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(Publisher’s note: This is the first of several stories leading up to this weekend’s Sounds and Sights Festival, which begins Thursday, July 26 and runs through Saturday, July 28.)

Craig Commons congratulates John Knox, the winner of the grand prize drawing at the sponsor party for the Sights and Sounds Festival.

The Chelsea Sounds & Sights Festival committee thanked its sponsors in a new way this year, with an appreciation party on July 16 at The Common Grill.

About 100 guests attended the event which featured the wines of Trinchero Winery of Napa Valley. In fact, Chelsea resident and general manager of Premium Wines of Napa Valley Scott Stubbs was able to bring Trinchero’s winemaker Joel Gott to the party.

Gott flew to Chelsea from Paris on the day for the event, and guided a tasting of seven of his wines. He poured three whites and four reds – a 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, a 2010 Riesling, a 2010 Pinot Gris, a 2009 Relative Red, a 2010 Alakai (which, he said, is named after his dog), a 2010 Shatter Grenache and a 2009 Pelkan Cabernet Sauvignon).

This was the winemaker’s first trip to Chelsea and he said he had a little time before the event to walk around the downtown describing it as, “a dream downtown in America. Could it be more beautiful? This is truly small town America.”

He was also impressed with the iconic Jiffy towers. “I grew up on those corn muffins,” he said.

Joel Gott

Gott charmed the guests with his knowledge of each wine as it was poured, and was asked to pull numerous raffle tickets, including one for the grand prize of the evening, which was won by the Chelsea Kiwanis Club and member John Knox and his wife Marianne.

The husband and wife’s winning package included two nights of accommodations for two people at the Villagio Inn & Spa in Yountville, Calif., a $1,000 American Express Gift Card for round trip airfare for two to Napa Valley, a $200 dinner voucher at the world famous Bottega Restaurant, which is home to Chef Michael Chiarello, and a private tour and tasting of the Trinchero Winery, They also went home with three bottles of Trinchero Family Estates Napa Valley Cabernet.

For those who may not have tried them, Trinchero wines will be the featured in the social tent at the festival this year.

For more information about the festival, click here.

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