Sonoma County Vintners Annual Meeting Looks to the Future
2018 Board Announcements and Vinexpo Explorer Highlight Annual Event

SANTA ROSA (January 15, 2018) – The Sonoma County Vintners Annual Meeting took place on January 11, 2018. Outgoing Executive Director Jean Arnold Sessions shared opening remarks, and Interim Executive Director Michael Haney covered a range of topics including 2017 highlights and what’s to come in 2018. A new board president was announced along with two new members of the board. Focused on looking to the future, Annual Meeting speakers, included: Guillaume Deglise, Vinexpo Explorer; Honore Comfort, The Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University; and Karin Demarest, Community Foundation Sonoma County.

Russell Joy (Patz & Hall) is incoming president of the board of directors, and Mark Malpiede (Williams Selyem Winery) will serve as vice president. Two new additions to the board include: Mike Martini (Taft Street Winery) and Richard Idell (Idell Family Vineyards & The Idell Firm, A.P.C.), who fills a community seat. Former president, Caroline Shaw (Jackson Family Wines), will transition to board president of the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation.

“I am excited and look forward to partnering with the Sonoma County Vintners leadership team to continue establishing Sonoma County as a world-class wine region,” said Joy. “A key focus in 2018 will be to bring visitors to Sonoma County. We are proud to announce and host the second chapter of Vinexpo Explorer in Sonoma County.”

Sonoma County is the host wine region for Vinexpo Explorer in 2018. Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Deglise explained how Vinexpo Explorer, Vinexpo’s touring event, would shine a spotlight on the region and provide Sonoma County Vintners’members the opportunity to engage with up to 100 key trade from across the globe in targeted business meetings, networking time and memorable experiences.

Honore Comfort, Wine Business Executive in Residence, provided an overview of the offerings at the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University and announced the May 29, 2018 opening date for the Wine Spectator Learning Center. In addition, she spoke about the Institute’s Economic Impact Report, a fact-based report examining the impact of the October wildfires to the North Coast wine industry, which is scheduled to be published in March 2018.

Karin Demarest, Vice President for Programs, gave an update on the Sonoma County Resilience Fund, which has raised $10 million to date. The fund was established by the Community Foundation Sonoma County to address mid- to long term recovery to local Sonoma County communities post North Bay wildfires.

The event included a reception and a meet and greet with Affiliate Members of the Sonoma County Vintners. Affiliate Members are businesses who have the opportunity to provide services and goods to vintner members.

A copy of the Annual Report can be found online at


About Sonoma County Vintners
Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions, noted for its heritage of artisan winemaking, distinct growing regions, and extraordinary quality. Founded in 1944, SCV represents more than 200 wineries and affiliated businesses throughout the county. Learn more about SCV at


Barbara Cox | 707.522.5849 |
Anna Miranda | 707.522.5853 |

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