Let us introduce you to our Association.
Learn all about our accomplishments and leadership.
as an independent 501(c)3 support organization dedicated to supporting the Wine Library’s mission, resources, and activities. Association activities throughout the year are carefully designed to engage, inform, and empower.
In 2003, Carol Hicke of the Wine Library Associates wrote an Oral History on Millie Howie.
Millie Howie started her wine journalism career in Sonoma County “not knowing wine from pickle juice” and ended as a prolific and honored wine writer. Born Mildred Carter on June 13, 1922, she attended Washington High School in San Francisco and U.C. Berkeley. Early on she worked at KGO TV, eventually becoming the first female writer/producer hired in San Francisco. In 1970, she formed Mildred Howie Public Relations and also developed her talent as a food columnist. She moved in the mid-1970s to the Alexander Valley where she was the prime catalyst in creating Sonoma County’s first wine map and is credited with bringing wide recognition to Sonoma County’s wine industry. She worked tirelessly in the founding of the Sonoma County Wine Library and the Sonoma County Wine Library Association to support it and considered it one of her greatest achievements. In 1993, she was honored by the Luther Burbank Foundation as a “Living Treasure in Literature.” Millie died April 5, 2011, at the age of 88.
For nearly 30 years Millie wrote an article in the Healdsburg Tribune called Wine Words. Here’s a link to an article from July 23, 1982.
Eloquent prose from Wine Words:
“The romance and history of wine is peopled with heroes and heroines. There’s a lot of Yankee know-how, mixed in with long traditions of all the wine regions of the old world.
There are scoundrels and saints, stories of plodders, and dreams of visionaries, a scoop of laughter, a lot of sweat and a good smattering of tears in the decades of wine history in California, and it is good to know that the people most intimately involved with that history are protecting the recordings of the words and deeds for future generations. Scholars, writers, scientists and just the casual and curious reader will benefit from the efforts of those … who will make the Sonoma County Wine Library physical reality.”
The efforts of the Sonoma County Wine Library Association has culminated in almost $55,000 of support. In the last several years the Association had pledged more than $34,000 to support the Wine Library. In addition, in 2012, the Association spearheaded fundraising to improve the patio off of the Wine Library raising more than $20,000 in donations. In 2014, we began recording and sharing the stories of those who made major contributions to the Sonoma County wine industry with our Visual Oral Histories.
Currently the Sonoma County Wine Library Association is seeking funds for the Wine Library to speed up the digitization of the collection to make it widely and readily accessible to all and to continue to produce Visual Oral Histories.
Everything the Association is able to provide the Wine Library depends on your participation. To find out all the ways you can pitch in to make an exceptional difference, click here.
The Wine Library’s Millie Howie Patio at the Healdsburg Regional Branch.
Now Vice President and third-generation family owner at Pedroncelli, Julie is a Dry Creek girl, having grown up in the family home next to the winery. In addition to her role with the Association, Julie is a board member with Wine Institute, Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley and the Geyserville Community Foundation. Married to Ed St. John since 1989, they reside in Healdsburg with their dog, Jasper. Food and wine pairings are a passion, so Julie plans to write a cookbook in the future.
Sydney Francis joined the Sonoma County Wine Library Association as treasurer in 2016. She migrated to Sonoma County from the Midwest to pursue a career in pastry arts but fell in love with the wine industry and has been working as a winery administrator ever since. Sydney is currently pursuing an MBA and lives with her son in Sebastopol.
Jeff and his wife fell in love with Sonoma County in 2009 and moved there two years later. His deep interest in the wine industry led to hosting his On The Wine Road radio show and podcast. “I thoroughly enjoy the welcoming nature of those I interview,” Jeff says. “To get further involved, I joined the Sonoma County Wine Library Association. I am proud of doing my part to spread the word about our renowned wine region…far and wide!”
A self-described “cork dork,” Peg Champion is also a locavore, environmental advocate, and marketing communications professional. She is the principal of Champion Organic Communications, has earned two wine industry certifications, currently works in sales and marketing for a high-end Russian River Valley winery, and writes about wine for various publications. She also loves her home outside of Windsor, where she and her husband Brad have created a small regenerative farm that includes an organically farmed Pinot Noir vineyard.
Linda moved to Sonoma County in 1978 and soon realized this would be her forever home. She had the honor to serve as president of a 501c3 organization, and has worked in wine education and sales for over 10 years. As a strong supporter of local farms, Linda loves utilizing their bounty for cooking & pairing meals with the perfect wines for family and friends.
Mark McMullen is a small business and technology consultant who has been doing business in Sonoma County for over 25 years. He is a member of the community-based Imagine Healdsburg 2040 group that works to create a sustainable future for Healdsburg. He is also a board member for Healdbsurg Jazz, and coordinated the Jazz Village & Jazz Village Campus community outreach projects during the Healdsburg Jazz Festival. Mark previously served on the Executive Committee of Healdsburg Performing Arts Theater, and a chamber music performing arts board.