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Meet the Forward-Thinking Young Wine Director at Healdsburg’s Little Saint

Alexandria Sarovich focuses on sustainably produced wines, local winemakers, and international producers—and highlights women winemakers and wines made by people of color.

At age 28, sommelier Alexandria Sarovich considered leaving the wine industry. She had reached what felt like the top of her game at SingleThread, the Michelin three-star restaurant in Healdsburg. But the emotional toll of being furloughed during a shutdown and the widespread devastation of the pandemic had left her longing for a role with more connection. To stay grounded, and stay learning, she ended up accepting a gig as the wine director at Little Saint, the high-profile plant-based cafe, wine shop, and event space from the SingleThread team.

Sarovich grew up in a large Italian-American family in Chicago, the eldest of five kids, and often cooked for her younger siblings while her parents worked. “Food was a way I could bring my family back together,” Sarovich explains. Her mother stretched the family’s food budget to buy organic fruit and dairy, and supplemented with produce she grew in her own garden. Large family meals on Sundays were always a way to connect. “All my life I’ve been trying to recreate that special feeling of family and community and the nurturing aspect that food can provide,” she says.

At Little Saint, which opened in April, Sarovich has crafted an intelligent and of-the-moment wine list of some 300-plus bottles. She focuses on sustainably produced wines, local winemakers, and international producers—and highlights women winemakers and wines made by people of color.

Sommelier Alexandria Sarovich. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

Sarovich says she challenges herself to think about more about interesting, everyday wine picks. “I love drinking wine with people who don’t work in the wine industry—like my childhood friends and my roommate’s mom—to get a sense of what most people like to drink,” says Sarovich. “I want to see how they look at wine. I really try to stay grounded because sometimes it’s easy to get too up-in-the-air with all the expensive wines.”

She is fond of wines from the Sonoma Coast, especially those from the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. “The wines from that area are so balanced,” she says. “The high elevation combined with strong winds and coastal temperatures tends to make the grape skins a bit firmer, which provides more backbone and tannin structure to the wine. Then there is this beautiful bright red fruit with layers of complexity because of the soil.”

After living in Sonoma County for three and a half years, Sarovich says she loves the feel of a farm-focused community—especially during the harvest season, when, she says, “there is so much energy, it’s buzzing.”

That’s when she’ll bike through Dry Creek Valley, where she can admire fruit ripening on the vine and revel in the sense of possibility: “I can’t help but feel excitement about their potential.”

Little Saint, 25 North St., Healdsburg. 707-433-8207, littlesainthealdsburg.com

From left, 2021 Sutro, Sauvignon Blanc, Warnecke Ranch; 2018 RAEN, ‘Sea Field’ Fort Ross Seaview, Pinot Noir; 2021 Sophie James, Rose of Pinot Noir, Sonoma. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

Favorite Sonoma Picks

Little Saint wine director Alexandria Sarovich loves the complexity of these three local wines.

RAEN 2018 ‘Sea Field,’ Fort Ross-Seaview, Pinot Noir $95 Made by brothers Carlo and Dante Mondavi, this environmentally- conscious wine expresses the terroir of the windswept Sonoma Coast.

Sophie James 2021 Sonoma Rosé of Pinot Noir, $45 Sophie Grey, a mother of three girls, was a grape grower before she launched her own wine brand. Little Saint is the only wine shop that carries her wine.

Sutro 2021 Warnecke Ranch Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc, $35 Winemaker and artist Alice Sutro is a Sonoma County native. Sarovich says the wine is bright and balanced, and goes well with veggie-centric dishes.

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