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Save the Date: Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Set for August 31 – September 2, 2012


Fifth Annual Labor Day Weekend Event to Celebrate
Sonoma Wine, Food and Lifestyle Presented by Visa Signature®

(Sonoma County, CALIF.) — Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, the premier wine and epicurean event that showcases the birthplace of California wine, has been set for Labor Day Weekend, August 31 through September 2, 2012.

“Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, now in its fifth year, offers guests the ultimate wine country experience,” said Maureen Cottingham, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Co-Producer, “Our three-day event is a world-class celebration of the vineyards, wines, cuisine, culture, and characters that have made Sonoma County the ultimate wine country destination.” Visa Signature® is the Presenting Sponsor of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend.

“Following last year’s Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, which was nearly a complete sell-out, we expect the same level of interest and enthusiasm for 2012,” said Honore Comfort, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Co-Producer, “Additionally, the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, will be held at a new venue, Chateau St. Jean in northern Sonoma Valley.”

Produced in partnership by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and the Sonoma County Vintners, the 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend event features Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch®, the 20th annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean, the new Sonoma Starlight Supper Club at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and an assortment of intimate and exclusive winery lunch and dinner parties at multiple locations throughout Sonoma County.

Proceeds from Sonoma Wine Country Weekend support Sonoma County non-profit organizations; to date a cumulative total of more than $10 million has been donated directly to Sonoma non-profits by the local wine community.

Tickets, which range from $85 to $500 per person, will go on sale to the public June 1, 2012. Presenting Sponsor, Visa Signature will offer cardholders event perks and savings, including access to an exclusive ticket presale starting April 23, 2012. For more information visit www.SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com.

2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Schedule At-A-Glance
Friday, August 31
12:30 p.m. – Winemaker Lunch Series
6:30 p.m. – Sonoma Starlight Supper Club at Francis Ford Coppola Winery
6:00 p.m. – Winemaker Dinner Parties
Saturday, September 1
11 a.m. - 4 p.m. – Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch®
6:00 p.m. – Winemaker Dinner Parties
6:00 p.m. – Chairman’s Dinner Party
Sunday, September 2
12:30 p.m. – Winery Barbecues at Wineries throughout Sonoma County
1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean
2:30 p.m. – Live Auction

Tickets On Sale: June 1, 2012 (General Public)
Sonoma Starlight Supper Club at Francis Ford Coppola Winery: $95/person or $175/person Reserve
Winery Barbecues: $85/person
Winemaker Lunch: $85/person; Winemaker Dinner Parties: $150/person
Chairman’s Dinner: $175/person
Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch®: $150/person (General), $195/person (Grand Reserve)
Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction: $500/person
* Special Visa Signature Cardholder pricing and benefits available at www.SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com

For more information visit www.SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com, like it on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/winecountryweekend and follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SonomaWCW.

About Visa Signature®
Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is presented by Visa Signature. Visa Signature offers cardholders a range of benefits that provide special access and can save time and money.  In addition to points, miles, cash back or other premium rewards offered by Visa Signature partners, Visa Signature cardholders enjoy perks such as 24/7 complimentary concierge services, the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and exclusive offers for fine wine and food, travel, and sports and entertainment events. For more information on Visa Signature and issuers offering Visa Signature visit www.visa.com/signature.

About 2012 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. The events comprising Sonoma Wine Country Weekend have raised over $10 million in support to local charities that benefit students, children, farm workers and people in need.  The 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is presented by Visa Signature®. For a complete list of beneficiaries and sponsors, please visit www.SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com.

About Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance and Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners
The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA) is a non-profit trade organization serving over 500 members who share a mission to promote awareness of Sonoma Valley’s grapes, wine, and history as the birthplace of the California wine industry. The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Foundation (SVVGF) is a non-profit 501c.3 organization that has raised over $8,000,000 for local Sonoma Valley charities. For more information on the SVVGA and SVVGF, please visit www.SonomaValleyWine.com.

Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions, noted for its heritage of artisan winemaking, distinct growing regions, and extraordinary quality. Founded in 1944, SCV represents more than 175 wineries of all sizes throughout the county. Learn more about SCV at www.SonomaWine.com.

Journalists: High-resolution artwork is immediately available. For more information, to speak with an event representative or to inquire about press credentials for the 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend please email or call Lisa Adams Walter at (707) 255-0300 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



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


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