North Bay Business Journal

Monday, August 29, 2011, 5:45 pm

Wine Country Group picks up three new offices in Sonoma County


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    SANTA ROSA — Residential real estate brokerage Wine Country Group by Better Homes and Gardens is expanding its holdings in Sonoma County by merging with three Pacific Union International branches, two in Santa Rosa and one in Petaluma.

    Owned by Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate of Pleasanton, the Wine Country Group now has 11 offices and 219 employees in Napa and Sonoma counties, according to Cathy Harrington, vice president of new media and agent resources for the company.

    The group gained 37 agents in this most recent merger. In February, it acquired Frank Howard Allen franchises in Napa, St. Helena, Sonoma, Glen Ellen, Healdsburg and Cloverdale, and in June added Frank Howard Allen’s Sebastopol office to its own office in Sebastopol.

    Former Pacific Union International franchise co-owner Coralee Barkela, said she and her partner, Suzanne Drace will remain with Wine Country Group. Barkela will continue work with her clients in sales. Ms. Drace will continue to serve as branch manager of the three offices.

    “We have joined a firm with a strong legacy; Mason-McDuffie Real Estate dates back more than 120 years in the Bay Area. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is a fresh, innovative lifestyle brand that is the real estate brand of the future,” said Barkela.  She did not disclose terms of the merger.

    The latest deal probably won’t be the last in the region for the Wine Country Group. “Our intention is to fully cover all areas within the wine country,” said Harrington.“Santa Rosa and Petaluma round out the region very nicely for us. We’ve got some very talented agents joining us from Pacific Union.”

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