Sonoma County Wine Industry Leaders Collaborate to Launch Innovative Student Program for Future Wine Industry Employees

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GEYSERVILLE, Calif. (June 5, 2019) – The Family Coppola, including Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Virginia Dare Winery, join together with Sonoma County Vintners and Santa Rosa Junior College to offer a new entry-level, practical training course for students who wish to enter the Sonoma County wine industry this harvest season. The three-day experiential program includes combined classroom and practical learning to provide a unique wine industry introduction. “It’s important we work together as a community to create innovative ideas that encourage more interest in careers in the wine industry,” says Corey Beck, The Family Coppola CEO and Winemaking Chief. “This innovative program is a win-win for students and for wineries. Students go beyond the classroom for a behind-the-scenes look into an operating winery and the chance to build relationships with its experts who are actively recruiting for current or future positions.” Mornings will be spent in the classroom with Santa Rosa Junior College faculty and industry expert, Pat Henderson, addressing a variety of critical topics for winery operations, cellar work and beyond. Participants will roll up their sleeves each afternoon for wine facility tours and hands-on training with industry professionals. Educational topics include an overview of wine (crush, fermentation…

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Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Donates $25,000 to Mark West Community Preschool

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Santa Rosa, CA (May 23, 2019) – On May 22, 2019 Sonoma County Vintners Foundation presented Mark West Community Preschool with a $25,000 grant at a check presentation ceremony to support rebuilding the school, after it was lost in the Tubbs Fire in 2017. “We at the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation, and the Sonoma County wine community are honored to support Mark West Community Preschool,” said Michael Haney, Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director. “After touring the school’s temporary facility and seeing what the school has meant to the children, parents and teachers, we knew that helping Mark West Preschool was of utmost importance for this community.” The new school will be made of steel and fire resistant materials and will serve as a model building for the community. The building is planned to be energy efficient, solar powered and complete with rainwater catchment systems, heated flooring and ample natural light. The glass walls, windows and skylights will allow children to bring the beauty of the outdoors inside. The new school is scheduled to reopen in June 2020. The Proceeds Matter “The generous donation gives us hope that we can rebuild our school,” said Renee Whitlock-Hemsouvanh, of Mark West Community Preschool. “Losing…

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Sonoma County Barrel Auction Brings Trade and Media from Around the World to Celebrate Fifth Year of a Sonoma County Tradition

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Santa Rosa, CA (May 6, 2019) – National and international trade buyers convened on Friday, May 3 in the heart of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley at the spectacular MacMurray Estate Vineyards for the Fifth Annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction. Eighty-five “Never Before, Never Again” wine lots handcrafted for this year’s auction raised a total of $645,000. The Sonoma County Barrel Auction has generated over $3.4 million since its inception in 2015. This year’s auction was attended by over 450 guests and featured rare small lot wines ranging from 5 to 20 cases. These unique wines from Sonoma County’s top vintners and growers were made exclusively for the auction. Each lot was crafted to showcase the region’s highest quality and to express the story of Sonoma County’s diverse grape growing and winemaking styles. Selections included unique single vineyard bottlings, specific clonal selections, blends, wines aged using special barrel regimes and joint lot wines produced by collaborating vintners and AVA groups. Auctioneer John Curley’s unique style and dynamic energy engaged and entertained the crowd throughout the event. Trade bidders vied for top lots which included Silver Oak Cellars’ “First of Its Kind” 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon which sold for $40,000 and Williams Selyem’s…

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Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Donates $1.1 Million in Community Grants to Local Nonprofit Organizations

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Santa Rosa, CA (April 23, 2019)—Sonoma County Vintners Foundation, through the generosity of the wine community, donors and guests of the Sonoma County Wine Auction, is donating $1.1 million in grants to more than 60 local nonprofit organizations to address the community’s critical needs. “We are proud to be able to support so many nonprofit organizations throughout Sonoma County,” said Clay Mauritson, Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Board President. “This was my first year sitting on the Community Grants committee. It was inspiring to see how the Sonoma County wine community can have a direct impact to essential nonprofits where we live and work. We want to be able to continue supporting organizations like these not only now, but in the future as well, to ensure they continue to thrive for years to come.” Grants were made through the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Community Grants program with funding from the 2018 Sonoma County Wine Auction. The event, which has raised more than $30 million since its inception, is the region’s leading annual fundraising event. The 2018-2019 Community Grants program targets four key areas: education, health and human services, environment, arts and culture, and fire relief. Nonprofits are eligible to apply for…

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2019 Sonoma County Wine Auction Announces Christopher Jackson and Gina Gallo as Honorary Co-Chairs

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SANTA ROSA, CA (April 17, 2019) – Sonoma County Vintners Foundation is pleased to announce that Christopher Jackson of Jackson Family Wines and Gina Gallo of E. & J. Gallo Winery, two key members of prominent winemaking families in Sonoma County, have joined to co-chair the 2019 Sonoma County Wine Auction, the region’s leading charitable fundraising event. The event, presented by Visa Signature®, will take place on Saturday, September 21, 2019, at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard. “We are thrilled to be working with Christopher and Gina to support us with our charitable fundraising this year,” stated Michael Haney, Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director. “Each year our Honorary Chairs are selected for their leadership and commitment to helping others. Christopher and Gina’s families have a long legacy of giving back and supporting Sonoma County.” “Our family has always been proud to support and work with local nonprofit organizations,” said Christopher Jackson. “I am proud to continue the tradition especially during this critical time in our community—help is needed now more than ever.” As Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke’s only son and a second-generation proprietor of Jackson Family Wines, Christopher is involved in all aspects of the family business. He…

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2019 Sonoma County Barrel Auction Lots Revealed

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Santa Rosa, CA (March 26, 2019)—Sonoma County Vintners has revealed a diverse collection of lots with 84 “Never Before, Never Again” wines to be auctioned at the Fifth Annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction. Hosted at MacMurray Estate Vineyards, this invitation-only event for licensed members of the wine trade will take place on Friday, May 3, 2019. Auction lots can be viewed on the Sonoma County Barrel Auction website. “We’re excited to unveil the collection of wines offered for the 2019 Sonoma County Barrel Auction,” said Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director, Michael Haney. “This event gives us the opportunity to showcase the quality and diversity of our wines and our world-class wine region to visiting buyers from across the nation and around the world, and shine a spotlight on our renowned vintners and growers.” The 2019 Sonoma County Barrel Auction lots are representative of the exceptional diversity of Sonoma County.  Sonoma County is home to 18 appellations, has over 400 wineries and grows over 60 varieties of wine grapes. Attendees can expect to find sparkling, white and red wines from the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Fountaingrove District, Knights Valley, Moon Mountain District, Petaluma Gap, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and…

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Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Donates $50,000 to United Way of the Wine Country Sonoma County Flood Recovery & Wellness Fund

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Santa Rosa, CA (March 11, 2019)—Sonoma County Vintners Foundation has donated $50,000 to United Way of the Wine Country to support flood recovery and relief efforts in Sonoma County. United Way of the Wine Country will leverage this $50,000 gift as a matching gift on donations made by all other donors to its Sonoma County Flood Recovery & Wellness Fund. Gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations are eligible for this match. “The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation and our wine community are committed to supporting Sonoma County and being there for our community, especially during emergencies like the recent flooding in parts of our region,” said Michael Haney, Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director. “By partnering with United Way of the Wine Country and Community Foundation Sonoma County, we are able to provide urgent support and assist those who were affected by the floods.” Lisa Carreño, President/CEO for United Way of the Wine Country, said, “We are one undeniable community when we reach out to support one another in times like these. This generous gift from the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation demonstrates their genuine commitment to our neighbors and the firm belief that we are in this recovery together.” The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation…

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Sonoma County Barrel Auction Celebrates Fifth Anniversary Returns to MacMurray Estate Vineyards on May 3, 2019

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SANTA ROSA, CA (March 7, 2019) – Presented by Sonoma County Vintners and celebrating its fifth anniversary, the Sonoma County Barrel Auction returns to MacMurray Estate Vineyards in Healdsburg on Friday, May 3, 2019. A new collection of “Never Before, Never Again Wines” from Sonoma County’s leading vintners and growers will be auctioned. This year four Innovators and Icons have been named and will be honored for their contributions to Sonoma County and the wine community at a private reception leading up to the auction. “We are excited to celebrate our fifth year of the Sonoma County Barrel Auction,” said Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director Michael Haney. “Since its inception, our event continues to raise the bar and elevate awareness for Sonoma County’s world-class wines. We are grateful to be back at MacMurray Estate Vineyards, and our thanks and appreciation go to Kate MacMurray for her gracious hospitality and to the Gallo family for their support and commitment to our auction and to Sonoma County Vintners.” The Sonoma County Barrel Auction has traditionally celebrated Sonoma County Icons, vintners who have shaped the heritage and history of Sonoma County winemaking. New this year, Sonoma County Vintners have added the category of…

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Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Donates $25,000 to the Larkfield Resilience Fund’s Neighborhood Greening Program

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Santa Rosa, CA (February 20, 2019) – On Friday, February 15, 2019 the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation presented the Larkfield Resilience Fund, a Tubbs fire relief program for the Larkfield community with a $25,000 grant at a check presentation ceremony to support their Neighborhood Greening Program. “Sonoma County Vintners Foundation and our wine community are honored to be able to support the Larkfield Resilience Fund and the residents of Larkfield,” said Michael Haney, Sonoma County Vintners Executive Director. “The Neighborhood Greening Program will assist in bringing back a sense of place that made living in Larkfield so distinct and special to this community.” “The loss of our trees was an unexpected source of grief for many families following the fires,” explained Christine Ratliff of the Larkfield Resilience Fund. “As our homes are rebuilt, the missing trees remain a constant reminder of the devastation we have faced.  By replanting them we hope to give fire survivors back a piece of what was lost and help restore a bit of home.” Supervisor James Gore attended and stated, “We know wildfire recovery is going to be a long road. It is inspiring to see our Sonoma County communities coming together to help one another,…

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Sonoma County Vintners Appoints Michael Haney as Executive Director

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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…

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