Ho, Ho, Holiday Gift Ideas sure to please : 2017 Gift Guide

‘Twas just days before Christmas and shopping’s not done?

Alas, these suggestions are second to none

 

From online to retail, you can spend all your cash

And make others happy with gifts full of flash

 

Whatever you choose – books, whisky or wine

Your holiday season is sure to shine!

 

WHITE WINES

These two wines are ideal whites for your holiday sipping.

2015 Flora Springs Dashaway Chardonnay $45

Flora Springs has fun with holidays. Whether Halloween or Christmas, their creative labels and etched bottles always make me smile. The wine inside is delicious, as well. This full-bodied Chardonnay with a wintery potpourri of brown spice aromas, is a white to uncork this holiday season.

 

2016 Vietti – Roero Arneis $23

Not only are Vietti’s wines world-class, this unique white evokes a feeling of holiday spirit just from looking at the beautiful label. Arneis is a star grape in northern Italy and this crisp white sports savory complexity.

white wines holiday gift guide

 

WHISKY GIFTS

Like the perfect novel, the Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy has the perfect beginning, middle and end.

For that discerning whisky drinker in your life, try the Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy, a new series of limited edition whiskies that have been aged in a variety of ex-wine, sherry and port casks at Bowmore’s famed No. 1 Vaults. Just in time for holiday gifting season, they are launching two of the three in the trilogy, with the third and final 27 Years Old bottling to be released in Fall 2018.

Bowmore 18 Years Old Double Matured Manzanilla which is matured in both ex-bourbon barrels and ex-manzanilla sherry barrels. It has a suggested price of $127 for 750ml.

Bowmore 26 Years Old Wine Barriques Matured which spent its first 13 years in ex-bourbon barrels before a second maturation of 13 years in wine barriques. This full-bodied whisky has a suggested retail price of $540 for 750ml.

Bowmore 27 Years Old will be released in fall of 2018 and will complete the collection.

 

 

Suntory Whisky Toki $35

This beautiful Japanese Whisky is elegant and stylish. With a slightly sweet and peppery finish, this whisky is a perfect gift for that libation lover in your life.

RED AND GREEN

Taylor Fladgate 325 $35

If sipping a smooth Port fireside is your thing, then drinking Taylor Fladgate’s “325” Port is right up your alley. A blend of aged tawny ports, “325” celebrates the 325 years since Jon Bearsely sailed to Portugal to begin his wine business. The rest, as they say, is history.

i Quercioli Lambrusco Secco $11

i Quercioli Lambrusco Dolce  $11

These two Lambruscos from the house of Medici Ermete come in both dry (secco) and sweet (dolce) styles. The slightly fizzy nature of the ruby-hued Lambrusco adds a festive sparkle to any holiday party or gift!

 

SUPPORT NAPA AND SONOMA

With the tragedies of the Wine Country Wildfires this year, it’s important to continue to support the local Napa and Sonoma wineries. Their success depends on your business and support. Try out these holiday wines and gift sets from some of the best.

 

Flora Springs – Joy to the World Red Blend $65

This blend from the ever-festive Flora Springs, is part of a holiday tradition that began as an exclusive offering to wine club members and has since become a staple of their holiday celebrations. Each year they create new holiday artwork to provide unique, limited-edition Napa Valley wines to use as gifts, share with friends or add to your collection. This red blend is features the Joyful Angel, herald of the holidays.

 

B.R.Cohn 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Olive Hill Estate Vineyard $58

Celebrate the bounty of Sonoma County with this delicious Cabernet Sauvignon. A ripe, dark fruit and deep flavored Cab, it pairs remarkably well with another one of B.R. Cohn’s finest, their estate olive oil. Get the oil and vinegar set to create the perfect Sonoma County gift basket.

 

 

 

SILVER AND GOLD

Nothing says the holidays like bubbles. But where many think exclusively sparkling wine, I’ve included an decadent beer in this category, as well. And with all of them wrapped in holiday decor, you can’t go wrong.

 

Martini & Rossi Prosecco  $12

An affordable option for holiday gift giving, wrapped up in gorgeous packaging.

 

Moet Imperial $50

A slightly higher price point but Moët Impérial is the House’s iconic champagne. Created in 1869, it embodies Moët & Chandon’s style.

 

Le Grand Courtage Blanc de Blanc – Brut $50

Want some bling with your bubbles? Le Grand Courtage comes bedazzled, just for the holiday season.

 

Rodenbach Grand Cru Red Ale 2015 $11

This Rodenbach Red Ale is a unique Flemish red-brown ale that is matured for 2 years in oak casks.

 

READING FROM THE VINE

Why not get a bottle and a book for the wine lover in your life? Here are some of my favorite releases of 2017

 

 

Red Wine – The Comprehensive Guide to the 50 Essential Varieties and Style- Kevin Zraly, Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jennsen $20

Rosé All Day – The Essential Guide to your New Favorite Wine $18 – Katherine Cole

Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste – Bianca Bosker $30

The Vineyard Years – A Memoir with Recipes – Susan Sokol Blosser $30

Drink Pink – A Celebration of Rosé – Victoria James and Lyle Railsback $12 

 

FREEBIES

Buying for the holidays can get exhausting, and expensive! So one last little gift that will cost you absolutely nothing. Grab this app, some colored pencils and a bottle of wine!

 

 

Doing Good by Drinking Well #winecountrystrong – Today Show

Tuesday I had the pleasure of going on the Today Show to talk about the winemakers and wineries that are giving back this holiday season in light of the devastating Wine Country Wildfires. The six wines that I presented are not only giving a portion of their profits directly to help wine country rebuild, but they are excellent choices for your holiday table! Check out my spot with Hoda and Kathie Lee, then grab a bottle or two for yourself!

 

 

E&J. Gallo Winery is donating $1 million to aid the fire recovery effort. The money will be divided equally among the American Red Cross, California Wildfires Relief Fund, the Community Foundation of Sonoma, and the Napa Valley Community Foundation. In addition, Gallo will match employee donations two-for-one. William Hill Estate Winery is part of the Gallo portfolio of wines and the facility was partially damaged in the fire.

 

2014 William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California $42

www.williamhillestate.com

A lush yet structured style of Cabernet that showcases Napa Valley’s signature red grape variety. Deeply-hued with aromas of dark fruit and toasty oak notes, it’s a wine to enjoy now alongside hearty meat dishes, or cellar for up to a decade.

***

Iconic Napa winery, Robert Mondavi, is hosting a benefit concert featuring Michael Franti at the famed Napa property on November 18th to raise a committed $75,000 for fire relief. In addition, Mondavi will donate 10 percent of sales of ‘Maestro’ wine sold at the winery and online through the month of November.

 

2014 Robert Mondavi Winery ‘Maestro’ Napa Valley, California $50

www.RobertMondaviWinery.com

Maestro is an homage to one of the founders of the California and Napa wine industry, Robert Mondavi. This Bordeaux-style blend combines Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot in an opulent red made for celebrating.

***

Napa’s Signorello Estate sustained severe damage during the  fires, but owner Ray Signorello is determined to rebuild. Sales of Signorello wines will support in this effort. Luckily 95% of the 2017 harvest was complete and the vineyards surrounding the winery acted as a firebreak.  (show the photos before and after)

 

2016 Signorello ‘Hope’s Cuvee’ Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California $90

www.SignorelloEstate.com

The name of this show-stopping, limited production Chardonnay captures the feeling that not only Signorello, but many others in the North Bay community have as they rebuild. Hope. This lush yet balanced beauty is named for Ray Signorello’s mother and is a special wine indeed.

***

Benovia Winery has matched $100,000 worth of donations to organizations including the Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief Fund. They are also waiving tasting fees and donating $50 for every visitor to their winery through December. The winery was not damaged, but their winemaker and winery workers lost their homes to the fires. Owners, Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane, have provided housing for their displaced employees and now are giving back to others.

 

2015 Benovia Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California $40

www.benovia.com

One of the prettiest spots to visit in Sonoma county, Benovia makes wines that match their surroundings. This Pinot Noir is elegant and saturated with red berry fruit flavors accented by a whisper of spice notes. Drinking it is like sipping silk. This is an ideal choice for the turkey table as it marries well with turkey, gravy and sausage stuffing.

***

BR. Cohn, part of Vintage Wine Estates, is the founding winery of the Heart of the Vine charity (www.hearofthevine.org). Launched after the fires began, the fund has raised more than $300,000 to distribute gift cards to evacuees and displaced workers in order to purchase immediate necessities such as food and clothing. B.R. Cohn is also donating 10 percent of wine profits through 2018 to continue supporting much-needed fire relief.

 

2016 B.R. Cohn ‘Silver Label’ Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California $20

www.brcohn.com

This historic and picturesque Sonoma Valley winery, which is surrounded by olive groves, was in the path of raging fires. Flames were stopped by their vineyards and a nearby road so fortunately, the winery’s beauty was spared. Their Silver Label bottling is simply one of the best-value Chardonnays on the market today. Crisp and refreshing yet still complex, it’s what I call a “twice-the-price” wine. You could be paying double the $20 price tag for a white so packed with flavor. Stock up for holiday gifts and parties and do good while drinking well.

***

Iron Horse Vineyards is an acclaimed sparkling wine producer in Sonoma that has served their bubbly to Presidents and visiting dignitaries from around the globe. Having escaped the fires, owner Joy Sterling, is focused on giving back to local causes. Iron Horse is donating $5 of every bottle of ‘Gratitude’ sold to Redwood Empire Food Bank providing critical food to shelters for those displaced by fires.

 

2012 Iron Horse Vineyards ‘Gratitude’ Rosé sparkling wine, Green Valley, Sonoma County, California $65

www.ironhorsevineyards.com

What better way to give back than to toast with a glass of Gratitude? This dry-styled pink sparkler made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is stylish and sumptuous – hallmarks of Iron Horse’s world-class wines.

Wines for Your Thanksgiving Day Table

Every year I get so many people asking me what wines they should serve for Thanksgiving. After all, with so many dishes, from sweet to savory, appetizers and desserts, there’s obviously not one single wine to fit an entire meal. But who said you only have to serve one wine????

Bubbles

Sparkling wine or champagne is my go to apertif for Thanksgiving as there’s nothing more inviting when you walk in the door than to be handed a glass of bubbles. I’m a huge fan of sparkling rosé, which actually pairs well with the Thanksgiving meal. Be sure to have a few bottles on hand for those people who want to keep on sipping!

Montenisa Brut Rosé, Franciacorta, Italy $39

This elegantly-styled dry rosé qualifies as distinctive AND delicious. Hailing from the Lombardy region of Italy, Franciacorta is an area designated to make top-quality sparkling wine in the traditional method. It ranks alongside top California sparklers as well as those from the French region of Champagne.

 

Loimer Brut Rosé, Niederosterriech, Austria $30

If you’re an adventurous fizz fanatic like I am, you are always seeking out new sparklers to enjoy. This unique bubbly crafted by iconic winemaker, Fred Loimer, is made in the traditional method of ageing in bottle. Floral aromas and red berry freshness make this stylishly dry rosé one to sip as an aperitif or with lighter dishes.

 

 

Barone Pizzini “Animante” Brut, Franciacorta DOCG, Italy$37

Barone Pizzini has been producing wine since 1870 and this classically crisp, dry bubbly is crafted with Chardonnay, Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir), and Pinot Bianco (Pinot Blanc). With a streak of refreshing minerality and citrusy freshness, it’s sparkling wine that will impress.

 

Aromatic Whites

Thanksgiving is the day to set aside your typical Chardonnay in favor of lighter, more aromatic whites. With a mix of dishes, the buttery, oaky quality of Chardonnay overpowers the meal and doesn’t do the wine justice. Instead, look for wines like a medium-dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer (an excellent Turkey day choice), a Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon or Viognier. If you’re hell bent on Chardonnay though, look for an un-oaked version to complement the varied dishes on the Thanksgiving table.

 

2015 Ritual Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley, Chile $15

This version of Sauvignon hails from the cool climate Casablanca Valley, which is home to many of the country’s top whites and Pinot Noirs. Ritual’s version of Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and fresh with a ping of vibrant acidity and marries layers of complexity with affordability and versatility. Stock up as it will become a household favorite.

2015 Amavi Semillon, Walla Walla Valley, Washington $24

I have long adored the wines of Amavi Cellars in Washington’s Walla Walla Valley. Their focus on sustainability and quality is unmatched. This Semillon – a white variety known in the Bordeaux region of France – showcases how well the grape has taken to Washington’s sunny yet cool climate. Like its European brethren, Amavi blends a touch of Sauvignon Blanc with Semillon to balance its richness. Flashing a generous amount of ripe melon and citrus fruit character on the nose and palate, it also teases with minerality and brightness. A white with class and style.

 

2015 Wittmann Riesling Troken, Rheinhessen, Germany$20

As a Riesling lover, I’m constantly searching for bottles that showcase the best of the variety. This mineral-laden, citrus-scented, dry-styled beauty is one to seek out. Pick up a few bottles to pair with your variety of Thanksgiving dishes. You, too, will fall under the spell of Riesling.

2015 Acquiesce Viognier, Lodi, California $24

This Viognier captures ginger and orange peel aromas with a supple texture, much like the classic examples from Condrieu. It’s beauty in a bottle. You can join the mailing list at their website or visit the property and indulge in their wine and food pairings. *Current release is 2016

 

2016 Emiliana “Natura” Un-Oaked Chardonnay, Valle del Bio-Bio, Chile $11

On several of my trips to Chile’s wine country, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Emiliana. It’s a stunning, but low-key property devoted to creating wines focused on the principles of organics and biodynamics. Their label “Natura” is one I recommend frequently for its affordability and drinkability. Sure, it’s made with organically grown grapes, but the wines are just plain delicious. This oak-free style of Chardonnay is crisp with bright citrus and green apple notes and a smack of mouthwatering acidity.

 

Elegant Reds

Just like avoiding the boldness of a Chardonnay, try to avoid any “BIG” reds as the oak and the tannin in these wines will overpower your Thanksgiving meal. Instead, look for more well-rounded wines, like a Pinot Noir, or Merlot.

2014 Buty “Conner Lee Vineyard” Merlot/Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, Washington $45

When I first tasted the wines from Buty (pronounced beauty) I called them one of Washington state’s best producers. Being lucky enough to sample their wines year after year, that declaration still holds true. This supple, elegant red is two-thirds Merlot and one third Cabernet Franc grown in the famed Conner Lee Vineyard. It’s a wine to age for up to a decade or drink alongside rosemary-infused turkey and mashed potatoes.

2104 Viña Maquis Cabernet Franc Gran Reserva, Colchagua Valley, Chile $20

Cabernet Franc is a red grape variety known as in France’s Bordeaux and Loire regions. There are spots around the globe where small pockets are planted (Napa Valley, for example), but it’s rare to find versions from Chile. This elegant, floral red hails from a winery that just celebrated its 100 year anniversary. Maquis’s Cab Franc is what I call a “twice the price” wine as it delivers quality and character worth double its price tag. Grab a bottle to serve or a case to savor later.

 

2013 Reata “Three County” Pinot Noir, California$35

Reata’s full-bodied Pinot Noir is a blend of grapes from Monterey, San Benito and Sonoma counties. It’s a Pinot with suppleness and ripe fruit notes. Enjoy it as a perfect wine pairing with any of your Thanksgiving dishes.

2015 Martin Ray, Pinot Noir, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California $40

This fleshy yet perfumed Pinot Noir showcases the effects of growing grapes in the rich Gold Ridge soil of Russian River Valley’s special Green Valley. Here the fog lingers keeping temperatures cool, which ultimately creates wines of elegance and style. A beautiful red that will surprise and impress.

 

 

 

Dessert and After

Don’t be afraid of dessert wines! Whether you’re serving pumpkin or pecan pie, chocolate mousse or just more wine, a slightly sweet sipper is the best end of the meal choice.

Pizzolato Moscato 2015 ($15)

These bubbles are an excellent way to end the meal or festivities. Served best with dessert, this organically grown sparkling Moscato smells of custard and finishes with a spiced apple finish. Look in the aisles of your local Whole Foods to grab a bottle.

Broadbent Madeira Malmsey 10 Years Old, Portugal $45

Madeira is one of the most famed wines and is undergoing a renaissance in the United States. This Malmsey (name of a grape variety) is an aged, sweet style with toasted almond and toffee aromas layered with bright acidity and lusciously sweet yet balanced flavors. Pour as a perfect complement to an après-dinner cheese platter or dark chocolate dessert.

 

 

 

 

There are so many delicious options for your Thanksgiving table. Give everyone two glasses and let them take their pick, from bubbles to white, reds to dessert wine and ENJOY!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

 

Wine Country Fires – Donors and Doers

The week of October 8, 2017, Northern California Wine Country, one of the top producers of wine in the world, experienced devastating wildfires. Over 250,000 acres were burned including hundreds of private homes and wineries. In the wake of such destruction several major companies responded and made generous monetary donations, but the most impressive donations were those of cash, goods and services by the very same victims of the fires – wineries and other individuals in the community – that saw the need to help assist neighbors who fared far worse than themselves.

Bay Area Fundraising Events

 

CHEFSGIVING

-A restaurant-driven fundraiser for Northern California fire relief—culminates in a Gala at San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building on Sunday, November 19th from 4pm to 7pm. Tickets are on sale now and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund and Restaurants Care.

-Hosted by Liam Mayclem (KCBS Radio’s “Foodie Chap”) and Leslie Sbrocco (KQEDs “Check, Please! Bay Area” Host), the Gala is a fundraiser and celebration to officially bring to a close a week of giving by more than 85 Bay Area restaurants. Guests will enjoy wine from more than 50 wineries across California and the globe, with a total of more than 250 wines to taste, and food by the Ferry Building’s renowned restaurants and eateries.

-The Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund directly supports low-income communities affected by the devastating fires in the North Bay. Restaurants Care, an emergency assistance fund for restaurant workers formed by the California Restaurant Association Foundation, has dedicated specific funds to support restaurant workers who are affected by the fires.

BUY TICKETS HERE

For more information about ChefsGiving, visit chefsgiving.org , and follow along on social media for the latest news: @ChefsGiving on Instagram , Twitter , and Facebook .

 

RISE UP SONOMA

-A passionate group of dedicated and compassionate people have pulled together to create an incredible evening in Sonoma County benefiting those deeply affected by the devastating North Bay fires -specifically, those without insurance who need the aid desperately. Rise Up Sonoma consists of San Francisco/Sonoma County’s most influential and notable chefs and restaurants who have created an evening of delectable wine, food, and one of a kind auction items, concluding with a sensational concert led by some of music industry’s legendary artists.

-Donations will be distributed to the following charities:

UndocuFund Fire Relief for Sonoma County; Sonoma Resilience Fund; Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief; Care Relief Fund; Burners Without Borders; Homes for Sonoma; Rebuild Wine Country

 

Tickets for this exclusive event are available for purchase here.

 

Donors

Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation

– Their Fire Relief Fund has raised over $33,000 over the past few weeks. They are distributing these funds to the Napa Valley Community Foundation, American Red Cross, and United Way of Wine Country, specifically to assist in relief efforts for these communities affected by the fires. This campaign is still planning on remaining viable in the coming months so please encourage friends to support.

Gary Farrell Winery

– Donated $10,000 to relief efforts. Also, donating $2 from every bottle sold through the website, over the phone or in the tasting room through the end of the year with a goal of raising $20,000 https://www.garyfarrellwinery.com/

Anaba

– Owner John Sweazey donated $10,000 to Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance to ensure post-fire support for mentors/mentees affected by the fires.

Vintage Wine Estates

Heart of the Vine was started by Terry Wheatley as a Go Fund Me account to put gift cards for basic necessities into the hands of community members who lost their homes to the wildfires. The Go Fund Me was so successful that they are converting it into a Vintage Wine Estates 501(c)3 to provide continuing support as these people rebuild their lives. https://www.gofundme.com/vweheartofthevine

Constellation Brands

In addition to $75,000 + funds raised through the Robert Mondavi Winery benefit concert, For The Love Of Napa, Constellation Brands donated $250,000 to the Fire Relief Fund  which will be going to:  Napa Valley Community Foundation, Redwood Empire Food Bank, and the American Red Cross.  Constellation also sponsored a 2:1 employee match.

Northern California Breweries

– Lagunitas Brewing Company, Russian River Brewing Company and the King Ridge Foundation, along with others in the greater brewing community, are creating signature beers under the Sonoma Pride name with proceeds going to the victims of the fires.

– Lagunitas is also brewing a second beer with Moonlight to be distributed throughout the state of California, and will donate profits from this beer to the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Additionally, one dollar from every beer sold in the Petaluma, Chicago, Seattle, and Azusa Tap Rooms will be donated to Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief Fund. Lagunitas also made a cash donation of $100,000 to the Relief Fund to help assist those in need.

Hall Wines and Walt Wines

– Hall Wines has raised $200,000 to support victims via the Redwood Credit Union’s North Bay Fire Relief Fund a 501(c)(3).

Charles Krug

– Will be donating 20% of its tasting room sales in the month of November—up to $20,000—to the Napa Valley Community Foundation.  The Winery is naming the initiative the “Thanks. Giving.” effort, and asks those who are able to join in with their partners in supporting the rebuilding effort that is soon to take place across all of wine country and much of Northern California. Elsewhere, the Sonoma County Resilience Fund, the Napa Valley Community Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County are all accepting monetary donations to aid in rebuilding efforts and to support those who were impacted by the fire. Additionally, the Redwood Credit Union has set up a relief fund to help individuals in the area.

Bottle Rock

– Will hold benefit concerts with Counting Crows, Michael Franti, Spearhead and Train – all to support North Bay fire relief efforts.

Around the Globe

France’s Château de Pommard will hold a special silent auction during the 157th ‘Week of Hospices 2017 , with all proceeds going to Rebuild Wine Country , a California-based charity founded by wine industry leaders to benefit those affected.

 

Doers

If you are planning a visit to wine country be sure to consider visiting these generous businesses that are donating up to %100 of the tasting fees and wine bottle costs to local assistance funds.

Cardinale

Lokoya

Rickards Winery

Limerick Lane Cellars

Amista Vineyards

ACORN Winery/Alegria Vineyards

Francis Ford Coppola

Peterson Winery

Mill Creek Vineyards

DeLoach Vineyards

Goosecross Cellars

Olive and Poppy

  •  a company based in Napa Valley creating wine inspired accessories for men and women. During the entire month of November 20% of online sales will be donated to fire relief efforts.
  • Support these Sonoma and Napa wineries today and carry home your bottle in this chic 100% canvas wine tote. It comes in PINK, RED, WHITE, BUBBLES screen print.

Benovia Winery

In addition to donations per tasting, Benovia has pledged to match up to $100,000 of the total donations given by Benovians to the following organizations, so be sure to reference Benovia Winery when making your donation.

  • Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief Fund – Short and mid-term relief for fire victims.
  • Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation – Supporting the region’s agricultural workers impacted by the fires.
  • Sonoma County Community Foundation Resilience Fund – Mid to long-term support for recovery and rebuilding efforts.


How can YOU help?

One of the best ways to support our beautiful, diverse and vast region is to continue drinking Sonoma and Napa County wines from wherever you are.  For a directory of our wineries and to purchase wines directly from them, click here for Sonoma County and here for Napa Valley.

Another way to contribute is to continue to visit the many Sonoma and Napa Valley wineries that are open and happily welcoming guests.  We recommend contacting your favorite tasting room directly, or you can also check in on our Sonoma County Vintners Facebook page for ongoing updates.

If you would like to make a donation, we encourage you to give to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund to address the needs of those impacted by these devastating fires.  The Sonoma County Resilience Fund is managed by Community Foundation Sonoma County to provide long-term relief to those impacted by the fires.  Donations to the Resilience Fund will be used across Sonoma County and will be directed to the areas of greatest need.

 

#WineCountryStrong

This has been a catastrophic week for Wine Country. We in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties have been devastated by wild fires that began last Sunday. I can report my family and home are safe, but we have all been affected. I personally know a dozen people who have lost their homes or businesses. The numbers so far for California’s most destructive wild fires in history are staggering:

  • 11,000 firefighters on the ground battling blazes

  • 40,000 people evacuated

  • $3 billion in damage…and growing

  • 5,700 structures lost… and growing

  • 40 deaths with 88 still missing

The generosity of everyone, however, is astounding. We are all pitching in to help with time, money, and hugs. If you would like to help, here is a roundup of some top organizations from our friends at Vivino.com

I have been supporting two hyper-local groups that are hands-on and filling immediate needs such as food, breathing masks, tents, and toiletries.

The first, #SandwichAngels, was started by my colleague, Meredith Miller Elliott. She wanted to make sandwiches to feed the first responders and firefighters. We kicked off in her home with a handful of volunteers and she is now serving more than 1,000 meals a day! Please support her efforts via YouCaring.com

Also, leading wine ladies Kimberly Charles, Beck Hopkins, Tia Butts, and Katie Calhoun started a GoFundMe campaign early last week with a modest goal to help the Petaluma evacuee shelter with cots, a generator, food and clothing. Their efforts have raised more than $50,000 with deliveries to both Napa and Sonoma of much-needed supplies. Still hard at work, please support their efforts

For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, I will be co-hosting a large-scale charity event called ChefsGiving with KCBS radio and TV personality, Liam Mayclem, at the Ferry Plaza on Nov. 19th.  We will keep you updated on how to buy tickets, and if you’re not in the area, how you can support our efforts to rebuild wine country.

Sending love from Sonoma,

Leslie