Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, Winegrape Commission and Vintners Choose Public Relations Company for National Representation

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County breaks new ground with collaborative marketing, unified message.

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Our research shows that visitors to Sonoma County buy more wines from Sonoma County

The Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, and the Sonoma County Vintners are breaking new ground in collaborative marketing with the selection of Calhoun & Company Communications to represent the three organizations nationally in a concerted public relations effort.

The initiative aims to build awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine and travel destinations.

“This might be a first in the industry – a partnership of a tourism organization, a vintners association and an agricultural association – to promote each other and extend the reach of the communications efforts,” said Ken Fischang, president and CEO of Sonoma County Tourism Bureau. “This unique collaboration establishes a new standard for destination marketing by reaching beyond traditional promotion channels.”

The three organizations share office space and collaborate on shared programs to promote Sonoma County, with a consistent and powerful voice. The hiring of a single PR firm to represent them nationally is a tangible outcome of this relationship.

“Calhoun’s focus will give us an edge in such a highly competitive marketplace,” said Honore Comfort, executive director of Sonoma County Vintners. “Sonoma County is the embodiment of the ideal wine country – not just world-class wines, but the whole experience of shared great friends, food, and community. Our three organizations share the goal of promoting this message to media, trade, and consumers, and Calhoun & Company’s expertise and experience will ensure that we achieve that goal.”

For more than 30 years Calhoun & Company Communications have helped wine and spirits clients establish persuasive, powerful brand images. They’ve expanded their services to be a full-service marketing communications firm, with a fresh, realistic approach to breaking through market clutter and building brand reputations.

“Our research shows that visitors to Sonoma County buy more wines from Sonoma County,” said Nick Frey, president of Sonoma County Winegrape Commission. “When we work together to bring more people into the tasting rooms via the local hotels and attractions, we will be able to communicate the distinctive quality of Sonoma County wines, and winegrapes, as excellent.”

The Sonoma County Tourism Bureau promotes the Sonoma County business improvement area as a leisure, business and group travel destination. Tourism generates in excess of $1 billion annually for the local economy. http://www.sonomacounty.com , (707) 522-5800.

The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission was established in 2006 as a non-profit marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. http://www.sonomawinegrape.org; (707) 522 5860.

Sonoma County Vintners is a non-profit organization representing more than 135 wineries and is committed to promoting the wines and wineries of Sonoma County. Since 1946, the association has focused on building awareness of its diverse appellations and the resulting distinctive wines. http://www.sonomawine.com; (707) 522-5840

Contact information:
Tim Zahner, Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, 707-522-5810, tzahner @ sonomacounty.com
Phil Bilodeau, Sonoma County Vintners, 707-522-5849, phil @ sonomawine.com
Larry Levine, Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, 707-522-5863, larry.levine @ sonomawinegrape.org

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