SONOMA and NAPA COUNTIES -- Bay Area real estate industry veterans Ed Krafchow, Earl Shuttleworth and Gerrett Snedaker announced today the formation of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wine Country Group Realtors with nine offices and over 180 agents concentrated in northern California’s Wine Country.

Formerly associated with Frank Howard Allen, The Wine Country Group is merging with Krafchow’s Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Mason-McDuffie.

“We are truly excited about this new association,” said Mr. Snedaker, senior vice president of the North Bay Wine Country Group Realtors. “We are joining a powerhouse brokerage firm with a strong legacy; Mason-McDuffie 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. It provides our agents with a significant upgrade in technology and marketing services, and gives them the tools they need to speak to today’s consumer.”

Mr. Shuttleworth and Mr. Snedaker will continue to run the company’s offices, and will take on a leadership role for the region. “We are excited that our entire staff will make this transition with us and will be a part of growing the Wine Country Group Realtors into the future,” Mr. Shuttleworth, senior vice president said.

“All of the participants in this venture share a respect for tradition and a commitment to innovation," said Mr. Krafchow, chairman of the board of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Mason-McDuffie. "Brokers need to focus on building companies of the future and not of the past.  We are working toward a re-emergence of the real estate market, so those who work on moving forward will thrive in the next market.”

The company’s network of offices now consists of 40 offices and 2,000 real estate agents throughout Northern California and Northern Nevada.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to partner with a highly regarded company with great leadership,” said Frank Richards, chief executive officer of, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Mason-McDuffie. “The Wine Country Group has enjoyed success over a twelve year period and ranks as one of the most productive firms serving Northern California’s wine region. This merger provides us with some strong momentum to grow even further into the region in the future.”

The Healdsburg offices will be consolidated, and Mason-McDuffie agents and staff will move to the Wine Country Group Realtors’ Healdsburg office.

The Wine Country Group Realtors’ offices are in Sonoma, Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Cloverdale, Bodega Bay, Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Napa and St. Helena.  The firm expects to grow its footprint in other Sonoma and Napa County market areas moving forward.