Sonoma Wine Community Helps Kids Read to Succeed


(Sonoma County, CALIF.) —The vintners and winegrowers of Sonoma County announced today a multi-year commitment to invest in improving childhood literacy through “Fund the Future” presented by Kaiser Permanente at the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction. Proceeds raised through the “Fund the Future” auction lot will support key reading programs that address the fact that more than half of Sonoma County third-graders currently read below grade level. The Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction takes place during Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, the region’s premier wine and epicurean event that supports key Sonoma County non-profits each Labor Day Weekend, presented by Visa Signature®.

Beginning in 2013, the “Fund the Future” will support three successful Sonoma County organizations focused upon childhood literacy and preparing kids to read. The “Fund the Future” beneficiaries are: Schools of Hope (United Way of the Wine Country), Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, and Pasitos Playgroups by Community Action Partnership. In Sonoma County, 54% of third-grade students read below proficiency levels. Students who do not reach reading proficiency by the third grade are less likely to graduate from high school, and have an increased chance of future poverty, health problems, and other social issues.

“It’s a known fact that if kids can’t read, they can’t succeed,” said Paul Hoffman, President of the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation. “The vintners and winegrowers of Sonoma County are committed to helping kids read, because reading is the key to future success for each child.”

Research shows that third-grade reading proficiency is a powerful predictor of academic achievement. The vintners and winegrowers are making a multi-year commitment to supporting this issue through “Fund the Future” to help Sonoma County increase the third grade literacy rate to 90% by 2018. “There is no issue more central to the long-term wellbeing of our communities, and the long term success of an individual than that of early childhood education.” said Dan Goldfield, President of the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation. “If we fortunate vintners can help impart that gift to any kid who otherwise wouldn’t enjoy it, it should be our honor and pleasure.”

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend has received national acclaim, and is now Sonoma County’s top charitable event, uniting the wine industry and raising almost $2 million for the Sonoma County community through a combination of charitable giving, tourism programs, and supporting local businesses and jobs.

The Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean, which will take place on Sunday, September 1, is the heart of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. World-class wine and lifestyle lots, including the “Fund the Future” lot, high-energy bidding and glorious décor are event hallmarks. Additionally, every table is hosted by a winemaker or vintner, and they sell out fast. Tickets for seats at specific winery tables are on sale now at

Produced in partnership by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance and the Sonoma County Vintners, the 2013 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend event features Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch®, Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean, Sonoma Starlight at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and an assortment of intimate and exclusive winery lunch and dinner parties at multiple locations throughout Sonoma County.  Sonoma Wine Country Weekend has become the region’s largest and most fun charity event, celebrating the vintner, grower, and food communities while raising needed funds to improve children’s lives and literacy for a better future.

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About 2013 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sponsors and Beneficiaries

A partnership between Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is California’s premier wine, food and social event, taking place on Labor Day weekend each year. Sonoma Wine Country Weekend’s wine community supports the Sonoma County economy, regional wine marketing efforts, and invests in the future of the region by supporting worthy charities that improve quality of life at the present and for generations to come. The events comprising Sonoma Wine Country Weekend have raised over $11 million in support to local charities that support youth and children to ensure their success, preserve the environment for future generations, and improve the health and welfare of local communities.  The 2013 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is presented by Visa Signature®. For a complete list of beneficiaries and sponsors, please visit



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