Sonoma County Vintners Appoints Michael Haney as Executive Director

By | Press Release | No Comments

Santa Rosa, CA (October 1, 2018) – The board of directors of Sonoma County Vintners today announced the appointment of Michael Haney as Executive Director of Sonoma County Vintners, Sonoma County’s leading wine trade organization. Haney has been serving as interim executive director since February. “The Board voted unanimously to appoint Michael Haney,” said Russell Joy, Board of Directors President. “He leads with vision and purpose and is focused on long-term results. Under his direction as interim executive director, Sonoma County Vintners has successfully executed an array of programs and events, which continue to raise awareness for and elevate Sonoma County as a world-class wine region. His presence in the community, work ethic, compassion and authenticity reflect who we are as vintners and growers, and there couldn’t be a better choice to reflect this as the leader of a vintner association.” During his tenure, Sonoma County Vintners have executed multiple programs promoting Sonoma County as one of the top wine regions in California and the world to consumers, trade and media, including, two record breaking fundraising events: Sonoma County Wine Auction, one of the region’s largest fundraisers for the community, and Sonoma County Barrel Auction, a fundraiser to support Sonoma…

Read More

Sonoma County Wineries Boost Business Through Vinexpo Explorer

By | Press Release | No Comments

SANTA ROSA, CA (September 26, 2018) – Sonoma County Vintners was proud to host the second annual chapter of Vinexpo’s Explorer program here in Sonoma County September 23-25. Praised as a productive, successful event by all participants, this business-generating program provided wineries with a new networking approach featuring personalized, one-on-one business opportunities. Seventy buyers from 27 countries representing a broad cross-section of the international retail market were handpicked by Vinexpo to meet with 60 vintners from across Sonoma County to discover the rich diversity of the region’s wines. The intensive two-day schedule included winery visits, networking dinners, business meetings and masterclasses. Caroline Shaw, Sonoma County Vintners Board member, and Executive Vice President, Jackson Family Wines, said: “It was an incredible few days for Sonoma County. Vinexpo Explorer delivered on its promise to connect the leading wine buyers and media from around the world to our artisanal wines and the people who craft them.  No doubt long-term business relationships were made along with new ambassadors for our region, and our winery partners were enthusiastic about new export prospects.” Through its ‘One-to-Wine’ targeted business meetings as well as leveraging their knowledge of markets and worldwide distribution, Vinexpo selected the most relevant global buyers –…

Read More

2018 Sonoma County Wine Auction, Presented by Visa Signature®, Unveils Exciting Auction Lots Including Revered Wine Collections and Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences

By | Press Release | No Comments

SANTA ROSA, CA (September 12, 2018) — The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation and George F. Hamel, Jr., 2018 Sonoma County Wine Auction Honorary Chair, have unveiled the complete list of exclusive auction lots for the 2018 Sonoma County Wine Auction, presented by Visa Signature®. Named one of the nation’s top charitable wine auctions by Wine Spectator, proceeds raised support more nonprofit organizations in Sonoma County than any other fundraising event in the county. Sonoma County Wine Auction will take place from September 20-22, culminating in a live auction hosted at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard. “My goal from day one has been to help continue the upward trajectory of the Sonoma County Wine Auction so that more funds can be raised and we can continue to have a meaningful impact to nonprofit organizations throughout our community,” stated Honorary Chair George Hamel, Jr. “We’re thrilled about this year’s collection of auction lots—from far away adventures to treasures of the rarest kind. I am excited for what we can accomplish and achieve this year.” Highlights from the 41 auction lots include: Tickets on the Centre Court for the 2019 Wimbledon Men’s Final and dinner with a Wimbledon legend, including round trip…

Read More

70 International Buyers to Visit Sonoma County for Vinexpo Explorer

By | Press Release | No Comments

SANTA ROSA, CA (September 5, 2018)– Sonoma County Vintners is proud to partner with Vinexpo to host the second annual edition of their unique ‘Explorer’ business-generating event in Sonoma County, September 23-25. This year 70 buyers from 27 countries will connect directly with the producers of 60 wineries from across Sonoma County in an intensive two-day schedule of winery visits, networking dinners, bespoke One-to-Wine business meetings and masterclasses. Reflecting Vinexpo’s international growth, Vinexpo Explorer is a new business-making touring concept which puts the spotlight on a specific country or region. Vinexpo has selected and invited the relevant worldwide buyers making the event in Sonoma not only exclusive, but genuinely unique. Their different backgrounds and nationalities reflect Sonoma County’s drive for export development. Participating in Vinexpo Explorer can provide a significant competitive edge among competitors in targeted wine-producing regions. “The independent spirit of the Sonoma County winemaking community, the caliber of artisanal wines, and the diversity of this region are best understood when experienced in person,” said Caroline Shaw, Executive board of directors, Sonoma County Vintners, and executive vice president, Jackson Family Wines. “We welcome the opportunity to introduce our area to such a prestigious international audience. By combining the discovery…

Read More

Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Donates $520,000 in Community Grants

By | Press Release | No Comments

Santa Rosa, CA (August 16, 2018) – The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation is donating $520,000 in grants to more than 50 local nonprofit organizations that address the community’s critical needs. Grants were made through the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation community grants program, with funding from the 2017 Sonoma County Wine Auction. The event, which has raised more than $29 million since its inception, is the region’s leading annual fundraising event. The 2018 Sonoma County Wine Auction will take place on Saturday, September 22 at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard. “With the wildfires that struck Sonoma County last year, many leaders of nonprofit organizations expressed concern that funding for their ongoing programs would be impacted. These community grants represent our commitment to continue to support the variety of programs that make up Sonoma County’s diverse population—from urgent needs like affordable housing to our long-term commitment to literacy and protecting the environment,” said Caroline Shaw, president of the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation. The Community Grants program targets four key areas: education, health and human services, environment and arts and culture. Nonprofits are eligible to apply for grants up to $10,000 for programs or projects under one of these four areas. “This funding…

Read More

2018 Sonoma County Wine Auction, Presented by Visa Signature®, Tickets Now On Sale

By | Press Release | No Comments

SANTA ROSA, CA (June 26, 2018) – Tickets to the 2018 Sonoma County Wine Auction, presented by Visa Signature, are now on sale. The event will take place from September 20-22, culminating in Auction Day which returns to La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard. George Hamel, Jr. of Hamel Family Wines is this year’s Honorary Chair. The auction raised a record-breaking $5.2 million for local nonprofit organizations last year. The all-inclusive price is $2500 per person. Visa Signature and Visa Infinite® cardholders receive exclusive discounted tickets. The three-day program includes: Thursday, September 20 Best. Party. Ever. Join us for a groundbreaking kickoff party that’s sure to go down in Sonoma County Wine Auction history as the Best. Party. Ever. Be prepared to kick off your shoes and dance the night away under the stars while hobnobbing with some of Sonoma County’s most renowned vintners and winemakers. Friday, September 21 Vintner Dinners A selection of intimate and exclusive dining experiences prepared by one of the region’s eminent chefs awaits your presence. Expect to imbibe some of Sonoma County’s most iconic wines, and meet some of the most highly regarded vintners for an unforgettable and inspiring evening. Saturday, September 22 Auction Day…

Read More

2018 Taste of Sonoma General Admission Tickets on Sale Today!

By | Press Release | No Comments

Santa Rosa, CA (May 14, 2018)—Taste of Sonoma, presented by Visa Signature®, has just announced that general admission tickets go on sale today. Sonoma County’s signature event of the year returns to the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University on September 1, 2018. Visa Signature and Visa Infinite® cardholders can expect to receive preferred pricing and access to exclusive perks at the event. Voted one of the top wine festivals in the nation in a 2017 Reader’s Choice Poll by USA Today, this event is sure to satisfy any and all wine and food enthusiasts. Taste of Sonoma showcases some of Sonoma County’s most renowned vintners, growers and chefs and offers wine and culinary enthusiasts access to taste and experience the bounty Sonoma County has to offer in one immersive day. The lineup will include a walk-around wine tasting, guided wine seminars, a marketplace and themed lounges. Explore the diversity of flavors and textures this vast region has to offer. Discover some of Sonoma County’s most quintessential wines and feast on an array of bites prepared by some of the region’s most renowned chefs. Connect with us on social media and watch our website for regular updates on participating…

Read More

Announcing 2018 Taste of Sonoma Presented by Visa Signature®

By | Press Release | No Comments

SANTA ROSA, CA (April 23, 2018) – Taste of Sonoma, presented by Visa Signature®, returns to the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University on September 1, 2018. Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cardholders will have exclusive access to pre-sale tickets beginning April 23. Ticket sales open to the general public on May 14. Voted one of the top wine festivals in the nation in a 2017 Reader’s Choice Poll by USA Today, this event is sure to satisfy any and all wine and food enthusiasts. Taste of Sonoma showcases Sonoma County’s most renowned vintners, growers and chefs and offers wine and culinary enthusiasts access to taste and experience the bounty Sonoma County has to offer in one immersive day. The lineup will include a walk-around wine tasting, cooking demonstrations, guided wine seminars, a marketplace and themed lounges. “Taste of Sonoma is the quintessential event to kick off the Labor Day weekend and celebrate the last days of summer,” said Michael Haney, Sonoma County Vintners Interim Executive Director. “Spend the day enjoying our local wines and farm-to-table cuisine and discover the diversity our region has to offer.” For the second year, Taste of Sonoma will be held at the Donald &…

Read More

Fervent Bidding Results in a Record-Breaking Sonoma County Barrel Auction

By | Press Release | No Comments

Santa Rosa, CA (April 20, 2018)—A record-setting $840,700 was raised today, up six percent over the previous year, at the Fourth Annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction at MacMurray Estate Vineyards™.  A crowd of over 500 people celebrated and applauded in excitement as each of the 97 never before, never again barrel futures were scooped up by wine trade in attendance as well as proxy bidders calling in from around the country. In a moving speech to kick off the event, Dan Kosta of AldenAlli thanked this year’s Sonoma County Barrel Auction Icons, groups of individuals from the Sonoma County community who rose to the challenge of the October wildfires, demonstrating exceptional leadership, courage, heroism, sacrifice and selflessness as they aided those in need. They included leaders, emergency responders, communicators, those who provided food and shelter, service providers and members of our local community who reached out and took immediate action in the face of and in response to extreme and difficult circumstances. Subsequently, the top earning lot of the day and the top selling red wine lot was one of two special 20-case “Sonoma Rising” barrel lots benefitting the Sonoma County Vintners Emergency Relief Fund.  Sonoma Rising “Resilience”, an elegant…

Read More

Sonoma County Wine Auction Announces George Hamel, Jr. as Honorary Chair

By | Press Release | No Comments

SANTA ROSA, CA (April 4, 2018) – The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation is pleased to announce George Hamel, Jr. of Hamel Family Wines as Honorary Chair of the 2018 Sonoma County Wine Auction, the region’s leading annual fundraising event. The event, presented by Visa Signature®, will take place on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard. This is the second year this prestigious event will be held at La Crema, located in the heart of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. The Sonoma County Wine Auction has raised more than $29 million since its inception and has been named one of the nation’s top charitable wine auctions by Wine Spectator. Funds raised benefit local Sonoma County charitable organizations focusing on education, arts and culture, environment and health and human services. In addition, this year’s event will also help to raise funds to aid wildfire recovery efforts. “We are excited and, above all, honored to have George as our Honorary Chair in 2018,” stated Michael Haney, Interim Executive Director of Sonoma County Vintners. “We are grateful for his and the Hamel family’s commitment to this year’s auction. We value George’s expertise and appreciate the collaborative spirit he brings to…

Read More