Free Wine Author Talk: Finding Meaning in Wine with Michael Sinowitz

JUNE 17 PREMIERE OF VISUAL ORAL HISTORY OF “MAC” McDONALD, PATRIARCH OF AFRICAN AMERICAN WINEMAKING IN SONOMA COUNTY,
PART OF JUNETEENTH CELEBRATIONS

Rohnert Park, CA, May 7, 2024 – The premiere of the Visual Oral History of Edward Lee “Mac” McDonald, the esteemed patriarch of African American winemakers in Sonoma County is set for Monday, June 17 at 5 pm, generously hosted by Paradise Ridge Winery, 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa, announced Chris Falley, President of the Sonoma County Library Foundation. Tickets and more information at https://sonomawinelibraryassn.org/events.

“We are honored to present this next event in our new Tasting Diversity project as part of Juneteenth celebrations,” Falley said. Tasting Diversity is a collaboration of the Library Foundation, with the Sonoma County Library’s Wine Library, and the Sonoma County Wine Library Association. Advising partners include the Association of African American Vintners and the NAACP Santa Rosa/Sonoma County chapter.

“Mac sets the example for all of us,” said Tasting Diversity project coordinator Dennis McCarter, founder of award-winning McCarter Cellars and a member of the Foundation’s board of directors. “He’s an honored winemaker, dynamic teacher, and formidable evangelist. He and his wife Lil founded Visons Cellars in Windsor in 1995. Mac co-founded the Association of African American Vintners in 2002.”

The Visual Oral History (VOH) is produced for the Wine Association by Sonoma’s On the Wine Road radio host and podcaster Jeff Davis. This is another in the Association’s noteworthy series of histories capturing the life and times of Sonoma’s iconic trailblazers in winemaking and winegrowing. Previous subjects have included Lee Martinelli, Zelma Long, and Joel Peterson, to name a few.

In addition to the premiere, the event features wine tasting and appetizers from some of the county’s prominent African American winemakers and chefs: Chris Christensen (Bodkin Wines), Dan Glover (L’Objet Wines), Justin Michelle Ward Trabue (Ward Four Wines), Dennis McCarter (McCarter Cellars), and Chef Marc-Henri JeanBaptiste (Maison Porcella). Wines from Paradise Ridge will also be available to taste.

General admission is $55. For donors to the Library Foundation, and members of the SCWLA, AAAV, and NAACP, tickets are $45.

The Press Democrat, 2016

A la Carte Food & Wine Events

HEALDSBURG

Sip slow with author of new wine guide

You may have heard of Slow Food, but did you know there’s also Slow Wine? Find out what constitutes a Slow Wine at a discussion with wine writer and editor of the “2024 Slow Wine Guide,” Deborah Parker Wong from 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 9 at the Sonoma County Wine Library. Several Sonoma County wineries in the latest edition of the guide will be on hand to conduct wine tastings, including Acaibo, Davero, Medlock Ames and Porter Creek. The event is free, but copies of the Slow Wine guide will be available for purchase and wine tastings will be available for a small donation to the Sonoma County Wine Library. 139 Piper St.

Hero Slow Wine 2024

Slow Wine Tasting At Healdsburg Regional Library

A Slow Wine tasting and discussion with Acaibo, DaVero Farms & Winery, Medlock Ames and Porter Creek and national editor Deborah Parker Wong, RSVP: sonomawinelibraryassn@gmail.com.

The Slow Wine Guide showcases wineries that respect and reflect their local terroir,” says Parker Wong. “Most importantly, they meet our criteria of farming without the use of synthetic herbicides and practice sustainable methods to benefit the environment.” Many wineries featured in the guide hold organic and biodynamic certifications. Slow Wine is an arm of Slow Food, a movement and global organization that had its start in Italy in the 1980s. Slow Food advocates for quality ingredients from local growers and artisans and Slow Wine shares these same principles. The Sonoma County Wine Library is one of the most comprehensive collections of wine information in the world and is the definitive historical archive of the North Coast wine industry. The collection includes 5,000 books, with more than 1,000 rare books dating back to 1514, subscriptions to some 40 periodicals, and more. The Wine Library is located within the Healdsburg Library, with convenient street parking and a nearby parking lot.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Peg Champion
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

What’s a “Slow” Wine?
Find Out on April 9 at the Slow Wine Guide Discussion & Tasting

Healdsburg, CA – The Sonoma County Wine Library Association will host a special Slow Wine discussion, book sale and signing, and a wine tasting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, at the Healdsburg Regional Library, 139 Piper Street, in Healdsburg. The discussion will be led by renowned wine writer and educator Deborah Parker Wong, national editor of the Slow Wine Guide.

Slow Wine is an arm of Slow Food, a movement and global organization that had its start in Italy in the 1980s. Slow Food advocates for quality ingredients from local growers and artisans and Slow Wine shares these same principles.

“The Slow Wine Guide showcases wineries that respect and reflect their local terroir,” says Parker Wong. “Most importantly, they meet our criteria of farming without the use of synthetic herbicides and practice sustainable methods to benefit the environment.” Many wineries featured in the guide hold organic and biodynamic certifications.

“We look forward to tastings led by owners and winemakers from some of Sonoma County Slow Wine 2024 wineries, including Acaibo, DaVero Farms & Winery, Medlock Ames Winery and Porter Creek Vineyards,” says Julie Pedroncelli St. John, Sonoma County Wine Library Association board president.

The discussion is free, and you can purchase a copy of the 2024 Slow Wine Guide. Wine tastings will be available for a small donation to benefit the Wine Library. Sign up for the event at sonomawinelibraryassn@gmail.com.

The Sonoma County Wine Library is one of the most comprehensive collections of wine information in the world and is the definitive historical archive of the North Coast wine industry. The collection includes 5,000 books, with more than 1,000 rare books dating back to 1514, subscriptions to some 40 periodicals, and more. The Wine Library is located within the Healdsburg Library, with convenient street parking and a nearby parking lot.

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The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 support organization that supports the Wine Library’s mission, resources and activities. Association activities engage, inform, and empower our wine community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Peg Champion
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

Best-of-Show Tasting Event Showcases Unusual Varietals

Healdsburg, CA – On Saturday afternoon, January 27th, the Sonoma County Wine Library Association hosts a special presentation and tasting event by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association. The event will take place at Craftwork, 445 Center St., Healdsburg from 4 to 6 p.m. and will showcase wines that earned Best of Show and other top awards from the Atlantic Seaboard’s 2023 wine competition.

The tasting will include unusual varietals such as Petit Manseng, Saperavi, Vignoles, Traminette, LaCrescent and other less common grape varietals and hybrids, as well as more familiar varietals such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, sparkling, and inspired blends. Guests will have the opportunity to taste and learn about the wines from the East Coast association leaders, who will pour 24 wines.

“We’re delighted to welcome our East Coast partners in wine,” says Julie Pedroncelli St. John, Sonoma County Wine Library Association board president. “At this special event, our members and friends will have a unique opportunity to taste award-winning wines from the Atlantic seaboard and to learn about them from East Coast experts.”

“While we conduct tastings, seminars, and media events around the country, we always enjoy bringing these top wines from the East Coast to California, to highlight the diversity and quality of the wines being produced in our area,” says Grant Crandall, president of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association. “With more than 2,000 wineries on the East Coast this ‘best-of’ tasting is a great introduction to our wines.”

Tickets are $30 for members, $35 for non-members, $20 for students and are expected to sell out. For more details visit SonomaWineLibraryAssn.org/Events.

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The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 support organization that supports the Wine Library’s mission, resources and activities. Association activities engage, inform, and empower our wine community

The Good Stuff
Heard on KSRO 103.5 & 96.9FM / 1350AM
Saturdays, 1 to 2pm

The 40th
November 8, 2023
Virginie Boone

1983: A Busy Year for Appellations

Forty years ago California wine appellations barely existed. Put on the world stage in 1976 by the Judgment of Paris, the Napa Valley wasn’t officially established as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) until 1981. Sonoma Valley quickly followed in 1982.

Then things really got busy. In 1983 six regions within Sonoma County were granted AVA status: Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Knights Valley, Los Carneros, Green Valley and Russian River Valley.  (The Sonoma County Green Valley AVA’s name was changed to Green Valley of Russian River Valley in 2007.)

The Sonoma County Wine Library Association will host a panel discussion to talk about the 40-year history of each of these AVAs, this Sunday, November 12 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., led by Sonoma County Winegrowers’ very own Karissa Kruse.

Held in the Balletto Vineyards Reserve Room, it will feature a tasting of wines from each of the 40-year-old Sonoma County AVAs and feature speakers from Balletto Vineyards, Schug Carneros Estate, Knights Bridge Winery, Saini and Hartford Family Winery. A fundraiser for the library, it will also feature wine lots and experiences from each of the AVAs. Tickets cost $35 for members/$50 for non-members and $20 for students.

But back to 1983. Six new AVAs within Sonoma County came to life that year. What was going on?

Part of the onslaught was prompted by the Federal Government’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), who in 1978 published a decision revising regulations that recognized definite viticultural areas within the United States to “allow the name of an approved viticultural area to be used as an appellation of origin on wine labels and in wine advertisements.”

A year later, in 1979, the ATF added another part called “American Viticultural Areas” to the Code of Federal Regulations, inviting “any interested person” to petition the ATF to establish a grapegrowing region as a viticultural area.”

The ATF also set out what a petition had to include:

  • Evidence that the name of the AVA is locally and/or nationally known as referring to the area specified
  • Historical or current evidence that the boundaries of the viticultural area are specified
  • Evidence relating to the geographical features (climate, soil, elevation, physical features) which distinguish the proposed area from surrounding areas
  • Specific boundaries of the viticultural area based on features found on USGS maps

With the invitation extended and clarity around requirements, it was off to the races for those looking to differentiate their wine regions, especially in Sonoma County.

Seven people petitioned the ATF to make Chalk Hill an official AVA, tracing the region’s history in grapegrowing in and around the town of Windsor back to 1855.

Though its 33 square miles of area overlapped into Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley, it was granted its own status and deemed “different from the surrounding areas of Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and the Russian River Valley… the vineyards of the Chalk Hill area planted on lands which are gently rolling to steep and can be described as benchlands, tablelands and hills.”

Chalk Hill’s “white” soil, i.e., volcanic ash, was an additional differentiator, deposited as a result of volcanic activity from Mount St. Helena, the vineyards planted in soils “which are deep but lower in fertility than the soils in surrounding areas,” with the white soil contributing to “the high quality of the fruit produced.”

Dry Creek Valley, west of Healdsburg and Geyserville, was submitted for consideration by the Dry Creek Valley Association. Sixteen miles long and 2 miles wide at its widest point, it encompassed 80,000 acres in all, 20,500 acres of which were considered the “valley area.”

Of that, 5,000 acres were planted to grapes at the time (it’s about double that now), primarily to Zinfandel, whose history petitioners traced back to the 1800s. Distinguishing factors were said to be that Dry Creek Valley was “generally wetter, warmer and has a longer growing season than the main Russian River Valley to the south.”

At the same time, the moderating effect of fog made it cooler than areas to the north. Dry Creek Valley was also “distinguished on three sides by contact between the geologically younger alluvial material of the valley with the older indurated rock of the surrounding uplands.” These uplands “are composed of a geologically unique, gravelly material known as Dry Creek Conglomerate which is found nowhere else in Sonoma County.”

A group of 16 people called the Knights Valley Winegrowers Committee advocated for Knights Valley, supported by Johnson Turnbull Vineyards, a bonded winery in Oakville. Between the Alexander Valley and Napa Valley, Knights Valley consisted of 36,240 acres with only about 1,000 of them devoted to viticulture, with no wineries at the time, though there had been at least five pre-Prohibition, according to the petition.

Knights Valley ranges in elevation from 360 feet to 4,300 feet, including the highest point of all, Mount St. Helena. This was said to be an important differentiating factor – “the areas currently used for grape production are consistently higher in elevation than the grapegrowing areas in the adjacent Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill, Russian River Valley and Napa Valley areas.”

On the southern edge of Sonoma County straddling over to Napa Valley, the creation of Los Carneros was a bit more contentious. Beaulieu Vineyard, who submitted the original petition, wanted the boundaries to lie entirely within Napa County. They are also the ones who gave it the name though it was decided early on that “Carneros” and “Los Carneros” could be interchangeable.

What distinguished Los Carneros geographically more than anything else was its climate, the area “profoundly affected by intrusion of cool, marine air from (San Pablo Bay).” This made for a cool, lengthy growing season.

To get to agreement on where the boundaries should be drawn, a group of growers formed the  Southern Sonoma Valley Ad Hoc Committee, with Jim Carter of Sebastiani Vineyards chairing. They rejected the western boundary originally proposed and instead proposed it be extended as far as the western boundary of the Sonoma Valley viticultural area. This is what ended up being approved, making Los Carneros the first (and only) AVA to reach across Napa and Sonoma counties.

A group calling themselves “The Appellation Committee” proposed a 150-square-mile area known as the Russian River Valley. As evidence to back up the name, the committee cited a historical text published in 1880 about Sonoma County mentioning four “great valleys,” Sonoma, Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Russian River. Wine labels began using the name Russian River Valley in 1970.

But climate was the deciding factor, with Russian River “a cool growing coastal area because of fog intruding up the Russian River and its tributaries during the early morning hours.”

Korbel asked for a change to the original boundaries to include its vineyard in Guerneville, a request that was accepted. The Russian River Valley was expanded again in 2005. In 2007, the Winegrowers and Vintners of Sonoma County’s Green Valley petitioned to change the name of the Sonoma County Green Valley AVA (in use since November 21, 1983) to Green Valley of Russian River Valley.

1983 AVAs: (Date of establishment, acreage at original establishment)

Chalk Hill (11/21/83, 21,120 acres)

Dry Creek Valley (9/6/83, 80,000 acres)

Green Valley of Russian River Valley (11/21/83, name changed in 2007, 19,010 acres)

Knights Valley (11/21/83, 36,240 acres)

Los Carneros (9/19/83)

Russian River Valley (11/21/83, 96,000 acres)

A LA CARTE » FOOD & WINE EVENTS
October 31, 2023

SANTA ROSA

Celebrate 40 years of famed wine regions

Carneros, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys are so well-known these days it’s hard to believe that 40 years ago, they were new American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). The Sonoma County Wine Library Association will celebrate these regions plus Chalk Hill, Knights Valley and Green Valley, which are also marking 40 years as AVAs, from 3-5 p.m. Nov. 12 at Balletto Vineyards Reserve Room. The celebration will include a tasting of wines from each AVA plus a panel discussion with representatives from each region moderated by Sonoma County Winegrowers President Karisa Kruse. The event also includes wine and an auction of wine experiences. Tickets are $35 for library members, $50 for nonmembers and $20 for students. Register online at sonomawinelibraryassn.org/events. 5700 Occidental Road.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Peg Champion
Sonoma County Wine Library Association
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

Wine Library Celebrates Sonoma County AVAs’ 40th Anniversaries

Healdsburg, CA – On Sunday, November 12th, the Sonoma County Wine Library Association will celebrate the 40th anniversaries of six American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). The AVAs are the first to have been created in Sonoma County and include Carneros, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Green Valley of the Russian River Valley, Knights Valley and Russian River Valley.

Karissa Kruse, president and CEO of the Sonoma County Winegrowers will moderate a panel discussion featuring AVA principals. The Association also will host a silent auction to benefit the Wine Library, featuring wine experiences and wines from the AVAs.

The event will take place from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Balletto Vineyards’ Reserve Room, 5700 Occidental Road in Santa Rosa. Guests will enjoy appetizers and a wine tasting provided by the participating wineries.

“We are excited to celebrate these pioneering Sonoma County AVAs at our major fundraiser of the year,” says Julie Pedroncelli St. John, Sonoma County Wine Library Association board president. “This event gives our guests the opportunity to learn about the distinctive characteristics that established these AVAs as the world-renowned wine-producing areas theyare today.”

Tickets are $35 for members, $50 for non-members and are expected to sell out. For more details visit SonomaWineLibraryAssn.org/Events

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The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 organization that supports the Wine Library’s mission, resources and activities. Association activities engage, inform and empower our wine community.

Wine Library Association hosts screening and tasting

Learn the history behind Russian River Valley’s landmark Martinelli Winery at the Sonoma County Wine Library Association’s visual oral history screening featuring Lee Martinelli, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31 at Craftwork. During the screening, Martinelli, a fifth-generation Sonoma County resident, will share stories of his Italian ancestors and their early years in Sonoma County. Martinelli winemaker Courtney Robinett Wagoner will be on hand to pour the winery’s chardonnay, pinot noir, and zinfandel which will be served with an appetizer platter. The event includes a silent auction for a magnum of Martinelli’s 2019 Bella Vigna pinot noir. Tickets are $40 for Wine Library Association members and $50 for the general public. Purchase at bit.ly/3YEjSvw. 445 Center St.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Peg Champion
Sonoma County Wine Library Association
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

Historic Martinelli Winery Featured in Newest Wine Library Video

Healdsburg, CA – On Thursday, August 31st, the Sonoma County Wine Library Association hosts a special screening of its latest Visual Oral History. The video features vintner Lee Martinelli, Sr., founder of Martinelli Winery, includes vintage photos and tells the story of Italian immigrant farmers and winegrowers in the Russian River Valley. Jeff Davis, of On the Wine Road, interviewed Lee and edited the video.

Martinelli winemaker Courtney Robinett Wagoner will be pouring Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel and will answer questions following the screening. During the evening the Association will host a silent auction for a magnum of Martinelli’s 2019 Bella Vigna Pinot Noir to benefit the Wine Library.

The event will take place in the new CraftWork Healdsburg, 445 Center Street, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. and will include appetizers in addition to the Martinelli wine tasting.

“We are pleased to showcase the life’s work of Lee Martinelli, a fifth-generation grape grower and winemaker here in Sonoma County,” says Julie Pedroncelli St. John, Sonoma County Wine Library Association board president. “This event, our first Visual Oral History of 2023, gives our guests the opportunity to learn about another of the founding families of our industry.”

Tickets are $40 for members, $50 for non-members and are expected to sell out. For more details visit SonomaWineLibraryAssn.org/Events

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 The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 organization that supports the Wine Library’s mission, resources and activities. Association activities engage, inform, and empower our wine community.

Those working in the wine industry associate Healdsburg with some of Sonoma County’s finest wineries, not realizing it is also the location of the Sonoma County Wine Library. The public library at the Healdsburg branch of the Sonoma County Library holds approximately 5,000 wine books. The books on the shelves include the most recent literature, as well as rare books. The focus of the Sonoma County Wine Library is to provide information about viticulture, enology, and winemaking, but it has also become a valuable resource for the business side of the industry. It also chronicles the region’s wine history. The following data and research resources are available to wine professionals and wine lovers.

Wine Periodicals

The library subscribes to 40 wine periodicals, trade publications, and academic journals. The selection includes popular magazines such as Decanter and Wine Spectator. The peer-reviewed journals include the Journal of Wine Research and the Journal of Wine Economics. The trade publications most frequently accessed are the Gomberg-Fredrikson Report and Shanken’s Impact Newsletter, which provide the most up-to-date wine data and trends. As with any public library, visitors can browse the wine periodicals while there. You can check out any back issues if you have a Sonoma, Lake, or Mendocino County library card.

The wine periodicals at the Sonoma County Wine Library (photo courtesy)

Reference Materials

The Wine Handbook by the Beverage Information Group is a popular resource for sales and marketing professionals providing comprehensive data on wine sales and consumption trends. The handbook costs almost $1200, so it is not always a feasible purchase for small wineries or independent consultants. Other reference materials at the library include the wine industry’s Directory and Buyer’s Guide, and various annual reports from the 1980s to the present. Another example is the Economic Impact of California Wine, a research report by Motto Kryla and Fisher. Reference materials will always be there for patrons visiting the branch.

Reference Materials include the Wine Handbook

Online Resources

The Biblioteca Vinaria Sonoma is a digital online collection of historic wine books and documents. It is a valuable resource for wine industry professionals looking for historical reports. The majority of the collection is from 1800-1923. An example from the collection is the History and Description of Modern Wines from 1833 by Cyrus Redding. It is considered one of the first books in English dedicated to wine. The collection also focuses on Sonoma viticulture and winemaking resources, such as the Soil Survey of the Healdsburg area, California from 1917 or Observation on some vine diseases in Sonoma County, California from 1905. The Biblioteca Vinaria Sonoma is a publicly accessible online resource.

Biblioteca Vinaria Sonoma has 295 digitized books, pamphlets and ephemera (photo courtesy)

The library has several other wine-related resources useful for researchers and scholars. The International Wine Research Database (IWRDB) is an online citation database dedicated to current and historical wine literature. The Wine Library collection also contains 26 oral histories of wine industry pioneers from Sonoma County. If visiting the branch, check out the ephemera folders, which hold menus, newsletters, and advertising for specific wineries in Sonoma County. There is also an extensive current and historical map and poster collection.

Megan Jones has been the Curator of the Sonoma County Wine Library since 2017 and has become a valuable resource for information to the local wine industry. Next time you are in Healdsburg, consider visiting the Sonoma County Wine Library. It’s like a small wine museum.

Writing Between the Vines

Tuesday, February 07, 2023, 6:00pm-7:30pm
Location
Healdsburg Regional Library
139 Piper St
Healdsburg, CA
(707) 433-3772
Free

Description

Co-hosted with Sonoma County Library and the Sonoma County Wine Library Association

Join us for an evening honoring the writers and wineries that participate in the annual “Writing Between the Vines” program.  For the past ten years wineries have provided vineyard retreats to writers for a week-long retreat. Adam McHugh (2019 participant) will read from his recently published book “Blood From a Stone” along with selected readings from past and current program retreat recipients.  Wine will be available for a small donation from participating wineries Moshin Vineyards, Keller Estate, West Wines, DeLoach Vineyards, and Jordan Vineyards & Winery.

To learn more about the writing program visit: https://www.writingbetweenthevines.org/.

Event Contact
Sonoma County Wine Library
Megan Jones
mjones@sonomalibrary.org
707-433-3772

Pacific meets Atlantic at bicoastal wine event

Wine lovers have a chance to taste varietals rarely, if ever, grown in West Coast vineyards at an event showcasing wines from the Atlantic seaboard. Hosted by the Sonoma County Wine Library Association from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Healdsburg Golf Course Clubhouse, guests will taste some of the top wines from the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association’s 2022 competition.

Featured varietals include chambourcin, petit manseng and tannat along with more familiar varietals such as merlot, riesling and pinot noir, all produced with an East-Coast flair. The event includes a presentation by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association about what makes their wines unique. Tickets are $35 and available at sonomawinelibraryassn.org/events. 927 S. Fitch Mountain Road.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Peg Champion
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

Atlantic Meets Pacific in Best-of-Show Tasting Event

Healdsburg, CA – On Saturday afternoon, January 28th, the Sonoma County Wine Library Association hosts a special presentation and tasting event by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association. The event will showcase the wines that earned Best of Show and other top awards from the Atlantic Seaboard’s 2022 wine competition. Guests will have the opportunity to taste and learn about the wines from the East Coast association leaders, who will pour 24 wines. The tasting will take place in the Healdsburg Golf Course Clubhouse, 927 S. Fitch Mountain Road, Healdsburg, from 3 to 5 p.m.

“We are excited to welcome our East Coast partners in wine,” says Julie Pedroncelli St. John, Sonoma County Wine Library Association board president. “This event, our first of 2023, gives Californians a special opportunity to taste award-winning wines from Atlantic seaboard AVAs. This annual event is always a highlight of the year – highly anticipated by our board, our members and friends. And the clubhouse is the perfect setting, with plenty of parking available.”

“For many years we have enjoyed bringing top wines from the East Coast to California, to highlight the diversity and quality of the wines being produced in our area,” says Grant Crandall, president of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association. “And we believe that the best way to appreciate the wines of the more than 2,000 wineries on the East Coast is to taste them.”

The tasting will feature varietals like Chambourcin, Viognier, Petit Manseng, Tannat and other hybrid and less common grape varietals, in addition to more familiar varietals such Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, sparkling and other wines, all with an East Coast flair. Tickets are $30 for members, $35 for non-members and are expected to sell out. For more details visit SonomaWineLibraryAssn.org/Events.

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The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 support organization that supports the Wine Library’s mission, resources and activities. Association activities engage, inform, and empower our wine community.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Peg Champion
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

Meet The Future of Sonoma County Wine – Legends: Next Gen

Healdsburg, CA – After a three-year pause, the Sonoma County Wine Library Association is bringing back its Sonoma County Wine Legends event at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 10th, at the Steele Lane Community Center in Santa Rosa.

A fundraiser for the Sonoma County Wine Library, Legends: Next Gen will feature a panel of five next-generation professionals of the local wine community. Journalist, Sommelier, and host of YouTube’s “The Varietal Show,” Christopher Sawyer, will moderate the panel discussion of these legends in the making: Jamie Benziger, Winemaker, Imagery Wine Estates; Drew Damskey, Winemaker/Consultant, Palmeri Wines; Mari Jones, President, Emeritus Vineyards; Shelly Rafanelli, Winemaker and Owner, A. Rafanelli Wines; and Alan Ramey, President, Ramey Wine Cellars.

In addition to discussing the past, present and future of the Sonoma County wine industry, the panelists will be pouring their wines during the reception, and a charcuterie platter will be offered. To help support the wine library’s mission, a silent auction will feature special wines, gifts and wine country experiences.

“Year after year, our Legends event has always been the biggest fundraiser for the Wine Library,” said Julie Pedroncelli St. John, president of the Sonoma County Wine Library Association.

“We’re looking forward to resuming this ‘fun-raiser’ and are grateful for the support of our wine community here in Sonoma County and beyond.”

The event is open to the public. Early bird tickets are $45 for members and $60 for non-members, and $55 and $70 respectively after October 31st. For tickets, go to sonomawinelibraryassn.org/events

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 The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 support organization that supports the Wine Library’s mission, resources and activities. Association activities engage, inform, and empower our wine community.

Passing the torch at 3 Sonoma County wineries

SARAH DOYLE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
December 13, 2022
Image: Chad Surmick

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Peg Champion
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

Screening the Life of Legendary Winemaker Joel Peterson

Healdsburg, CA – The winemaking history of Joel Peterson, the founding winemaker of Ravenswood Winery and the “Godfather of Zinfandel,” will be featured at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 29, at the Sonoma Community Center as part of the Sonoma County Wine Library Association’s Visual OralHistory series.

In a 70-minute recorded video interview, Peterson describes his entry into the wine industry and how he worked tirelessly to make Zinfandel famous as California’s heritage grape. Before the screening Peterson will be pouring wines from his latest venture, Once and Future Wine. After the video presentation, he will answer audience questions.

When Peterson started Ravenswood in 1976, he focused on crafting complex Zinfandels in an old-world style, using indigenous yeasts and fruit from organic farms. He came up with the whimsical slogan “No Wimpy Wines” to describe his bold style. Peterson is a founding board member and two-time president of the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP).

Early in his career, Peterson studied with the renowned Joseph Swan, which also gave him the opportunity to work with “the dean of American winemakers,” André Tchelistcheff. Ravenswood boomed with the introduction of Peterson’s Vintner’s Blend, and he sold his 25-year-old business to Constellation Wines in 2001. Peterson started Once and Future in 2013, returning to his roots by specializing in wines from unique vineyards and made with a sensitivity to place.

“We’ve had great attendance in the past at our in-person oral history events,” said Julie Pedroncelli St. John, president of the Sonoma County Wine Library Association. “We look forward to our fourth Visual Oral History event in 2022, and we’re thrilled to host this event in the town of Sonoma.” The visual oral histories are produced by Jeff Davis, the host of the popular radio show “On the Wine Road.”

The event is open to the public. Two glasses of wine are included in the price of the ticket. Tickets are $30 for members and $40 for non-members. For more information about memberships, donations and to purchase tickets, go to sonomawinelibraryassn.org/join-us/

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The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 support organization that is dedicated to supporting the Wine Library’s mission, resources, and activities. Association activities are designed to engage, inform, and empower our wine community.

Take tour at Oliver Ranch

PRESS DEMOCRAT August 18, 2022

The Sonoma County Wine Library Association will lead a tour Sept. 10 at Oliver Ranch of the 18 remarkable site-specific art installations on the property commissioned by the Oliver family.

Over the years, acclaimed artists have created works that are enhanced by Oliver Ranch’s natural beauty. The tour will cover approximately 2.5 miles and take nearly two and a half hours. Similar to a light hike in the woods, the paths are unpaved with 600 feet of up-and-down elevation change. Comfortable, non-slip walking shoes are recommended.

9:50 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A shuttle to the tour will leave at precisely 9:50 a.m. from Geyserville. Attendees will receive directions on where to meet after reserving a spot. Tickets are $125 and benefit the Sonoma County Wine Library Association. For more information and to get tickets, go to sonomawinelibraryassn.org/events.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Peg Champion
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

Tour of Oliver Ranch’s Renowned Outdoor Sculptures Will Benefit Sonoma County Wine Library

Healdsburg, CA – Sonoma County Wine Library Association will offer a private tour of Oliver Ranch’s monumental sculptures at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 10. The two-and-a-half-hour tour, led by owner Steve Oliver, will cover approximately 2.5 miles of the Geyserville property. All funds raised from the event will benefit the non-profit Sonoma County Wine Library.

Motivated by their shared “love of art and a desire to support artists,” Steve and Nancy Oliver began commissioning site-specific installations for their ranch in 1985. Twenty artists are represented in 18 installations, including works by Andy Goldsworthy, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra, Robert Stackhouse and Ann Hamilton’s eight-story cylindrical tower where sensory performances are held.

The Oliver’s philanthropic efforts began in mid-1990 with tours to benefit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Now, tours of the ranch and performances in the tower raise funds for various Bay Area non-profits, including the Wine Library.

“We are excited to offer our members and supporters this unique opportunity to view these sculptures, which are beautifully integrated into the ranch’s environment,” says Julie Pedroncelli St. John, board chair of the Sonoma County Wine Library Association. “We are very grateful to the Olivers for their generosity and support of the Wine Library.”

The tour is like an easy hike in the woods and takes place on unpaved paths with 600 feet of elevation change. Comfortable, non-slip walking shoes are recommended. The private tour is limited to 30 guests. Tickets are priced at $125 and can be purchased at https://sonomawinelibraryassn.org/events/. For more information about Wine Library Association memberships and donations go to sonomawinelibraryassn.org/join-us/.

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 The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 support organization that is dedicated to supporting the Wine Library’s mission, resources, and activities. Association activities are designed to engage, inform, and empower our wine community.

Contact: Peg Champion
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

Sonoma County Wine Library Celebrates Founder Millie Howie with Tales and a Toast

Healdsburg, CA (June 3, 2022) At 5:00 p.m., on Monday, June 13, the Sonoma County Wine Library Association will celebrate its founder, Millie Howie, with a special sparkling toast on the anniversary of her 100th birthday.

The celebration will be held on the Millie Howie Patio outside the Healdsburg Regional Library, 139 Center Street, in Healdsburg. Special guests will share remembrances of Millie and her decades of achievements. Korbel Winery is providing the California Champagne, and sparkling cider also will be served.

“Millie understood the importance of capturing the histories of the winemakers, growers and all the people who created the wine industry in Sonoma County. Along with dedicating the Linda and Hank Wetzel Visual Oral History event on June 9th to Millie, we want to have a special remembrance toast at the Library on the site that’s been dedicated to her,” says Board President Julie Pedroncelli St. John. “I’m sure Millie would approve!”

“Millie worked non-stop to promote our region, our wineries and, with the help of other like-minded locals, created the Sonoma County Wine Library at the Healdsburg Regional Library. She campaigned tirelessly and her passion bore fruit – a wonderful collection of books, research material, labels, posters, maps and more, all focusing on wine and grape growing,” says Pedroncelli.

Tickets for this event are available at the Wine Library website, and at the door. The $5.00 donation benefits the Millie Howie Century Fund.

More information about upcoming events, membership, and donations is available at the Sonoma County Wine Library Association website, sonomawinelibraryassn.org/join-us/

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The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 support organization that is dedicated to supporting the Wine Library’s mission, resources, and activities.

 Association activities are designed to engage, inform, and empower our wine community.

Sonoma County Wine Library a Haven for History Buffs

Millie Howie’s Legacy

Sonoma Magazine, Wednesday, May 18, 2022

By Sarah Doyle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Peg Champion
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

Wine Library Showcases a History of Family Winemaking with Linda and Hank Wetzel of Alexander Valley Vineyards

Healdsburg, CA (May 17, 2022) At 7p.m., on Thursday, June 9, at the clubhouse of the Healdsburg Golf Club at Tayman Park, the Sonoma County Wine Library Association will present the third program in its 2022 Visual Oral History series.

The evening includes a premier screening of “A History of Family Winemaking and the Founding of Alexander Valley Vineyards,” featuring Hank and Linda Wetzel. After the screening, Jeff Davis, the video producer, will host an informal question-and-answer session with the Wetzels. The Wetzels will pour their Alexander Valley wines at the reception.

“The Wetzel family has been deeply rooted in Alexander Valley since the beginning, when they purchased their property in 1962 and founded Alexander Valley Vineyards in 1975,” says Davis. “The family-owned business, now in its fourth generation, has earned its reputation for fine wines in the Valley and beyond.”

“We are dedicating the event to Wine Library founder Millie Howie, in honor of her 100th year birthday anniversary,” says Board President Julie Pedroncelli St. John. “Millie understood the importance of capturing the histories of the winemakers, growers and all the people who created the wine industry in Sonoma County.”

The event is open to the public and a limited number of tickets are available. Register for the event at https://sonomawinelibraryassn.org/events/ or visit the website sonomawinelibraryassn.org.

Two glasses of wine are included in the price of the ticket. Ticket prices range from $30 to $40 and members of the Wine Library Association receive savings on all event tickets. For more information about membership and donations, go to sonomawinelibraryassn.org/join-us/

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The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 support organization that is dedicated to supporting the Wine Library’s mission, resources, and activities. Association activities are designed to engage, inform, and empower our wine community.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Peg Champion
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

Wine Library History Program Showcases Acclaimed Winemaker Zelma Long at Paradise Ridge Winery

Healdsburg, CA (March 15, 2022) The Sonoma County Wine Library Association will celebrate acclaimed winemaker Zelma Long at the Paradise Ridge Winery at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 7.

Long, a renowned enologist and winemaker with an international reputation, is a female pioneer in the male-dominated wine industry. The Vintner Hall of Famer has held executive positions in Napa and Sonoma wineries. She was CEO of Healdsburg’s Simi Winery and is a founding partner of the Vilafonté Winery in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The event will feature a screening of the association’s newest Visual Oral History video and will be followed by an informal question-and-answer session with Long. The video interviews are produced by Jeff Davis, host of the radio show “On the Wine Road.” “I feel it’s important to capture the stories of wine makers who have made major contributions to the industry,” says Davis. “That’s especially true for Zelma, who burst through the proverbial glass ceiling.”

The event is open to the public and a limited number of tickets are available; register for the event at https://sonomawinelibraryassn.org/events/ or visit the website sonomawinelibraryassn.org.

Two glasses of Paradise Ridge wine are included in the price of the ticket. Members of the Wine Library Association receive savings on all event tickets. For more information about membership and donations, go to sonomawinelibraryassn.org/join-us.

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The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 support organization that is dedicated to supporting the Wine Library’s mission, resources, and activities. Association activities are designed to engage, inform, and empower our wine community. A 501c3 nonprofit support organization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Peg Champion
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342


Events Return to the Wine Library with Book Tour:
South of Somewhere: Wine, Food and the Soul of Italy

Healdsburg, CA (February 27, 2022) The Sonoma County Wine Library Association will feature noted American author and contributing editor to Wine Spectator, Robert Camuto,

at an event open to the public in Healdsburg on March 18. Camuto will discuss his new book, South of Somewhere: Wine, Food and the Soul of Italy, which will be available on site for purchase at a specially discounted rate for attendees.

The March 18 event will be the first held at the Wine Library since COVID-19 closures began two years ago, although the association has hosted two in-person events at other locations in 2022. A limited number of tickets are available; register for the event at https://sonomawinelibraryassn.org/events/ or visit the website sonomawinelibraryassn.org.

“Our community and supporters have been eagerly awaiting the day when we could gather again for these educational events and tastings at the Wine Library,” says Association Board President Julie Pedroncelli. “We’re very excited to come together again at our library ‘home’ for this special event. We’re proud to introduce Robert to our community and we look forward to tasting and toasting with Italian varietal wines from Italian and Sonoma County wineries.”

Members of the Wine Library association receive savings on all event tickets. For more information about membership and donations, go to sonomawinelibraryassn.org/join-us/

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 The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 support organization that is dedicated to supporting the Wine Library’s mission, resources, and activities.

 Association activities throughout the year are designed to engage, inform, and empower our wine community.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Peg Champion
peg@pegchampion.com
650.492.0342

Sonoma County Wine Library Association Heads “Back to the Future” with New Name, New Look

Healdsburg, CA (January 3, 2022) The Friends of the Sonoma County Wine Library, a 501(c)3 organization that supports the acclaimed county wine library, has a new name: the Sonoma County Wine Library Association. The “new” name was, in fact, the original name of the organization when it was created in 1985.

The name is an outgrowth of the organization’s renewal process, which began in 2021 and includes the 2022 launch of a new website, https://sonomawinelibraryassn.org, a public education and fundraising effort, and a schedule of public events. The first event, a wine tasting of the winners of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, is planned for Saturday, January 29, at Costeaux’s French Bakery and Café in Healdsburg. A limited number of tickets are available; register for the event at bit.ly/3Kd1baF. For visit our website.

“As the ‘champions’ of the Wine Library, we’re excited about the new direction we’re taking. We’re planning a robust schedule of events planned for 2022 – tastings, interviews, panel presentations and winery visits,” says Association Board President Julie Pedroncelli. “We want to engage with the community and earn your support.”

Donations to the association help underwrite essential resources of the Sonoma County Wine Library, including the digitization of the collection and the preservation of the rich history of Sonoma County’s internationally heralded wine culture.

Industry members are invited to join the Sonoma County Wine Library Circle and members of the public are invited to become Members of the Wine Library. You also can make a one-time or sustaining contribution. For more information about membership and donations, go to https://sonomawinelibraryassn.org/join-us.

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The Sonoma County Wine Library Association is a 501(c)3 support organization that is dedicated to supporting the Wine Library’s mission, resources, and activities. Association activities throughout the year are designed to engage, inform, and empower our wine community.

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