VIP Reception kicks off Russian River Valley Pinot Classic

MTC-VIP ReceptionTonight Tony Lombardi (Kosta Browne), Michael Browne (Kosta Browne), and Chris Donatiello (C. Donatiello Winery) on the patio of Kosta Browne’s new Sebastopol location welcomed the VIP guests of the Russian River Valley Pinot Classic with amazing wines from Kosta Browne, Moshin Vineyards, VML Winery, Dutton-Goldfield, Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, and J Vineyards and Winery accompanied by fresh oysters from The Oyster Girls (Tomales Bay) and a delectable array of appetizers from Bay Laurel Catering. If this is any indication of the Memorial weekend activities they have planned – it is going to be a fabulous time in the Russian River Valley!

Tod-MichelleTod and Michelle Hagins joined the group from Ohio after being married yesterday at the Madrona Manor in Healdsburg.   Tod said he loved the grilled pork and swiss sliders with carmelized spring onions and truffled mayonaise the best, but my personal favorite from Bay Laurel Catering was the grilled day boat scallop served in a silver spoon with creamy polenta and arugula pesto.  My husband has always been a fan of charcuterie and cheese plates and Bay Laurel did not disappoint with their assortment local favorite cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery, Bellwether Farms, Laura Chenel, Point Reyes, and Weirauch Farms, as well as charcuterie from BLC, Creminelli and Fra’mani.

DSCN0720I enjoyed meeting David and Tricia Niederauer of Los Gatos who have been long-time supporters of Kosta Browne wines and have an extensive collection of some of Kosta Browne’s most highly prized wine to prove it. David said that he had a bottle of Kosta Browne Pinot Noir – 4-Barrel planned for their dinner that evening at Zazu Restaurant just around the corner in the Barlow Center.  Michael Browne praised David for his support, saying that before any of the now many Kosta Browne accolades, David had promoted their wines and encouraged others to join their wine club. David and Tricia have an extensive 5,000 bottle climate-controlled cellar. The cellar houses Niederauer’s collection of famous Sauternes wine from France’s Chateau D’Yquem, purportedly dating back to the 1921 vintage. Tricia says the cellar is a fun place to gather with friends and that she and David don’t wait for the perfect moment to open their favorite bottles. Drinking the wine is it’s own special occasion.  Obviously, the Kosta Browne wines are in good company!


Wines this evening started with an always excellent J Winery Sparkling Brut Rose.  Dutton-Goldfield presented their 2012 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir.  Mike Schroeter, winemaking director at Sonoma-Cutrer whose Pinot Noirs are usually only available to wine club members poured both the 2012 Founders Reserve and a 2007 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.  Rick Moshin, owner and winemaker for 25 years at Moshin Vineyards presented an array of wines from his extensive list of small-lot pinot noirs including a Pinot Gris (Morris Ranch?), Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and single-vineyard, Ridgeway Pinot Noir. Kosta Browne poured their one-sixteen Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs from Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Santa Lucia Highlands.  Having personnally tried many of these fabulous pinot noirs, I was pleasantly surprised by a new wine for me, Virginia Marie Lambrix’s VML Earth Pinot Noir from a series she describes as her Earth, Stars, and Moon wines.  If this wine was any indication, I definitely want to try the Stars and Moon.

Toni Lombardi, the Director of Brand Management and Public Relations for Kosta Browne, has a new venture of his own – Lombardi Wines!  A long-time resident of the Petaluma-Gap with its unique terroir – we are looking forward to his upcoming releases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Many other guests joined in this wonderful feast of food and wine including visitors from as far away as Australia, looking to increase their California wine cellar.  I am always looking to increase mine!  More, as the weekend progresses!

DSCN0756 Oyster Girls Bobby












#KostaBrowne #CDonatiello #MoshinVineyards # VMLWinery #Dutton-Goldfield, #Sonoma-Cutrer #JVineyards #BayLaurelCulinary #TheOysterGirls #RRVWinegrowers #PinotClassic