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Sonoma County Vintners Awarded US Department of Agriculture Value-added Producer Grant

First-time grant to fund new and existing marketing programs for Sonoma County wineries and winegrapes

Sonoma County Vintners, a marketing organization of 165 Sonoma County wineries, was awarded a Value-Added Producer Grant of almost $300,000 ($299,638) from the US Department of Agriculture to promote Sonoma County wines and winegrapes to new consumers across the country. The 2010 grant recipients were announced June 3 and the Sonoma County Vintners was named as one of only 13 organizations in California to receive funding.

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 in several regional and national shared marketing programs and events, including new programs targeting the Generation X and Millennial wine-drinking population and top influencers in the wine trade. These programs will benefit wineries and growers across the county, and will be executed in partnership with the wine and tourism organizations in Sonoma County.

This is the first time Sonoma County Vintners has applied for this grant. It was one of three regional winery associations receiving the funding, joining Monterey Wine Growers Council and Livermore Valley Wine Growers. Recipients selected represented organizations in 45 states and Puerto Rico and grants awarded totaled $22.5 million.

“Obtaining this grant would not have been possible without the county-wide collaboration of 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, it is even more important to tap external resources and partnerships to promote Sonoma County wines in the marketplace, plus it allows us to offer our members even more value for their dollar.”

To view the US Department of Agriculture press release and Value-Added Producer Grant recipient list, visit http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=2010/06/0302.xml

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