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SONOMA COUNTY VINTNERS AWARDED $300,000 IN MARKETING FUNDS FROM USDA

Second-time grant to fund new and existing brand identity and marketing programs for
Sonoma County wines and wineries

February 3, 2012 – Santa Rosa, CA: Sonoma County Vintners, a marketing organization of 175 Sonoma County wineries, was awarded a Value-Added Producer Grant of $300,000 from the US Department of Agriculture to promote Sonoma County wines and wineries to new consumers across the country. The 2012 grant recipients were announced February 3 by Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

Sonoma County Vintners was named as one of only 17 organizations in California to receive funding. A second Sonoma County recipient, Bohemian Dairy in Sebastopol, received a $100,000 grant.

Sonoma County Vintners was the main applicant for the grant, with Sonoma County Winegrape Commission named as a partner organization. The awarded funds will be used to complete Sonoma County’s brand identity work and support a regional and national marketing campaign to encourage new consumers to select wines and wineries from Sonoma County. The grant writing, feasibility study, and business plan required for applicants were completed by Morrison & Co. in Chico, CA.

This is the second time Sonoma County Vintners has applied for and received a USDA VAPG grant. A grant totaling $299,638 was awarded to Sonoma County Vintners in 2010.

“Obtaining this grant would not have been possible without this the result of county-wide collaboration with our AVA associations, Sonoma County wineries, and the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission. It is a triumph for our staff, our Board of Directors, and all of our wine and tourism partners,” said Honore Comfort, executive director of Sonoma County Vintners. “In this challenging economy, harnessing external resources and developing partnerships to promote Sonoma County wines in the marketplace is an important way to offer our members even more value for their dollar.”

The grants were awarded to 298 recipients in 44 states and Puerto Rico, and totaled more than $40.2 million. According to the USDA press release, “Funds may be used for feasibility studies or business plans, working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy projects. Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage.”

To view the US Department of Agriculture press release and Value-Added Producer Grant recipient list, click here

About Sonoma County Vintners
Sonoma County Vintners is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to increasing awareness and improving the quality image of its wines to consumers, media, and trade locally and globally. With almost 65,000 vineyard acres planted among the county’s 15 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), Sonoma County is considered one of the world’s premier winegrowing regions, producing an unparalleled range of varietals and wine styles. SCV has promoted this diversity and quality since 1944, and currently represents more than 175 member wineries and 25 Affiliate Members. For more information on the wines and wineries of Sonoma County, visit www.sonomawine.com.

About Sonoma County Winegrape Commission
The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission was established in 2006 as a non-profit marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. SCWC’s goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality and diversity of Sonoma County’s grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers around the world. For more information about SCWC and its programs, visit www.sonomawinegrape.org

©2013 Sonoma County Vintners, 3637 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403