SONOMA COUNTY: Harvest Awards Gala changes
Sonoma County Harvest Awards Gala will debut its new format Sept. 28, with the public invited this year. The gala also has a new location. It formerly was held at the Grace Pavilion of the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, but this year it will be at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for a gala wine and food reception, featuring award-winning wines and small-bite appetizers from the Harvest Fair’s professional competition. The awards ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. A formal dinner, provided by John Ash & Co., will follow at approximately 6:30 p.m.
The Harvest Awards Gala celebrates the region’s top winemakers, growers, microbrewers and culinary artists, while paying tribute to Sonoma County’s role as a leader in American agriculture. There will be plenty of suspense at the gala when organizers announce which wineries won this year’s coveted sweepstakes awards from the Harvest Fair’s Professional Wine Competition and which eateries will take home the top Restaurant Competition prizes.
In addition to honoring local pioneers for their wine and culinary excellence, the evening will celebrate Sonoma County’s agricultural leaders for their achievements. Honorees include: Healdsburg grape grower Al Cadd for Lifetime Contribution to Sonoma County Agriculture; David Stare, founder of Dry Creek Vineyards, for the Lifetime Contribution to the Sonoma County Wine Industry “Methuselah Award”; Carlos Chavez, co-owner of Safety Environmental Compliance Associates, for Friend of Sonoma County Agriculture; Lise Asimont of Francis Ford Coppola Winery for Outstanding Young Person in Agribusiness; and Cameron Mauritson of Mauritson Wines for the Outstanding Young Farmer award. Ticket prices for the public are $125 each and are available at harvestfair.org or at the Box Office, which is located at 1350 Bennett Valley Road in Santa Rosa. Cocktail attire is recommended. To find out more, call 545-4200.
GEYSERVILLE: A seafood feast at Trentadue
Seafood fanatics, here’s an indulgence you won’t be able to resist. Trentadue Winery is hosting a Lobster Feast on Saturday, Sept. 13. There will be food, music, entertainment, dancing, sunset gondola rides and award-winning wines. The event is from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., and tickets are $110 per person. The winery is at 19170 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville. For more information, visit trentadue.com.
SONOMA VALLEY: Join the excitement of the crush
Tickets are available for the three-day Sonoma Valley CRUSH event Sept. 26-28. Fifteen wineries throughout the Sonoma Valley will be offering a variety of harvest activities each day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They include grape sampling in the vineyards, crush pad tours, as well as tasting fresh-pressed juice. To purchase a $35 ticket, visit heartofsonomavalley.com or call 431-1137.
SANTA ROSA: Fountaingrove chef wins pairing crown
The winner of the Greenwood Ridge Vineyards tasting competition is from Santa Rosa. Paul Schroeder, executive chef at Fountaingrove Golf Club, won the contest, which had a new format this year.
The new Wine Pairing Championships replace Greenwood’s California Wine Tasting Championships, which owner Allan Green hosted at the winery for 30 years. Rather than competing against other tasters, participants taste their way through wine and food combinations designed by chefs and decide which pairing they like best.
At the first event, the 50 judges were members of the Greenwood Ridge wine club. Those judges chose Schroeder’s bay scallop ceviche as their favorite pairing with the 2013 Greenwood Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, and his duck confit with exotic mushroom paté garnered the most votes paired with the 2012 Pinot Noir. Schroeder is a three-time winner of the Iron Chef of Sonoma competition. His competitors at Greenwood Ridge were Kim Badenhop, French-trained chef/owner of the former Rendezvous Restaurant in Fort Bragg, and Philip Thomas, retired teacher and amateur chef from Boonville.