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Press Releases

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

 

SCV Announces New Board Members for 2012

PDFE-mail

January 12, 2012 – Santa Rosa, CA: Three new members of the Sonoma County Vintners Board of Directors for 2012 were announced by executive director Honore Comfort at the organization's annual meeting at the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa today.

New board members include Stan Fridstein, Mulberry Trample Wine Brokerage; Bahaneh Hobel, Esq., Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty; and Dan Kosta, Kosta Browne Winery. Officers for 2012 are President, Matt Gallo, Gallo Family Winery; and Secretary and Treasurer, Gerry Forth, Forth Vineyards.

Stan Fridstein is a partner at Mulberry Trample, a wine brokerage that specializes in placing excess wine inventory into the most discreet channels possible in a way that does not hinder long-term branding and selling efforts. A serial entrepreneur, Fridstein was co-founder and President of The Right Start, Inc., the largest specialty merchant targeting families with young children in The United States. During his career, Fridstein has provided strategic marketing consultation to clients such as The Nature Company, Discovery Channel Catalog/Discoverchannel.com, Famous Smoke Shop Catalog, AIG/SunAmerica, Earl Scheib Corporation, DaVita Corporation, Welk Resort Group, Wella Corporation, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center and Huntington Memorial Hospital. (Non-Voting Community Seat)

Bahaneh Hobel is an attorney in Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty’s Alcohol Beverage group. Hobel’s practice focuses on all aspects of alcohol beverage law, including state and federal licensing and regulatory compliance for wineries, breweries, distilled spirits plants, importers, wholesalers and retailers. Hobel has also had significant experience assisting local alcohol beverage trade associations and other non‐licensees with various trade practice matters at both the state and federal level. (Non-Voting Community Seat)

Dan Kosta, co-founder of Kosta Browne Winery, is a native of Sonoma County where wine became an integral part of his life at the age of 5, learning about the enjoyment of wine from his father. Later, Kosta followed his passion for food and worked for more than 15 years in fine dining, mostly at John Ash & Co. in Santa Rosa, where he eventually served as Operations Manager and Wine Director. He met winery partner Michael Browne while working there, and together they saved tip money in 1997 to start their winery. Kosta sits on the Board of Directors for the Sonoma County Harvest Fair and participates in numerous judging events such as the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, West Coast Wine Competition, and San Francisco International Wine Competition.

In addition to the new members and officers noted above, members of the Sonoma County Vintners Board of Directors are Jean Arnold Sessions, Hanzell Winery; Corey Beck, Francis Ford Coppola Winery; Jeff Bundschu, Gundlach Bundschu Winery; George Christie, Saini Vineyards; Dan Goldfield, Dutton-Goldfield Winery; Tom Hinde, Popcorn Wine Co.; Steve Messinger, Vinum Exports; Joel Peterson, Ravenswood Winery; Caroline Shaw, Jackson Family Enterprises; and Dan Wildermuth, Rodney Strong Vineyards.

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.

 

2011 A Great Year for Sonoma County Wines

PDFE-mail

2009 Sonoma County Pinot Noir vintage and other accolades keep region in the spotlight

January 9, 2012 – Santa Rosa, CA:  2011 was a great year for Sonoma County wines, as the wine industry’s top publications and wine competitions honored many of the region’s top producers, and the 2009 vintage of Sonoma County wines, most notably Pinot Noir, garnered outstanding coverage.

The 2011 San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 American Wines report featured 27 Sonoma County wines, significantly more wines than any other region in the report. Sonoma County wineries were prominent among the sparkling wine, chardonnay, pinot noir, zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon categories, a testament to the diversity of the region’s appellations and climates.

In the Wine Spectator’s October 15, 2011 California Pinot Noir issue, the cover story headline proclaims “How Pinot Became Sonoma’s Signature”, a huge coup acknowledging the evolution taking place as vintners and growers learn more about their sites, clones and nuances in winemaking. Senior editor James Laube’s story, entitled “California’s Burgundy” chronicles the wine’s evolution in Sonoma County from the 1980s to the 2009 vintage and highlights 20 Sonoma County producers and 15 great vineyard sites before extolling the virtues of the critically acclaimed 2009 vintage. “In terms of the number of great wines, ’09 is head and shoulders above any other vintage in California Pinot Noir history,” Laube writes.

In another exciting acknowledgement of Sonoma County’s Pinot Noir quality, 2009 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir was ranked the number one wine in the Wine Spectator Magazine’s Top 100 Wines of 2011, a huge accomplishment considering that over 16,000 wines from all over the world are reviewed each year by the publication. Ten Sonoma County wines were in the Wine Spectator Top 100 for 2011 from regions throughout the county, including Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Alexander Valley, and Knights Valley.

The Wine Enthusiast honored Pinot Noir from Sonoma County in 2011 by naming Joseph Swan Vineyard’s 2007 Trenton Estate Pinot Noir the number two wine of the year in their annual “Enthusiast 100 Must-Have Wines of the Year”. Editors of the publication also lauded Bob Cabral from Williams Selyem, one of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County’s pioneering wineries, as Winemaker of the Year in their 2011 Wine Star Awards. Russian River Valley was nominated this year as the top region of the year, as well.

Sonoma County Chardonnay also earned kudos from top wine publications. The October 2011 issue of Wine & Spirits “Best Chardonnays of 2011” featured 2009 Flowers Sonoma Coast Camp Meeting Ridge and 2009 Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay in the top two spots among  579 wines reviewed. Two wines from Iron Horse Vineyards, 2009 Green Valley Native Yeast Chardonnay and 2009 Green Valley Heritage Clone Chardonnay, took two more of the top six slots in the review.
Diane Wilson, of Wilson Winery in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, won several awards including “Best Wine by a Woman Winemaker” at the 2011 International Women’s Wine Competition.

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.

   

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