Tickets Now Available for the Sonoma County Wine Auction

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September 15 – 16, 2017 at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard The Sonoma County Wine Auction has Raised $24 Million for Charitable Partners SANTA ROSA, Calif. (June 21, 2017) – Tickets are now available for the two-day Sonoma County Wine Auction, presented by Visa Signature® and sponsored by TricorBraun WinePak. Savvy collectors will have the opportunity to acquire Sonoma’s elite wines and bid on once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences during Sonoma County’s largest charitable giving event Saturday, September 16, 2017 from Noon to 7 p.m. at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard, a new hub of wine education and culinary exploration located in the heart of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. Jackson Family Wines Chairman & Proprietor Barbara R. Banke will serve as Honorary Chair of the 2017 Auction. The Honorary Chair is recognized as an individual who demonstrates community leadership, dedication to innovation and commitment to helping others. The two-day event begins September 15th, with preview parties and vintners dinners, and culminates in the Sonoma County Wine Auction on September 16th.  The celebration brings together Sonoma County’s top winemakers and growers, along with some of the area’s best chefs, and has been named as one of the nation’s top five charitable…

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Exclusive Discount Benefit Now Available to Visa Signature® and Visa Infinite® Cardholders for Taste of Sonoma

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One of the Country’s Top Wine and Food Festivals, September 2, 2017 Ticket Sales Now Open to the General Public SANTA ROSA, Calif. (May 11, 2017) – Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, presented by Visa Signature®, is pleased to announce exclusive Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cardholder ticket savings for Taste of Sonoma, one of the country’s top wine and food festivals held at the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center at Sonoma State University.  Tickets are available on the Taste of Sonoma website. Taste of Sonoma – a spectacular Labor Day Weekend event set on Saturday, September 2 – offers an extraordinary immersive opportunity for wine and culinary enthusiasts to taste incomparable wines and locally-grown, gourmet dishes; meet passionate vintners and growers; and experience the welcoming community spirit of the Sonoma County wine region. Taste of Sonoma will bring the historic Sonoma County wine region to life with access to rare and highly sought-after wines, gourmet foods and locally grown produce from top Sonoma County chefs, intimate conversations with wine luminaries and winemakers, and focused seminars covering a range of topics — from Sonoma County terroir to expert advice from chefs. Held at the beautiful Donald & Maureen Green Music Center at Sonoma…

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Sonoma County Barrel Auction Continues to Break Records as Third Annual Event Raises $794,500

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(April 21, 2017; Santa Rosa, CA) Sonoma County Vintners celebrated a successful third annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction on April 21, after 90 one-of-a-kind Sonoma County wine lots raised a record-setting $794,500. With over 250 members of the wine trade and media in attendance for the live auction at Santa Rosa’s Vintners Inn, and additional bids placed via proxy, this year’s totals were up more than $100,000 from 2016. “We started the Sonoma County Barrel Auction three years ago to showcase the quality of Sonoma County wines on the world’s stage, and we are pleased that it’s become a must-attend event for national and international wine buyers,” says Jean Arnold Sessions, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Vintners, “The success of the 2017 auction is a testament to the climate, culture and talent found in Sonoma County. No other region matches our combination of quality and diversity.” The auction’s “never before, never again” wine lots were crafted by top vintners from Sonoma County’s 17 distinct AVA appellations, and offered in quantities of five, 10 or 20 cases. All of the wines featured were made exclusively for the auction, and will be available in the market only by resale to the…

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Icons of Wine to be Honored at Sonoma County Barrel Auction

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AVA Preview Events Highlighted Fourth Annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction to be held April 20, 2018  (April 5, 2017; Santa Rosa, CA) Sonoma County Vintners will honor three of the region’s winemaking Icons this year at the 3rd Annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction. Nominated by peers for their contributions and lifetime body of work, Jim Bundschu of Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Jim Pedroncelli of Pedroncelli Winery, and Angelo Sangiacomo of Sangiacomo Family Vineyards will be recognized at a private reception on April 20 at Martin Ray Vineyards & Winery as well as at the Barrel Auction on April 21 at the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa, CA. “The Sonoma County wine landscape has been shaped by a long line of trailblazing visionaries and it is important that the region honor these three modern icons,” says Jean Arnold Sessions, Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director. “Each of the Icons has provided new ways of thinking while also enriching our region’s heritage and traditions. We are proud to recognize their invaluable contributions at the Sonoma County Barrel Auction.” About the Icons Jim Bundschu, Gundlach Bundschu Winery Jim Bundschu is the quintessential down-to-earth farmer, completely devoted to the Sonoma County vineyard land cultivated by four…

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Rare and Unique Wine Lots Unveiled for the Trade-Only Sonoma County Barrel Auction

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(March 20, 2017; Santa Rosa, CA) The Sonoma County Vintners today unveiled the official lineup of wines for the third annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction, taking place April 21 at the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa, Calif. Comprised of 90 one-of-a-kind lots, the live auction will offer members of the wine trade “never before, never again” wines from Sonoma County’s top vineyards and vintners, available in the market only by resale to their customers. The full descriptions of all lots are available online at http://www.sonomawine.com/barrelauction. The 2017 Sonoma County Barrel Auction lots represent the diversity of Sonoma County’s 17 distinct AVA appellations, from well-known regions such as Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Valley and the Russian River Valley, to Sonoma County’s newest AVAs, Fort Ross-Seaview, Fountaingrove and Moon Mountain. The auction has continued to attract new entrants, with 43 of the 115 participants in individual and collaboration lots new to the auction in 2017. A panel of seven Master Sommeliers gathered multiple times during the months of January and February to conduct blind tastings, ensuring that each featured wine is of the highest quality and varietally correct. “We created the Sonoma County Barrel Auction three years ago…

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Dan Goldfield Passes President Torch for the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation

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SANTA ROSA, Calif. (February 27, 2017) – After serving five years as President of the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation, Dan Goldfield, partner and winemaker of Dutton-Goldfield Winery, has stepped down as President, transitioning the role to Mark Malpiede, Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Williams Selyem Winery, and a Sonoma County Vintners Board member. During Mr. Goldfield’s tenure as President he also served as Chairman of the Community Grants Committee and provided significant guidance and leadership strategy in community giving.  Mr. Goldfield served on the Sonoma County Vintners Board for the past eight years as well.  In 2012, the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Harvest Wine Auction raised $483,500.  By last year, that amount grew almost ten-fold to $4.6 million and was recognized as one of the top three U.S. charitable wine auctions by Wine Spectator magazine. To date, $24 million has been raised to support local Sonoma County charitable organizations including Fund the Future, a program dedicated to increasing children’s literacy rates across the county. Since its inception in 2013, the fund has raised a total of $6.7 million and last year, the Foundation was able to expand its reach further with the support of 14 literacy programs throughout…

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Sonoma County Vintners Announces New Organization Appointments

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Community Connection Compliance Manager and 2017 Board Members  SANTA ROSA, Calif. (February 2, 2017) –Sonoma County Vintners announced several new organizational appointments during their 2017 Annual Membership meeting on February 1, 2017. These included the hiring of a new Compliance Manager, as well as the appointment of two new Sonoma County Vintner Board members.  Over 200 guests attended the meeting held at the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa. New Compliance Manager Ben Neuman has been hired as the organization’s Compliance Manager. The role will support Sonoma County Vintners’ Community Connection Initiative, a program launched in 2016, designed to increase communication with neighbors, develop Best Practices education for the community, and provide solutions to challenges the County’s success and growth have created.  Neuman will focus on assisting Sonoma County Vintners winery members with use-permit education and compliance matters. Neuman has over 30 years in government service working for the County of Sonoma since 1987.   He began working with the County as a building inspector, before transferring in 1995 to a newly created Code Enforcement Division. That position focused on permitting as well as a multitude of county code and land use issues.  He was promoted in 2002 to Code Enforcement Supervisor…

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Sonoma County Vintners Announce Details for 2017 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

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New Locations and Dates for Taste of Sonoma & Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction SANTA ROSA, Calif. (February 1, 2017) – Sonoma County Vintners announced today the exciting news that the 2017 “Taste of Sonoma,” one of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend’s most significant wine and food events, will be held at a new location: the beautiful Sonoma State University and the Donald & Maureen Green Music Center. Additionally, the event will expand to two days, occurring over Labor Day weekend, Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3, 2017. This premier event, presented by Visa Signature®, will elevate and enhance the direct connection with top winemakers, winegrowers and master chefs in celebration of the region’s finest wines and food. The expanded format over two days, will allow guests the opportunity to taste from wineries across the county’s 17 diverse regions, engage in conversation with Sonoma County’s winemakers and winegrowers, as well as sample locally sourced and exquisitely prepared food served by the county’s premier chefs. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Sonoma State University’s Donald & Maureen Green Music Center”, said Kelin Castleberry Backman, Managing Director of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. “This world-class venue will not only showcase the incredible wine and…

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Sonoma County Vintners Enlists a Panel of Master Sommeliers for Sonoma County Barrel Auction

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(January 25, 2017; Santa Rosa, CA) An all-star panel of Master Sommeliers from around the country has once again been assembled to evaluate lot submissions for the Third Annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction. Hosted by Sonoma County Vintners, the invite and trade- only Barrel Auction will take place on April 21, and will offer a selection of one-of-a-kind “never before, never again” lots representing Sonoma County’s 17 diverse viticultural appellations. The panel has been tasked with assessing the wines to ensure the highest quality, terroir authenticity and varietal correctness. “Every year we bring in some of the most experienced palates in the world of wine to ensure that each Barrel Auction lot is both well executed and also representative of Sonoma County,” says Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director Jean Sessions. “Because all submissions are tasted in a blind setting, the panel’s assessment offers a unique and valuable expert perspective of Sonoma County climate, terroir and winemaking in its entirety.” The panel of experts to evaluate the wine lot submissions for the 2017 auction includes: Randall Bertao, MS, Los Altos Golf and Country Club, Los Altos, CA Roger Dagorn, MS, One Five Hospitality, New York, NY Evan Goldstein, MS, Full Circle…

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Sonoma County Vintners Announces the Appointment of Kelin Backman as Managing Director of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

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(January 11, 2017; Santa Rosa, CA)—The Sonoma County Vintners and Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance announced today that Ms. Kelin Backman has accepted the position of Managing Director of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. Sonoma Wine Country Weekend has been named by “Wine Spectator” as one of America’s top three wine charity fundraisers. In her new position, Backman will be responsible for providing leadership and new organizational structure focused on the unique events that are the backbone of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. The two major events are “Taste of Sonoma” and the “Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction”. Kelin Backman brings a strong sense of commitment to community and the creative vision for developing and seamlessly executing large-scale fundraising events. Her prior 10 years of experience include developing and executing the “Rivertown Revival” event for the Friends of the Petaluma River, producing the “Levi’s King Ridge” GranFondo’s “Fondo Sonoma Festival” and “Festa del Fondo Gala”, and serving as the Fundraising Director and Events Producer for Congressman Jared Huffman. A Petaluma resident, Backman received a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from University of Texas, Austin, and worked as a high school English teacher for over 10 years. In addition to her passion for…

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