March 8th is Festa della Donna at A16, our 8th annual charity evening.
     Every March 8th we celebrate Festa Della Donna in the Italian tradition, triumphantly honoring the women who craft the wines and foods we love. In the spirit of International Womens' Day the profits of all of this celebrating are awarded to La Cocina, a local non-profit incubator kitchen which aims to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs. Our dining room will be adorned with yellow mimosa flowers as we invite inspiring donne to join our “girls’ night out” party. This year we are beyond thrilled to welcome an unbelievable line-up of women into A16’s kitchen and dining room:

Guest Chef Maria Helm Sinksey:
   Maria is the former executive chef of San Francisco's award-winning Plumpjack Café, a cookbook author, and the "chief cook and bottle washer" for Robert Sinskey Vineyards. Maria has worked in France at several Michelin star restaurants, toured Italy and since returning stateside, garnered countless awards and accolades. Her specialty is dreaming up dishes to pair with wine.
Guest Winemaker Francesca Padovani:
   Francesca started Campi di Fonterenza in Montalcino with her twin sister Margarita. The twins built the estate from the ground up, with Margarita tending the vines and Francesca responsible for sales. They work hand-in-hand in the cellar, turning out natural incarnations of the region’s iconic wines.
Guest Winemaker Elena Pantaleoni:
   Elena runs La Stoppa winery, a historic estate in the province of Piacenza producing authentic wines made with traditional methods. All of La Stoppa’s vineyards are harvested by hand. Elena holds that “wine is born in the vineyard” and interferes little with the natural winemaking process, resulting in wines which deeply reflect the earth and climate of the La Stoppa estate.
Guest Winemaker Arianna Occhipinti:
   Arianna is a natural winemaker from Vittoria, in the south eastern tip of Sicily. The niece of Giusto Occhpinti, whose COS wines are some of the most celebrated wines of Sicily, Arianna began making her own wines at 24 years old. Her natural wines celebrate the land and traditional varietals of Vittoria while very clearly expressing her distinctive point of view.
Guest Winemaker Chrystal Clifton:
Chrystal is the co-owner and winemaker of Santa Barbara’s Palmina Estate. While studying film in Italy, Chrystal fell in love with Italian wine and food, fortunately leading her into winemaking. Chrystal is fluent in Italian and has forged many relationships with Italian winemakers who have helped guide Palmina’s use of Italian grape varietals.
Guests Deneen and Coral Brown and Stefanie Kelly:
Deneen and Coral are the founders of Brown Estate Vineyards in Napa, California. Deneen and Coral started bottling wine under their own label in 1996 using their family’s land in the beautiful Chiles Valley AVA in Napa. Deneen serves as the President and Coral as the Brand Manager, upholding Brown Estate’s philosophy of purity in winemaking by letting the land guide their way.
Guest Cheesemaker Lisa Gottreich:
Lisa is co-owner and cheesemaker at Bohemian Creamery in Sebastopol, California. Lisa churns out organic goat, sheep and cow’s milk cheeses, inspired by both traditional Italian cheesemaking and coastal Sonoma County's natural offerings. Lisa takes advantage of Sebastopol’s unique climate by allowing the wild blue rye molds and the salty marine layer to help her craft exceptional wheels of cheese.

If you can’t join us on the 8th you can celebrate with us any time this month! Throughout March we’ll be pouring exclusively women-produced wines by-the-glass.