vineyard scene Sonoma County Winegrowers
The new offices of the Sonoma County Winegrowers look out over a vineyard.

Grower group relocates offices to a vineyard

Sonoma County Winegrowers sees its new venue as perfect place for hosting media and educational meetings.

A group that represents growers and promotes wines from Sonoma County, Calif., believes it has found the perfect venue for teaching media, marketing professionals, and other visitors about the industry.

Sonoma County Winegrowers has moved their offices from a shared space in downtown Santa Rosa to the nearby Sunnyview Vineyard, which includes acres of certified sustainable vineyards, the group announced in a news release.

Sunnyview will be “an amazing location” for hosting media, sommelier, marketing, and grower education meetings, says Karissa Kruse, president of the organization. She says the site will include a Vineyard Adventures walk to help teach visitors about viticulture and sustainable practices.

The move comes as the group has been hosting an increasing number of reporters, industry professionals, and delegations from around the world, including Africa, Moldova, Portugal, and Canada, Kruse tells Western Farm Press in an email.

“Typically, we would have to make the trade-off of having a more serious conversation around the business, with PowerPoint presentations in a conference room, or trying to quickly get folks out into a vineyard, which was great for a tour but made a deep-dive conversation harder,” Kruse says.

A PERFECT BACKDROP

She mentioned that to the group’s board chairman, Joe Dutton, who happened to be purchasing a vineyard — Sunnyview — that had office space and a warehouse. It would provide the perfect backdrop for promoting agriculture, she says.

“It took us a few months to figure out if it was feasible and financially sound, and if we could get out of our current lease. But as they say, the stars aligned and we are officially in our new space — and loving it.”

Sonoma County Winegrowers was in an office that also includes Sonoma County’s tourism and vintners’ associations and American Ag Credit. Kruse thanks them in the press release “for being such great office mates and partners over the years,” and says she looks forward to continuing to work with them.

The winegrower group plans to host all of its future committee and board meetings at the new site. The property on Guerneville Road includes a vineyard, a 2,700 square foot farmhouse for offices and a board room. Additional warehouse space can be used for storage or for classrooms for grower education.

Sonoma County Vintners wish the winegrower group well, Executive Director Michael Haney says. “While they are moving to a new location, we look forward to continuing our strong, collaborative efforts, and partnership with Karissa and her team for many years to come.”

EDUCATION IMPORTANT

Educating the public and international marketers has been getting more and more important for the wine industry, which has had to dispel misconceptions that last fall’s wine country wildfires may have devastated vineyards.

Wine industry professionals have also touted the importance of trade amid the U.S.’ current disputes with China and other trading partners.

For more information, visit the Sonoma County Winegrowers’ website at https://sonomawinegrape.org/.

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