Kathleen Hill: Sonoma Film Festival food films, Hill of Tara and more

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Hill of Tara Wines launches first release

Danny Fay and Katie Boyer will release their first wine, a 2015 Moon Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon, on St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday March 17.

They have been farming organically and patiently crafting a few barrels of Moon Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon since 2015. With only 50 cases produced from their first vintage, they don’t have enough available to sell to restaurants and stores, so they will sell through an allocation email to their mailing list. To get on the mailing list and receive a wine allocation, visit hilloftarawines.com. If you’re a Sonoma Valley local, Fay will be happy to hand-deliver your wine and say thank you. Boyer has been known to do the same.

“Hill of Tara wines are an ode to our Irish ancestors, who farmed the most sacred land in Ireland, the Hill of Tara. We have been lifelong students of wine, and are both humbled to be a part of the next generation of Sonoma Valley vintners and winegrowers,” said Fay.

Growing up in Sonoma, Fay graduated from Sonoma Valley High School in 2001, co-founded Envolve Winery in 2011, and has served as vice president of the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance, and as a board member of the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance.

Boyer graduated from Sonoma State University in Wine Business in 2012 and met Fay through his sister, Colette, in early 2015. Some of their first dates were pruning Bob Nicholas’ Moon Mountain Vineyard. Boyer has worked at Kosta Browne, Chateau Montelena, Three Sticks and now manages hospitality at Lambert Bridge in Dry Creek.

More women winemakers and restaurateurs

God and Goddess know that many women work very hard in hospitality industries, from hotel cleaners to vineyards workers, cooks, bussers, and all the way up those ladders.

Susie Pryfogle started and co-owns Tips Roadside restaurant and the Tips Tri-Tip Trolleys in Kenwood with her husband Andrew Pryfogle. Those Trolleys kept first responders full of good food and energy during our 2017 fires.

Lauren Cotner is a chef who owns Delicious Dish Catering, where throngs of locals now order and pick up dinners to go on week nights.

Alexandra Romanini both owns her own vineyards around Sonoma Valley and serves as winemaker at Canihan Wines.

Nibs & Sips

Sonoma Springs Brewing Company hosts its first Chicken Wing Contest Tuesday, March 19. Yes, you cook ‘em and bring ‘em, judged in hottest, most unique and best tasting categories. You have to bring 24 wings for each category you enter and get them there by 5:30 p.m., March 19. Sign-up sheet is inside by the register. Could grow wild and tasty. 6 to 8 p.m, 19449 Riverside Drive, 938-7422.

Homegrown Bagels owner Stuart Teitelbaum has added fresh-squeezed orange, apple and carrot juices to his menu, and Owen Tuttle’s watercolors of local Sonoma scenes decorate the bagel shop’s walls. Check them out.

Martina McBride returns to Carneros with her cookbook “Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life,” on Saturday, March 30, at Calmére Estate Winery, part of Peju Estates.

She has sold over 14 million albums, is the author of “Around the Table: Recipes and Inspiration for Gatherings throughout the Year,” and lives in Nashville with her husband and three daughters. $145 single, $255 couple, with one book. Noon. 2750 Las Amigas, Napa.

Food films coming to Film Festival

Sonoma International Film Festival has lots to offer this year including two dinner events at Ramekins Culinary Center. At both events, five guests have the opportunity to sit with famed television chef and Marin resident Tyler Florence.

Michael Howell and Lia Rinaldo, founders of Devour in Nova Scotia, Canada, return with a Chefs & Shorts event on Thursday, March 28 at Ramekins. Chefs & Shorts means that chefs cook food in short films screened during the dinner, which can be a wild experience. This year’s chefs include local TV chefs Marcellus Coleman of Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Cole Dickenson of soon-to-open Layla at MacArthur Place, Michelle Gayer who worked with Charlie Trotter, and Eduardo Garcia, founder of Montana Mex.

On Friday, March 29, SIFF presents “The Uncrushable Dinner” with Tyler Florence, also at Ramekins for a “Dinner and a Movie” evening where Florence will show the trailer of his “Uncrushable – From Ashes to Hope – The Story of the 2017 Wine Country Fires” followed by dinner and wines from Simi, Ravenswood, Robert Mondavi and the Prisoner Wine Company. Each evening’s tickets are $250 with an SIFF Soirée Pass, $275 with a Cinema Pass, $300 general public, and $500 for each of five seats with Florence. Sonomafilmfest.org/page464.html.

Les Pascals anniversary engagement

Yes, an actual wedding engagement, proposal and all at Les Pascals Patisserie happened at a private anniversary celebration last Sunday.

Michael Classen and Lauren Buchter stayed in Glen Ellen during last year’s Sonoma International Film Festival where a film of hers screened. They both happened into Les Pascals for breakfast one morning, right after the French patisserie opened, and fell in love with it and each other.

Last Sunday, Michael and Lauren attended the relatively small private celebration of Les Pascals’ first anniversary of the Arnold Drive bakery. Michael works for Genentech and lives in the East Bay, and Lauren lives in New York where she is a composer for film, dance, concerts and new media.

The instant I arrived early to tell Pascal, Pascale, and building owner Christine Hansson that I wanted to congratulate them and leave quickly because I had been home sick for several days, Christina took my hand and trotted me over to “this couple who just got engaged on the back patio,” allowing me only a glimpse of the hundreds of small pastries set out for the occasion.

Sure enough, with about 10 strangers present, Michael proposed to Lauren and yes, she said “Yes.” When I asked Michael if he got down on one knee on the wet patio, he said “No, I sat on one of the French café table chairs and she stood up.” Since he is about 6 foot 2 inches and she is about 5 foot 3, that made them almost eye-to-eye.

Then operatic soprano Morgan Harrington sang “La Vie En Rose,” leaving many guests covered with goosebumps. Congratulations all around.

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