January 13, 2014
The Watertrough Children’s Alliance is hoping to slow a vineyard expansion project at Paul Hobbs Winery by arguing that the California Environmental Quality Act should apply, a position that much of the wine industry said could lead to unintended consequences by usurping what they and the county say is an important local provision.
While the Alliance, a citizens group in Sebastopol, is far from the first to bring CEQA to the legal table in opposing a vineyard or land-use issue, the group’s efforts also include contesting the permit that Sonoma County Agricultural Commission issued for the expansion under the Sonoma County Grading, Drainage and Vineyard and Orchard Site Development Ordinance, which is exempt from CEQA. State law, the group argues, should supersede that ordinance, also known as VESCO.
January 9, 2014
SANTA ROSA — The combined economic impact of the wine business on the Sonoma County economy was $13.4 billion in 2012, according to a new study.
That’s nearly two-thirds of the county gross product. It’s also up 76 percent from the $7.6 billion economic impact figured in 2005, the last such study, according to a report by Stonebridge Research Group and commissioned by Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Vintners.
October 21, 2013
SANTA ROSA — The county of Sonoma has slowed down the process for adopting new zoning rules designed to protect 3,200 miles of streams and rivers from development and agriculture along their banks.
October 14, 2013
Early to start, the 2013 North Coast winegrape season is heading toward largely an early finish this month and is sizing up to be above the average for the past several years, in some cases rivaling last year’s record crop.
October 10, 2013
This year’s Sonoma County winegrape crop came in at average to above-average size with excellent flavor profiles that are lush, balanced and consistent, according to trade group Sonoma County Winegrowers.
October 7, 2013
Santa Rosa Junior College hired Ellen Maremont Silver as director of communications and marketing. …
Ian Brown of GATE Academy in San Rafael was among 32 teachers across 18 states recognized as “Math Heroes.” …
Six new members were appointed to the Buck Institute board of trustees, including its first international trustee. …
Audubon Canyon Ranch selected long-time education professional Anne Burnett as its new director of education for its nature education programs. …
Wilson Daniels appointed Bob Guinn as senior vice president of sales and marketing. …
Napa-based Crimson Wine Group appointed Mary Jo Dale senior vice president of marketing and consumer sales. …
Sonoma County Winegrowers announced 2013–2014 commissioners. …
March 11, 2013
Agavé Garden (agavegarden.com) is not grape wine, but it is fermented in local wine country and shipped in wine bottles. It’s not distilled like tequila, but it is made from organic syrup of Agavé tequilana weber, or blue agave. This “fine agavé wine” is the work of custom vintner Owl Ridge Wine Services of Sebastopol. …
Large-scale custom winemaking company The Vintners Group, which operates Carneros Vintners, purchased a 600,000-gallon winery it had been renting from the VinREIT division of Entertainment Properties Trust since the middle of last year. …
Karissa Kruse, who has been marketing director for Sonoma County Winegrape Commission since August and instrumental in the rollout of the Sonoma County branding campaign, is set be the 1,800-plus-member organization’s next president on May 1. She replaces Nick Frey. …
The anticipated Kendall-Jackson bistro and tasting lounge is coming to the Healdsburg plaza area around the end of this month. The 55-seat restaurant, called Partake by K-J (partakebykj.com), is set to open March 25 at 241 Healdsburg Ave. …
La Follette Wines (lafollettewines.com), launched in 2010 by Tandem creator Greg La Follette, is set to open a tasting room with private and public tasting events March 15–17 at The Barlow industrial-retail redevelopment in Sebastopol. …
The 17th annual Premiere Napa Valley charity auction by Napa Valley Vintners in late February took in $3.04 million, nearly matching last year’s record. …
A total of $483,500 in proceeds from the 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend charity food and wine events. …
A 9-liter bottle of 2010 Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors pinot noir was auctioned for a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo record $205,000. …
March 7, 2013
SANTA ROSA — Sonoma County Winegrape Commission found the next leader for the 1,800-plus-member group in its recently hired marketing director, Karissa Kruse.
January 17, 2013
SANTA ROSA — While the 2012 winegrape harvest in Sonoma County appears to have been among the county’s largest ever, the market for grapes continues to be active early in the 2013 buying cycle, yet rising costs and uncertain ability to increase retail prices is crushing wine producer margins, according to industry supply and finance experts at a major seminar.
January 17, 2013
SANTA ROSA — Nick Frey, president of Sonoma County Winegrape Commission and its predecessor trade group for nearly 14 years, today formally announced he will retire this spring.
January 10, 2013
SANTA ROSA — Sonoma County winegrape growers, vintners and tourism promoters are launching a coordinated multimedia campaign to promote one of the county’s top economic engines.
January 7, 2013
The San Rafael Chamber of Commerce recently announced the appointment of several new officers and directors. …
Strong & Hayden Commercial Real Estate announced its agent Michael Holcomb earned the CCIM designation. …
Friends House, a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community in Santa Rosa, and Pacific Retirement Services, Inc., a not-for-profit senior housing and care provider that manages Friends House through its California affiliate, Retirement Services, LLC, announced that Travis Staples has been appointed to the position of executive director. …
The Pacific Coast Air Museum Board of Directors has selected Christina Olds as its new director of museum operations. …
Marin resident Shirin Vakharia joined the California Alliance for Arts Education board of directors. It’s a statewide arts education advocacy organization based in Pasadena and Sacramento. …
The Petaluma Community Foundation has appointed six new members to its board of trustees since its relocation downtown in August. …
Nick Frey, president of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, will lead the Sonoma County Harvest Fair as board president for 2013. …
October 15, 2012
More than half the 2012 North Coast winegrape crop is off the vine and most of the rest is expected to be arriving at wineries by early November.
Many North Coast growers and wineries were surprised to find the crops were much bigger than expected around the beginning of the season.
August 15, 2012
SANTA ROSA — A coalition of Sonoma County wine, grape and tourism organizations today unveiled a new coordinated marketing strategy, an effort that participants said is designed to raise the county’s profile among other winemaking destinations in the United States.
July 23, 2012
After three straight years of harvests delayed and reduced by unwelcome weather, North Coast winegrape growers see signs of brighter prospects for a 2012 crop that could be, thankfully, average-sized and on time.
December 12, 2011
After three consecutive years with early and late rains and hard frosts in some areas negatively impacting winegrape production, growers and wineries in the North Bay and coastal regions of California cling to hope for sustainable yields and better returns in 2012 and beyond.
March 14, 2011
Sonoma-based Cecchetti Wine Co. reported that it had its third year of volume sales growth. Roy Cecchetti’s goal of making lower-priced wines has resulted in 200,000 cases sold in 2010, a 39 percent increase from 2009. The winery is projecting sales of 250,000 cases total this year. … Winners from vineyard pruning contests in Mendocino, Sonoma and Napa counties. … A California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Labor Standards Enforcement opinion letter has added new wrinkles to the quandary over whether student interns have to be paid at least minimum wage as employees, according to Jennifer Phillips, an employment and real estate attorney with Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty in Santa Rosa. … Graton-based custom winemaker Sonoma Wine Co., which now produces more than 5 million cases of wine from six facilities in Sonoma and Napa counties, inked a deal with Sebastopol-based Winesecrets to provide services to Sonoma Wine’s 30 clients. … Golden State Overnight and FedEx expand direct-shipping services. … Bill Hambrecht teams with Paul and Heath Dolan and Phil Hurst in the H.D.D. wine group venture. … Dry Creek Vineyard entered a sales and marketing agreement with Sonoma-based V2 Wine Group, which will manage Dry Creek’s distribution nationwide.
December 8, 2010
SANTA ROSA — The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 5-0 to proceed to a final vote at next week’s meeting on a draft frost-protection water use ordinance, despite warnings from several conservation groups today to slow down the process and make it more “transparent.”
December 7, 2010
SANTA ROSA — The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors this afternoon is set to consider reworked local rules for use of well and stream water for frost protection in parts of the Russian River Basin deemed key habitat for protected fish.
April 30, 2010
SONOMA COUNTY — A bid to make the Sonoma County name a standard descriptive feature on all wines made from grapes grown in its winegrowing regions, called conjunctive labeling, reached a significant stage today as grower and winery trade groups reached consensus to back state legislation this year to make it happen.
Leaders of Sonoma County Vintners,
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