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Sonomads wanted. Apply within.


September 28, 2013


The Sonomads are coming.

The winners of Sonoma County Tourism’s “Are You the Next Sonomad?” contest, which included more than 100 entries, are arriving in Sonoma County on Sunday, and will be part of a three-day photo shoot that starts on Monday.

They will be featured in a new ad campaign that will be shown around the world.

In fact, Darah and Bob LaTourelle, of Hilton Head Island, SC, are such enthusiastic Sonoma County fans, they were actually staying in a vacation rental in Santa Rosa when they were called with the news they won. The couple returned to South Carolina and is traveling back this weekend to take part in the shoot.

Other winners are Andrea Davis-Cetina, Sonoma; Kristen and Kyle Newsom, Sebastopol; Annette White, Petaluma; Ashlee and Randy Yap, Santa Rosa; and Junelle Lawry, Vancouver, Wash.

“This diverse lot includes newlyweds and a couple that shows that good marriages are seasoned with time,” said Tim Zahner, SCT’s chief marketing officer. ”They are farmers, salesmen, restaurant owners, and retired adventurers. In short, they are the right people for the job.”

The photo and video shoot will, of course, include wine tasting, great dining and a lot of outdoor activities that show off the destination’s sheer beauty and diversity. The photo and video shoot around Sonoma County next week includes:

  • Accomodations at Vintners Inn and welcome reception at John Ash and Co.
  • A visit to Safari West
  • Spa treatments at Le Carré Salon Spa in Santa Rosa
  • Adventures in a vineyard
  • Hot air balloon flight with Up & Away Ballooning
  • A visit to the redwoods
  • Stops at the beach
  • Chowder at Spud Point Crab Company in Bodega Bay
  • Iron Horse Vineyards

“We’ve been using our award-winning ad campaign, ‘Do you speak Sonoma?,’ since 2011 and decided it needed a refresh,” Zahner said. “What better way than to invite people who are fans of Sonoma County to participate? We had enthusiastic responses to the contest and it was difficult to choose the winners. It’s always fun to see Sonoma County through a fresh perspective.

 “We look forward to seeing the results as we use the images in ads, on social media and everywhere we promote the Sonoma County message,” Zahner added.


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UPDATE: The entry period for the "Search for the next SONOMAD" is now closed. We received a lot of great entries, and our judges are going to have a tough time limiting it down to the final lucky ones chosen to come to Sonoma County for a multi-day food and wine adventure that will be photographed for our award-winning ad campaign.


See www.sonomacounty.com/sonomads/entries for a sample of those who entered, and watch this space to see the winners! Thanks everyone!



We’re looking for the next face of Sonoma County to appear in our award-winning “Do you speak SONOMA?” campaign.

Sonoma County is the home of authentic and genuine people eager to share our world-class wine, food and stunning outdoor scenery. The lucky travelers who are the next Sonomads (defined as those who embrace the wanderlust of Sonoma County) will get to experience the best of Sonoma County over a three-day photo and video shoot in late September 2013.

Their adventures, from the stunning beaches of the Sonoma Coast to the towering redwoods along the Russian River to the vineyards and farmlands that have made California cuisine famous, will be documented and included in our new ad campaign.

Are you the next Sonomad?

Here’s how to apply:

  • Make a 30-second video (no longer – remember that brevity is the soul of wit) about why you should be chosen as the next Sonomad. HINT: The video should be of you and represent why you have the certain Sonoma-ness that we seek. This is your chance to shine! Wow us!

    If you aren’t so handy with the video camera, then take a clever picture of yourself that represents some of the ideas below. HINT: The photo should be of you, be clear, and convey some personality. This is your chance to shine! Wow us!

  • Some ideas on what to put in your video/photo include:

    • Show how you represent the Sonoma County experience – world class wine, local food, family farms, rivers and redwoods, quaint small towns, Michelin-starred restaurants, taco trucks… you get the idea. If you need inspiration check out our Facebook page or our website or order a Visitor Guide.

    • Or, use one of our “Sonomaisms” and show how you represent it

    • Or, Create some of your own “Sonomaisms”

    • Or, just tell us why you should be chosen.


  • The entry period runs August 1 to August 31 at 4:59:59 PM Sonoma County time. You have just over 30 days to get 30 seconds of video.

The short list includes: 

  • You must be 21 years or older.

  • You must be available to be in Sonoma County, California from September 29 to October 3, 2013. Check the calendar. If that’s your anniversary, you should either have an understanding spouse or wait until next time.

  • You must be willing to be photographed and filmed possibly doing the following activities: enjoying world-class wine, walking in the redwoods, riding a bicycle along a country road, strolling on the beach, eating amazing food. If you have an aversion to being photographed, are in a witness-relocation program or do not want to be filmed in such as way as to intimate that you drink wine, then perhaps this isn’t for you.

  • You must be willing for us to share your video or photo for this contest on our website and other marketing channels like Facebook and Youtube and both of our friends on Google +.

  • You really should read the terms and conditions. We had an infinite number of lawyers pounding away for an infinite amount of time, and this is what they came up with.

See what others have entered here to get ideas... and to inspire you to get our own entry in before August 31.