Must be 21 years of age or older. Join Sommelier Erica Archer with Chefs Damian Sansonetti and Kirby Scholl of acclaimed Portland, Maine restaurant Chaval, for a gorgeous scenic wine sail on board the 74-foot sailboat, The Frances, built by her Captains and crew on Portland's waterfront as you explore five incredibly delicious wines from South Africa ... each paired with delicious food from these two extremely talented Chefs..
You're in for an incredible wine education and food experience as you sail through Maine’s beautiful Casco Bay with scenic views of Maine lighthouses, islands, and waterways .. all while indulging in a wine class. You'll walk away with knowing a lot about wine, how regional influences impact wine styles and quality, gain confidence knowing how evaluate, select and pair wines and describe what you smell and taste. And no doubt you will taste and learn a lot about the incredible food that Chef Damian Sansonetti and Sous Chef Kirby Scholl have prepared for you.
The menu will be available the date of the event as these Chefs take inspiration from only the freshest local ingredients. Due to the nature of this event we regret that we cannot accommodate food substitutions.
Chef Damian Sansonetti, a Pittsburgh native, grew up exploring fresh, local ingredients, making pasta with his grandmothers, curing meats with his grandfather, and assisting his father in the family kitchen. A career in food was practically his birthright. Graduating from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Sansonetti worked at Nantucket’s Brant Point Grill and Pittsburgh’s Steelhead Grill, moving to New York to open Heartbeat in the W Hotel. Sansonetti met Daniel Boulud while working at Shallots in Midtown and eventually took a position at Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne.
Training rigorously under Chef Olivier Muller, Sansonetti became chef de banquet at Daniel and then sous chef under Jean Francois Bruel. Promoted to executive chef of Bar Boulud in 2008, Sansonetti was named a 2009 StarChefs.com Rising Star. Now ensconced in the burgeoning food scene of Portland, Maine, Sansonetti’s partnered with his wife, Pastry Chef Ilma Lopez (a 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Pastry Chef and nominated in 2018 for a James Beard Award as Outstanding Pastry Chef), to open their Italian fine dining restaurant Piccolo and in 2017 Chaval.
Chef Kirby Sholl grew up in Princeton, New Jersey and first moved to Maine to attend Colby College. During the summers, he worked at Islesford Dock Restaurant, where he would eventually serve as the Head Chef for 10 years. It was here that his love for Maine's local produce and fresh seasonal ingredients first began. His culinary career has taken him to California, where worked at Globe and Zuppa, and New York City, where he worked at Public.
Working seasonally in Islesford allowed Kirby to travel throughout the rest of the year. In 2010, he traveled to South Africa for the first time, where they spent three months backpack and exploring all the food, wine, and culture the country had to offer. The first winter they spent in South Africa, they visited many wineries and he really began learning about the vineyards and history of wine. He had the opportunity to taste through dozens of the country’s best vineyards and recalls sometimes backpacking with at least 20 bottles of wine in his pack!
After three consecutive winters in South Africa, Kirby moved to Portland, Maine, where he began working at Miyake. During this time, he got to know Chefs Damian Sansonetti and Ilma Lopez as a regular at Piccolo and these frequent visits led him to working at Piccolo part-time. In 2017, Kirby helped open Chaval with Damian and Ilma and has been there every since.
Archer is a true oenophile, having obtained high levels of certification in her field. In 2010, she was awarded the Wine Spirit and Education Trust Level Three Advanced Certification in Wines and Spirits (with merit), became a Sommelier in the American Court of Master Sommeliers, and received her Certified Wine Professional award from the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California. Erica is the principal of Wine Wise, a wine education and events service and is skilled at creating truly creative and memorable wine experiences that take guests beyond a typical tasting with her intimate understanding of what makes each wine unique. And she’ll do it with her trademark sense of humor.
Where do we meet?
We depart from the Maine State Pier, located at at 56 Commercial Street (where Commercial Street meets Franklin Street). You’ll receive a more detailed email a few days before your event. Please refer to our FAQ page for answers to questions that you may be wondering about.
Because of our size, cancellations affect us significantly. If we are able to re-sell your tickets we can refund your ticket price minus the $10.00 credit card transactions we have to pay OR reschedule you to a different date that has availability (there is no credit card transaction fee in this case). You are always welcome to send a friend or family member in your place or sell your own tickets. Just make sure we have the ticket holder's email address so we can send them the event notifications so they are aware of where to find us and any day-of weather related notifications. There are no refunds or reschedules for no shows or if we are not able to resell your tickets. Makes sense, right