemaker dinner Thursday with executive chef Doug MacFarland and wines from Gundlach Bundschu winery.

The event is 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and the price is $120 per person. The four-course meal will include wild King salmon paired with the winery’s 2011 pinot noir.

For more information, visit www.ramekins.com or call 707-933-0450. Ramekins is at 450 W. Spain St.

HEALDSBURG: J Pink Party Aug. 9

The J Pink Party is Aug. 9, a coming out party of sorts for the winery’s J Vineyard Brut Rosé.

There will be fresh Hog Island oysters and an array of appetizers prepared by executive chef Erik Johnson and the J culinary team.

In addition, there will be a live performance by Slim Jenkins, playing Voodoo Blues and Swing.

People are encouraged to wear pink and to walk down the pink carpet so they can get their picture taken in front of the J Paparazzi Wall. The event is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the fee is $110 per person. J Vineyards & Winery is at 11447 Old Redwood Hwy., Healdsburg. For more information, visit the website at www.jwine.com or call 431-5430.

NAPA: La Toque honored

La Toque at the Westin Verasa Napa has been awarded Wine Spectator magazine’s highest honor for restaurant wine lists, the 2014 Grand Award.

In addition to La Toque, five other restaurants across the country were awarded with the honor, including Saison in San Francisco.

“I believe that quality wine unquestionably elevates the dining experience, and I have crafted La Toque’s menu with specific pairings in mind to enhance the flavor profiles of every dish,” said Ken Frank, chef/owner of La Toque restaurant. “I am honored to receive this global recognition.”

La Toque is located at 1314 McKinstry St. in Napa. latoque.com or 257-5157.

ST. HELENA: Heritage Fire by Cochon 555 back

Heritage Fire by Cochon 555, a whole-animal, live-fire outdoor food and wine event, returns to the Charles Krug Winery from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday for a celebration of breed diversity and family farming.

The event showcases more than 40 wineries and 35 notable chefs and butchers cooking 3,000 pounds of heritage breed animals along with wines, beer and ciders.

In addition to the meat-laden feast, there will be animal theater cooking, butcher demos, lawn games, live music and a chance to learn from the farmers and producers.

Tickets are $100, with a portion of the proceeds going to the St. Helena Farmers Market and The American Institute of Wine & Food. cochonheritagefire.com.

The winery is located at 2800 Main St. in St. Helena. Cochon is a national event that takes place in 17 regions across the country. For more details, go to cochon555.com.

Compiled by Staff Writer Diane Peterson, who can be reached at 521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com, and Peg Melnik, who can be reached at 521-5310 or peg.melnik@pressdemocrat.com.

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