New ways to taste wine during harvest season


New date for All-Star Chef event

Francis Ford Coppola Winery will host a virtual restaurant dining event featuring three all-star chefs from Sonoma County at 4 p.m. on Sept. 23 as part of Taste of Sonoma at Home virtual series.

The event was originally scheduled for Sept. 9 but was postponed because of poor air quality.

The All-Star Sonoma Chef Collaboration will feature chefs Tim Bodell from RUSTIC, Dustin Valette from Valette Healdsburg and Mark Stark from Bravas Bar de Tapas. Each chef will demonstrate one course for a progressive dinner with one common ingredient carried throughout each of the dishes.

Winemaker Natalie Dale of Francis Ford Coppola Winery will taste and pair each dish with a Francis Ford Coppola Reserve limited production wine.

To reserve: experiences


Cabanas at Cline serve sparkler, snacks

Cline Family Cellars has opened new cabanas where small groups of friends and family can enjoy the estate-grown Nancy’s Cuvee Sparkling with a basket of snack provisions.

The cabanas accommodate four to six people for a two-hour, socially distanced wine tasting experience with a view of spring-fed ponds and an expansive lawn.

Reservations are required for cabana tastings held Thursdays through Mondays. Cost is $60 plus tax per person, including priority parking in the Barrel Room lot. To reserve: A $10 deposit per person is required.

Cline Family Cellars is located at 24737 Arnold Drive


B. R. Cohn offers picnics in cabanas

B. R. Cohn Winery is offering a flight of wine paired with a Sonoma picnic from the girl & the fig restaurant in private, shaded cabanas that seat up to six people.

The picnics include pickles, olives, Marcona almonds, local cheeses, pâtés, charcuterie and a baguette.

Cost is $75 per person. To reserve: Reservations required 24 hours in advance.15000 Sonoma Highway.


Olive grove tasting at Medlock Ames

Medlock Ames is offering a 90-minute gourmet Olive Grove Seasonal Experience with wine tasting and a curated picnic basket meal.

Groups can relax in the olive grove and savor the winery’s rosé or sauvignon blanc plus treats from Red Bird Bakery, Cowgirl Creamery and Volo Chocolate along with the winery’s organically farmed estate olive oil and jam.

Cost is $50 per person for up to six people total. To reserve: 13414 Chalk Hill Road.


Local food products win sofi Awards

The Specialty Food Association has announced its 2020 sofi Award winners for food products selected through blind tastings.

Here are the North Bay award winners in a few of the 50 categories:

Clif Family Napa Valley in St. Helena’s Organic Strawberry Pepper Jam ( won a silver award for fruit spreads and jams.

The Republic of Tea in Larkspur won a gold award for Beautifying Botanicals Daily Beauty Tea, a blueberry and lavender caffeine-free tea, in the coffee and hot cocoa category. It also won a gold award for its SuperAdapt Burnout Blocker Tea made from Chaga and Cordyceps mushrooms in the tea category.

Laura Chenel of Sonoma won a new product award for St. Benoit Creamery Pot de Creme Dessert made with TCHO Chocolate, in the other dairy category.

Wild West Ferments of Petaluma won a silver award for its Taqueria Carrots in the pickles and olives category and a bronze award for its 24 Carrot Gold Sauerkraut with Turmeric in the pickles and olives category.

Bellwether Farms of Petaluma won a silver medal for its Blackberry Sheep Milk Yogurt in the yogurt and kefir category.

The Specialty Food Association’s sofi Awards have been honoring the best in specialty food for 47 years. In 2020, the sofi Awards judging was overseen by industry food experts at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center.


Wine auction goes virtual this week

This year’s 2020 Sonoma County Wine Auction will be virtual this week, with online events streaming from Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 17-20 at

The Best Party Ever is 4-5 p.m Thursday, which kicks off the festivities with a wine tasting. The Virtual Auction Celebration is 4-5 p.m. Saturday, and you can tune in to view bidding on top lots. This year’s Fund-A-Need focuses on narrowing the gap in the educational digital divide in Sonoma County.

Attending and participating in the virtual events is free. Celebrate from Home packages are available to purchase.

Staff Writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or On Twitter @dianepete56

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