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Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

Honorary Chairs for Sonoma Wine Country Weekend are selected for their community leadership and commitment to their craft, be it grape-growing, winemaking, or culinary endeavors.

Honorary Chairs


Tom Klein and Family, Proprietor, Rodney Strong Vineyards


Rodney Strong Vineyards’ Tom Klein is a fourth generation California farmer. He and his family purchased the winery in 1989, making this year the family’s silver anniversary of Rodney Strong Vineyards ownership. The family has been farming in California for nearly a hundred years.

They first moved to California in 1905, when Tom’s great grandparents moved from New York to San Francisco. Their three boys, Sol, George and Jack, who were raised in an orphanage due to the struggles following the earthquake of 1906, would later establish Klein Brothers, a small business where they would buy and sell beans at the Stockton seaport and the start of the family’s agricultural legacy that remains intact today. The success of Klein Brothers meant eventually acquiring land on which they would grow potatoes, almonds, tomatoes, asparagus and more, but interestingly enough, never beans.

Sol’s son, Bud and his wife Jane, raised three boys in Stockton, including Tom. The extended family, which now includes numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and grandchildren, all love their ownership of one of Sonoma County’s premier wineries. They come to the region and celebrate just that every year in August at a family gathering at Rodney Strong.

Their man running the show, Tom Klein, graduated from Stanford University in 1973 with a degree in political science and spent the first part of his career as a management consultant at the San Francisco office of the prestigious global management firm McKinsey & Company. One project during this time was evaluating a small winery in the Russian River Valley called Rodney Strong Vineyards’ where he was introduced to founder Rod Strong and winemaker Rick Sayre. Already developing an interest in wine, this encounter planted a seed that would grow into a lifelong passion.

In 1984, Tom returned to Klein Brothers International, his family’s agricultural products trading company. He travelled extensively in his position, and had the opportunity to research the wine industry in many parts of the world, all the while developing his palate and his passion for wine. Since 1989, Tom and the family have pursued excellence at Rodney Strong Vineyards, landed their wines on the world stage and made the winery a leader in sustainable wine-growing and winemaking. In his own words Tom says, “We are committed to quality in every aspect: in the top-flight wines we strive to produce, in the Sonoma County life, and in the talented people we employ. We are always seeking new ways to fulfill this commitment.”

Jose and Gloria Ferrer, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards

José Ferrer, in his late-eighties, is the President of Honor of the Freixenet Group and the Founder of Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in Sonoma’s Carneros. The crest of the Ferrer family embellishes the gold ring he wears on his left hand. It’s the first hint of the importance of family to José– its legacy and the continuity of a company created, developed and maintained as a family business.

The graceful elegance of Gloria Ferrer is a perfect complement to her husband José and the world of Cava she embraced when marrying into the Ferrer family in 1956. A fellow wine enthusiast, Gloria’s intuition and style have greatly influenced José throughout his endeavors in the international world of wine. Together, they have shared a lifelong enthusiasm for travel and exploration that has led them to wine regions and adventures around the world.

Among their travels, a particular visit to Sonoma, California, some 35 years ago inspired the California winery that holds Gloria’s name. The beauty of the rolling Carneros hillsides and sun-drenched vineyards enchanted the Ferrers with their resemblance to their beloved Catalonia where they raised their four children Dolores, Pedro, Mercedes and José Maria.

Founding Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in 1982 allowed José to fulfill his father’s dream of expanding the family’s centuries-old tradition of exceptional sparkling winemaking to the New World and his own dream of making exceptional méthode champenoise sparkling wines in Sonoma, California. With his fervent support, the winemaking team spearheaded the first Pinot Noir clonal research trial at Gloria Ferrer in partnership with U.C. Davis in 1987. It was the most definitive Pinot Noir clonal study done outside France. A second trial began in 1992 on sparkling wine clones imported from Champagne, France. The studies were unprecedented and changed the way sparkling wines were made in the region.

Pushing boundaries in the name of quality is a hallmark of José Ferrer. One of his best known creations is Freixenet’s Cordon Negro, the sparkling wine in the black bottle, which has become one of the highest selling bottles of méthode champenoise wine and most iconic packages. Today, José’s wisdom guides his two sons and other members of the family in their leadership roles in taking their company into the next millennium. The fifth generation of Ferrers are now involved in the Gloria Ferrer winery and Freixenet Group is among the top ten wine companies in the world, with 17 wineries in four continents. It is also the world’s largest producer of méthode champenoise sparkling wines.

José Ferrer’s many achievements have made him a distinguished personality beyond the wine world earning him recognition and many awards, including the King of Spain’s coveted Medal of Honor in Business. Together with Gloria, he is a great promoters of the arts and culture, providing financial support through foundations dedicated to music and literature.


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Hospitality, MacMurray Estate Vineyards style. #SWCWChecking out MacMurray Estate Vineyards a day early!#SWCWBeautiful #Chardonnay at Ram's Gate in #Carneros for #SWCW Media Tour.SWCW Honorary Chair Tom Klen welcomes #SWCW media guests.To Our Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Guests - 
Many of you have heard reports of the earthquake that struck in south Napa early Sunday morning. While there are losses of wine and structural issues for several wineries in Sonoma County, overall damage seems to be relatively minor across the county.

We are grateful that the effects are not greater, and we are pleased to report that all Sonoma Wine Country Weekend activities will proceed as planned over Labor Day Weekend. 
We look forward to seeing you soon! #SWCWThe Proceeds Matter!
The Sebastopol Area Senior Center was one of 44 deserving nonprofits that Sonoma Wine Country Weekend supported in 2013. Join us Labor Day weekend as we raise even more money for Sonoma County charities, all while enjoying everything the county has to offer. #SWCWTHE WINEMAKERS POUR

Meet Eva Bertran, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards 
She’s a dynamic business leader and wine industry innovator who has tirelessly worked on behalf of Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards since 1986. Eva believes her role as a wine educator is the touchstone of her remarkable success. She encourages us all break out the bubbles for any occasion—and her approachable teaching style has helped to break down the myths around this versatile wine. #SWCW @gloriaferrerwineryThe Proceeds Matter!
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is proud to support the Transcendence Theatre Company, producer of the Broadway Under The Stars concerts in Sonoma Valley's Jack London State Historic Park. Recently named the Theater Of The Year by Broadway World San Francisco, and one of USA Today's 10Best Talking #SWCW at Visa HQ this afternoon #great wine #winemakers pourThe Proceeds Matter!!
The Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps (SCYEC) provides young people with meaningful, paid work experience, environmental education, and the opportunity to explore careers while developing work-readiness skills. Youth contribute to their community while completing environmental and conservation-related projects or by working with local non-profit organizations. Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is honored to partner with SCYEC for the second consecutive year. #SWCWSonoma Wine Country Weekend

Meet Jean-Charles Boisset, Boisset Wines

Innovator, entrepreneur and visionary, Jean-Charles is one of the most charismatic people you’ll ever meet. But here in Sonoma County, he’s also a member of our family. He grew up in his family’s winery in Burgundy, a venture that eventually led to the acquisition of wineries in the world’s most sought-after regions. His desire to work with California wineries with history and heritage has ensured that some of our most treasured wine estates have continued to set a pioneering example for the entire industry. ‪#SWCWThe Proceeds Matter!!
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is proud to support Sonoma Teen Services, which provides employment and career resources that empower teens to develop into happy, healthy, contributing members of their community. Visit for more information. #swcwThe Proceeds Matter!! Chop’s Teen Club proudly serves teens in grades 7-12 through enrichment and recreation programs.  Thanks to the support of organizations like Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, Chop’s can maintain an annual membership fee of just $1, making it affordable for all teens to become members.  Chop’s Teen Club provides a safe, fun and productive place where teens engage, connect and discover their true potential. #swcwThe Proceeds Matter!!
Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation pays tribute to the generosity of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend guests and local residents. Through these gifts, we are able to support the Hospital by providing for needed equipment and facilities for the health of those in the community and those who visit our town. Recently, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend provided a grant that allowed us to bring in a new portable x-ray machine. With this equipment, we are better able to treat patients at their bedside and make more immediate decisions for their care. #SWCWThe Proceeds Matter!! Ceres Community Project engages teens as volunteer gardeners and chefs, giving them direct, hands-on experience of the difference that fresh, healthy foods and community service make, and building life, work-ready and leadership skills. The free or low-cost, nutrient-rich organic meals they prepare—88,000 in 2014—are delivered to individuals and families in Sonoma and Marin counties who are dealing with a serious illness such as cancer.  Thanks to the support of our generous bidders and guest, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend was able help Ceres Community Project provide 7,000 additional meals to people in need. #swcwTHE WINEMAKERS POUR

Meet Dean Vincent Borgioni, Annadel Estate Winery
Self-proclaimed “beach bum and traveling motorcycle guy” Dean Borgioni discovered Annadel Estate Winery and, quite unexpectedly, put down roots. He transformed this crumbling grand dame into a flourishing flower farm, event destination and world-class winery. Inspired by his Italian grandparents, who left their culture behind when they immigrated to the States, Dean’s life’s work is sharing the magic of Annadel—an expression of heritage, family and love. ‪#SWCW #SonomaValleyThe Proceeds Matter!
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is pleased to support the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center. Having provided Sonoma with Primary Care Health services out of a small clinic since 1992, the SVCHC is thrilled to be moving to brand new, 18,000sq/ft facility in July of this year!  We’ve partnered with SVCHC to provide a host of great programs at this new facility, including: Peer Support Groups, Parenting Classes, and Fitness Classes such as Yoga and Zumba. #SWCWTHE WINEMAKERS POUR
Meet Suzy and Squire Fridell, Glenlyon Winery 
Talented, funny and full of blithe spirits, Suzy and Squire Fridell have held court at Scottish-themed GlenLyon since 1986. Their boundless energy is evident in the quality of their wines, but also in their commitment to fundraising for the Sonoma County community. Have fun with the Fridells—they’re equally likely to be getting dirty at the winery or getting into costume for the next charity event. Sláinte! ‪#SWCWThe Proceeds Matter!
The Healdsburg Education Foundation (HEF) empowers the Healdsburg area public schools to take on innovative curriculum and practices that they would otherwise not be able to offer to their students. Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is proud to be a part of their latest innovation the—Accelerated English Program, which aims to increase student English proficiency. This initiative is already showing tremendous success with over 70% of students advancing in the program. ‪#‎SWCW‬THE WINEMAKERS POUR

Meet Phil Staehle, Enkidu Wines

Have you heard the story of Enkidu? He was King Gilgamesh’s sidekick, and the person who taught him to appreciate nature, beauty and balance. Enkidu’s story resonated with Phil Staehle so much that he named his winery AND his dog after him. 
Like Enkidu, Phil hopes to introduce you to the revelations of the natural world through his conscientiously crafted wines. See him at Sonoma Wine Country Weekend -- get your tickets today! ‪#‎SWCW‬