Join me for a quick visit to the Sonoma International Film (and food and wine) Festival, as seen through the eyes of Hydeout Sonoma:
Our houseguests during the festival were the director and stars of the documentary film, Grand Cru. Focussed on the trials and tribulations of farming and winemaking in Burgundy, famed winemaker Pascal Marchand is followed by the camera during the 2016 vintage as he works through hail, frost, mildew, low yields, and bureaucratic logjams in one of the most difficult vintages in Burgundy’s history.
Pascal’s wife, Amandine Marchand, manages the brand’s front office.
Following the film, Grand Cru, director David Eng (left) and Pascal participated in a lively Q&A.
Pascal, and his business partner, Moray Tawse, bottle wines, including many Grand Cru’s, under the Domaine Tawse and Marchand-Tawse.
Famed local historian, radio and newspaper personality, art collector, and all around local Sonoma booster Kathleen Hill MC’d the Q&A session.
After the screening of Grand Cru, as is the tradition in Sonoma, the film crew, festival staff, and VIP’s headed over to a tasting room for some wine and cheese, this time to “Abbot’s Passage,” a new project by sixth-generation vintner Katie Bundchu (of Gundlach Bundchu)
Abbot’s Passage 2014 “The Crossing”, is a delicious blend of Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Cab Sauv., from fruit on Arrowhead Mountain, across the street from Hydeout Sonoma
That night, about 100 film festival guests enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime meal served up by some of the best chefs in the culinary world
Joining me at our table was the always effervescent and unstoppable Rosemary McNeely, a woman of power in her own right, and also the wife of equally unstoppable film festival Executive Director Kevin McNeely
This was the dish served by Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn, of Atelier Crenn in SF. The photo does not do the dish justice. It was a truly mind-bending walk through a literal and figurative forest of flavors in every bite.
Dominque missed the chef photo op. Shown here are Michael Howell (Founder of the Devour Food Film Festival), John Toulze (Girl and the Fig), Evan Funke (Felix), John McReynolds (Stone Edge Farm), and Lia Rinaldo (Managing Director of Devour)
Dancing went on all night with a Frank (Sinatra) and Eva (Gardner) themed celebration
Jody Purdom (SIFF Development Director) and Cynthia Wornick (SIFF Board member) posed for a photo op in the big tent.
The wine documentary, “Andre”, the amazing life story of famed enologist Andre Tchelistcheff, thrilled local wine industry folks; many in the audience knew Andre personally and were often moved to tears.
Following the documentary film, “Jacques Pepin, the Art of Craft,” film sponsors Lori and Steve Bush (shown here) hosted us at Adastra Winery, with exquisite food from next door – from the Bush’s very popular Sonoma restaurant, OSO
Following the film, “Beyond the River,” film sponsors Gail and John Diserens hosted a fun party at Rancho Maria Winery, the newest tasting room on the Sonoma Square. Seen here is Sebastian Juarez, the owner-manager.
Beth Schnitzer, co-founder of Spritz Marketing (the lead marketing agency for the Sonoma Film Festival), is always ready with a big smile and another fun idea!
See you in 2019 for another great Sonoma International Film Festival!
Next blog post: A winery on the equator? Yes! A pictorial tour by motorcycle of Colombia’s “Marques de Villa de Leyva.”