Skip to content


July 7, 2010

MARCH 2007

World Famous French Wine Region Welcomes the girl & the fig

Sonoma County Restaurateur Invited to Cook for Wine Producers
in the Rhone Valley

(Sonoma County, CA)—  the girl & the fig heads to the source of her inspiration this month, the Côte du Rhône in France, to prepare a feast for wine producers in  one of the world’s most famous wine regions, Châteuneuf du Pape.  This is the second time the owner of the girl & the fig, Sondra Bernstein and executive chef John Toulze have been invited to the Rhône Découvertes, one of the region’s premier wine events.  On Monday, March 12, just before the week-long Rhône Découvertes event kicks off, Bernstein and Toulze will create a multi-course lunch paired with California Rhône wines for 60 wine producers from the Rhône Valley in France. The event will take place at the Université du Vin in Suze de la Rousse near Châteuneuf du Pape.

The Rhône Découvertes is held every other year in the Rhône Valley.  This is the fourth year for the event, which strives to put more than 900 wine producers and professionals in contact with each other. In a series of 19 tasting exhibitions over the course of seven days, participants will have an opportunity to taste wines from the many terroirs of the Rhône Valley.  For more information on the event please visit

“Two years ago, we went sight unseen, menu unplanned and just created as we went,” says Bernstein.  “It turned out great.  This year, we are planning a bit more but there are always challenges.  The kitchen we’ll be using has limited equipment and we may not be able to get some of the menu items we’d ideally like to have.  Part of the fun of this event for us is to go with the flow to keep us flexible and creative.”

Bernstein and Toulze will be accompanied by California’s Hospice du Rhône founders, John Alban, Mat Garretson & Vicki Carroll.  The group will travel to the Rhône Valley to show their appreciation of the French producers who have supported and participated in Hospice du Rhône, and other California Rhône events.  Bernstein and Toulze have always been supporters of winemakers in California and beyond, who focus on varietals from the Rhône region.  Since the Sonoma County restaurant opened in 1997, the girl & the fig has been known for its award winning “Rhône-Alone” wine list.  The company regularly attends the annual Hospice du Rhône event in Paso Robles and events for the Rhône Rangers, a group of California winemakers who bucked the Cabernet Sauvignon-Chardonnay trend back in the early 1980s and began experimenting with Rhône-style wines.

Bernstein currently owns two restaurants: the girl & the fig at 110 W. Spain Street in Sonoma, and the fig café & winebar at 13690 Arnold Drive in Glen Ellen.  Last spring she opened the fig pantry, a gourmet market in Sonoma and four guest cottages called Les Petites Maisons.  Bernstein just launched Fig CATERS! dedicated to providing off-site catering services for weddings, corporate events and private parties. In addition, she has written the girl & the fig Cookbook published by Simon & Schuster in 2004.  All of the dishes created by the girl & the fig feature country food with a French passion.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: