Honorary Chairs for Sonoma Wine Country Weekend are selected for their community leadership and commitment to their craft, whether it be grape-growing, winemaking, or culinary endeavors.
Meet our Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Honorary Chairs for 2013:
HONORARY WINEGROWER CHAIR
Phil Coturri, CEO, Enterprise Vineyards
Enterprise Vineyards was established in 1979 by Phil Coturri, a lifelong farmer and Sonoma Valley's leading organic viticulturalist, with over 600 acres of vines certified with the CCOF under his supervision.
If you ask him, Phil Coturri might quote a Levon Helm song and describe himself as a “poor old dirt farmer.” However, after 35 years pioneering organic and biodynamic winegrowing in California, descriptions range from “famed organic viticulturalist” by the Hollywood Reporter to “the ubiquitous wizard of sustainable winemaking” by Sonoma Magazine. He was born with the cultural palate of Italian immigrants, weaned on the music and ethos of San Francisco in the 1960’s and planted deep into the rocky hillsides of Sonoma Valley.
Enterprise Vineyards grows premium wine grapes that show the vibrancy and individuality of terroir by using organic and biodynamic farming methods. They strive to work constantly to evolve their farming techniques to promote long-term sustainability and a healthy environment. All Enterprise-managed vineyards are certified organic by CCOF and a number of them are certified Biodynamic by Demeter. Dedicated stewards of the land, Phil’s team works closely with native habitats to increase the biodiversity of vineyards.
HONORARY VINTNER CHAIR
The Gallo Family, E & J Gallo Winery
Gallo Family Finds a Home in Sonoma County
When Ernest and Julio Gallo founded E. & J. Gallo Winery in 1933, they were armed with little more than an entrepreneurial spirit and sheer determination. These two brothers – who learned to make wine from a University of California pamphlet – were instrumental in establishing California’s thriving wine industry and built a worldwide reputation for the Gallo name. Eighty years and four generations later, what began as a dream for Ernest and Julio has grown into the thriving E. & J. Gallo Winery.
Nearly 40 years ago, the Gallo family branched out of the Central Valley to the premier Sonoma County growing regions, where they fell in love with the foggy coastal vineyards warmed each day by the California sun. It was then that they made a commitment to Sonoma County, building longstanding relationships with the Frei brothers and the MacMurray family. Those relationships led to the creation of Gallo’s premium portfolio of wines and served as a catalyst for developing exceptional vineyards: Laguna Ranch and MacMurray Ranch in the Russian River Valley and Frei Ranch in the Dry Creek Valley.
In addition to these three historic vineyards, the Gallo family has been able to acquire remarkable vineyard sites that span the length of the county: Barrelli Creek Vineyard in the Alexander Valley, Chiotti Vineyard and Stefani Vineyard in the Dry Creek Valley, Del Rio Vineyard and Two Rock Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, and Monte Rosso Vineyard in the Sonoma Valley.
Today, Sonoma County holds a special place in the hearts and portfolio of the Gallo family. It’s where third-generation winemaker Gina Gallo completed her first full harvest, working side by side with her brother, Matt. He grew the grapes and she made the wine, in a partnership that has thrived for more than two decades. Together, the brother-sister team works closely to craft wines that celebrate the past, present and future of their family and express the depth of character and nuance found in these vineyards.
NEW for 2013
HONORARY CULINARY CHAIR
Sondra Bernstein, Proprietor, the girl and the fig, et al
Sondra has spent over twenty years dedicated to the hospitality business. With a passion for food and wine, the trip from Philadelphia to Sonoma County was inevitable, and for her, having restaurants in Sonoma County is a tribute to the efforts of the farmers, ranchers, cheese makers and, of course, grape growers & vintners in this bountiful landscape.
One sure thing that can be said about Sondra Bernstein is that, as a true Restaurateur, her restaurants are a real expression of her personality. Many of the guests who frequent Sondra’s establishments feel as if she is a friend of theirs, which is understandable given her close attention to ensuring that their experience is distinctive and memorable. Her passion for the hospitality business is her driving force and continues to inspire her to create and recreate. Sondra is the Proprietor of the girl & the fig in Sonoma & the fig café & winebar in Glen Ellen. She is also the author of the the girl & the fig Cookbook published in 2004 by Simon & Schuster and her newest book, Plats du Jour: the girl & the fig’s Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country. Her gourmet food product line is available nationwide under the girl & the fig label.