Sonoma County Winegrowers Announce New 2014|2015 Commissioners

Santa Rosa, Calif. – The Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) are excited to announce their 2014|2015 Commissioners, including the election of 6 new Commissioners representing some of Sonoma County’s top vineyard properties, families, regions, and industry leaders. 

The new Commissioners include George Martinelli, a 5th generation winegrower whose family is one of Sonoma County’s most recognized farming pioneers; Bret Munselle, a 5th  generation winegrower for his family’s Munselle Vineyards in Alexander Valley that dates back to the late 1800’s; Mark Sanchietti, a 4th generation winegrower on his family’s Russian River Valley ranch that has been farmed since 1919; Rich Schaefers of Silverado Investment Management Company, who has managed vineyards throughout Sonoma County for more than two decades; and Joe Judge, who owns a 10-acre vineyard in Bennett Valley and has acted as President of that region’s grape growers association.  Ray Johnson, Director of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State and major contributor and supporter of Sonoma County’s wine industry, has also joined the Commission Board as a public member at-large.

These winegrowers replace several respected Commissioners who were termed out, including Duff Bevill, Founder & Partner at Bevill Vineyard Management who was the Founding Chairman of the Sonoma County Winegrowers; Joe Dutton, 5th generation winegrower and co-owner of Dutton Ranch; Mark Hauser, vineyard manager for Hoot Owl Creek and Alexander Valley Vineyards and past President of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association; Charles Karren of Terra de Promissio Vineyard who served as Co-Chair of the SCW Marketing Committee; and Pete Opatz, Vice President and Senior Viticulturist for Silverado Investment Management Company. 

“The Sonoma County Winegrowers launched one of the most important initiatives in the history of our organization with a goal of making Sonoma County the first 100% sustainable wine region by 2019,” says Karissa Kruse, President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers. “It’s a pivotal moment for our winegrowers and I’m thankful and proud of our outgoing Commissioners for their dedication, passion and boldness for putting a stake in the ground to preserve agriculture, while also excited for our new Commissioners who bring generations of family farming expertise, strong leadership and advocacy for grape growing, and a strong commitment to ensure we reach our goal.”

During their July Commission Board meeting, they unanimously re-elected Brad Petersen as Chairman of the Board, Kevin Barr of Redwood Empire Vineyard Management as Vice Chairman of the Board, and Richard Mounts of Mounts Vineyard as Treasurer of the Board.  

The 2014|2015 Sonoma County Winegrowers Commissioners are: Brad Petersen (Chairman), Kevin Barr (Vice Chairman), Richard Mounts (Treasurer), John Balletto (Past Chairman), Ray Johnson (Public Member At-Large), George Martinelli, Bret Munselle, Glenn Proctor, Dan Rotlisberger, Mark Sanchietti, and Steve Sangiacomo (Past Chairman).  Commission Alternates include : Joe Battaglini, Domenic Carinalli, Anna Darden, Joe Judge, Doug McIlroy, Vicki Michalczyk (Past Treasurer), Vickie Mulas, Mark Pasternak, Rich Schaefers, Rhonda Smith, and Brent Young.

About the Sonoma County Winegrowers

The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, also known as Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW), is a marketing and education organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. SCW has oversight by California Department of Food and Agriculture which supports producer regions. With more than 1,800 growers, SCW’s goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality and diversity of Sonoma County’s grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers around the world. In January 2014, SCW committed to becoming the nation’s first 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.  For more information about SCW and its programs, visit www.sonomawinegrape.org

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MEDIA CONTACT:           

Sean Carroll
Sonoma County Winegrowers
Marketing and Communications Manager
Phone: 707-522-5865
Email: Sean@sonomawinegrape.org

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