Published: Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 2:38 p.m.
Foundation invites grant applications
The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation plan to distribute $220,000 in grants to local nonprofit groups and are currently accepting applications.
Grants ranging from $1,500 to $25,000 are available. Priority will be given to nonprofit groups seeking funds to meet a particular need rather than continue ongoing services.
The money was raised during the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, which takes place on Labor Day weekend each year. The events have raised more than $11 million in support of local charities that benefit students, children, farmworkers and people in need.
Applications must be received by noon on Jan. 11. To obtain a copy of the application and criteria, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com.
Growers group praised
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers got high marks for its sustainability programs and other work in a recent survey conducted by UC Davis. The study polled 237 grape growers in the Napa Valley AVA.
Of the respondents, 79 percent said the Napa Valley Grapegrowers has reduced environmental risks and improved farm labor well-being, and 76 percent said the group improved grape quality and wildlife habitat.
“We're incredibly proud that our 37 years of work has had such a profound, positive impact on Napa Valley,” said Jon Ruel, president of Napa Valley Grapegrowers. “We take our role in implementing sustainability very seriously. It is ingrained in our organizational culture and we're very pleased to be recognized as a leader.”
The group organizes 30 educational events annually, and has raised nearly $400,000 for its Farmworker Foundation, which supports vineyard workers and their families.
Arista hires Courtney as new winemaker
Arista Winery of Healdsburg has named Matt Courtney as winemaker, starting on Jan. 1, said the McWilliams family, owners of the winery.
Courtney most recently worked at Marcassin Wine Co., where he crafted chardonnay and pinot noir wines.
“The opportunity to work with heritage vineyards in two locations in the Russian River, a wonderful, warm and hard-working family such as the McWilliams and in the future to build a first class winery onsite, was the ideal next evolution in my career,” Courtney said in a statement.
“Matt's experience and talent dovetailed perfectly as we aim to build a winery onsite as well as deepen our knowledge of the great vineyard properties we have,” said Mark McWilliams, co-owner.
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