Single Varietals

IMG_7534-SmBeginning in 2015, a group of Sommeliers started a Single Varietal Tasting Series to demonstrate the effect of terroir and winemaking styles on various varietals.

The goal is to provide Sommeliers and Wine Buyers in the Industry with a tasting series of varietals that usually are not available elsewhere so that these wines can be added to wine lists, tasting menus, and wine libraries. We want excellent information available to all front-facing hospitality representatives within our wine producing regions.

The tastings consist of 20-30 wines which are tasting blind and then re-tasted with full winemaker notes. A social hour follows where the wines are paired with food and additional winemaker and grower discussions are possible.

We want to provide our frontline Sommeliers, Cellar Managers, and Wine Buyers/Directors the expertise to know our local terroir and winemaking styles well enough to explain them to visitors and locals alike, especially for varietals that might not be as well known to visitors.

We believe through education about these fabulous wines, we can increase their presence in our valleys and become better known to wine lovers.  The wines chosen for this Single Varietal Tasting Series are luscious and food-friendly and often less advertised wines within our valleys. We believe that diversity and choice within the wine industry is something to be celebrated.

If you are a winery that would like for us to consider you wine for inclusion in our tasting series. Send me information on the wine you would like to submit and request a vintage technical questionaire.  (

If you work is the industry and would like to be invitied to any of our events, please send me an email with your industry information and I will provide you a link and access to our invitiation only events. (

2015 Single Varietal Tasting Series

photo by John Compisi

photo by John Compisi

Cabernet Franc, hosted by John Skupny (varietal expert) and Christopher Sawyer (Sommelier) February 16, 2015 – Photo by John Compisi pictures from left to right Christopher Sawyer, Pam Starr (Crocker and Starr), and John Skupny (Lang and Reed).

All events are graciously hosted by the Napa Valley Wine Academy – America’s premier Wine School providing world-class wine education in the heart of Napa Valley.

IMG_2230Syrah, hosted by Ehren Jordan (varietal expert, from Failla Wines) and Christopher Sawyer (sommelier, May 5, 2015.

Included in the photo with Christopher Sawyer (left to right); Sommelier Michele Fano, La Toque Restaurant within the Westin, Verasa, Napa, CA; Ehren Jordan, owner / winemaker at Failla Wines; and Sommelier Hunter Hammet, Jardiniere, San Francisco, CA.  Just some of the fabulous palates attending our events.

IMG_4007Sauvignon Blanc hosted by Sommelier Christopher Sawyer with Varietal Expertise provided by Michael Scholtz, Winemaker at St. Supery Winery in St. Helena.  The event was co-hosted by the Sauvigonon Blanc Advocacy Group, Summertime in a Glass.  Food-pairings were provided by Chef Julie Hoskins of Unexpected Chef.

Upcoming 2015 Single Varietal Tasting Events:

Grenache – additional information to be provided, but tentatively scheduled to be coordinated with the Rhone Rangers for the Tuesday before Grenache Day (9/18), on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 10 am

Petite Sirah – additional information to be provided, but tentatively scheduled for November

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