Sonoma County: Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast

Sonoma County has been named 2019 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast, for the magazine’s 20th annual Wine Star Awards.  Each year, editors of the publication honor the destination, individuals, and companies that have made outstanding achievements in the wine and beverage world, and continue to implement innovative, welcoming, and sustainable practices and initiatives.

“Sonoma County is one of the most diverse and progressive winegrowing regions in the world,” said Adam Strum, Chairman and Publisher of Wine Enthusiast. “From powerhouse varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that produce famed bottlings of prominence to classic California wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and more, Sonoma County is renowned for producing high-quality wines of distinction. The region is also a standard-bearer for best practices beyond just wine production, as a champion of true sustainability.”

Merlot Wine Grapes
Merlot Wine Grapes

The accolade recognizes the region for the prominent wine-focused programs that Sonoma County Vintners produces to enhance the wine industry. These include the Sonoma County Wine Auction, one of the nation’s top charitable wine auctions. This annual event has raised more than $30 million since its inception to support those in need in Sonoma County. Taste of Sonoma, the annual premier wine and food festival, spotlights Sonoma County’s renowned vintners and chefs.

“This is an incredible recognition of the world-class wines and winegrowers that have made Sonoma County exceptional,” said Michael Haney, Executive Director of Sonoma County Vintners. “Generations of families in this wine community have devoted their time, effort and care making this the best wine region. There is a real sense of pride in everything this community does from winery hospitality to their contributions of those in need. Sonoma County truly is authentic and approachable!”

“Sonoma County is a truly special place with its multi-generational family grape growers and vintners who are committed to sustainability, supporting our local community and preserving agriculture for the next generation,” said Karissa Kruse, President of Sonoma County Winegrowers. “It means so much to our local wine community to receive this incredible honor from Wine Enthusiast recognizing that in Sonoma County world-class quality wines can come from local families who care.”

Sonoma County’s winegrowing community recently announced that it now has a record-breaking 99% of its local vineyard acreage certified sustainable and will continue to build on its sustainability leadership as an exclusive participant in the California Land Stewardship Institute’s Climate Adaptation Certification Program which is the first program of its kind available for agriculture.

Sonoma County Tourism, the region’s destination stewardship organization, has also implemented various programs to continue building the county’s sustainability efforts, most recently, partnered with Kind Traveler, the first socially conscious “give and get” hotel booking and education platform. To protect the destination’s resources – both natural and human – for residents and travelers for many generations to come, SCT has instituted a new Sonoma County travel kindly pledge.

“Helping to ensure the long-term health of Sonoma County’s extraordinary agricultural resources is of paramount importance and the reason we embraced destination stewardship,” said Claudia Vecchio, President/CEO, Sonoma County Tourism. “We celebrate our extraordinary wine community for leading the way toward sustainability and achieving this well-deserved recognition.”

Sonoma County will appear in the special Dec. 31 Wine Enthusiast “Best of Year” issue and will be presented their Wine Star Award trophies at the 20th anniversary black-tie awards dinner on Monday, January 27, 2020, hosted in San Francisco, California, at the Palace of Fine Arts.

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