Two of Country's Premier Wine Festivals Partner to Form 'Sonoma Wine Country Weekend'

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Sonoma County Showcase of Wine & Food and Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction Join Forces to Create Definitive Wine Country Event and Raise County Profile

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Creating this event is the right thing to do for Sonoma County

The Sonoma County Vintners and Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers announced the debut of "Sonoma Wine Country Weekend", a three-day wine, food, and auction extravaganza to be held Labor Day Weekend, August 29-31, 2008. This event combines the best of the Sonoma County Showcase of Wine & Food and the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction to offer the definitive Sonoma Wine Country experience and raise Sonoma County's national profile as a premier wine and food destination.

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend highlights the diversity and quality of the region, featuring the best of artisanal wine and food and distinctive epicurean experiences. Taste of Sonoma County at MacMurray Ranch on Saturday, August 30 and Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Cline Cellars on Sunday, August 31 are the highlights of Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, supplemented by always-popular winery lunches and dinners on Friday, August 29 and dinners on Saturday, August 30. More than 110 wineries and 60 chefs will offer their wines and food for sampling at Taste of Sonoma, which also includes wine seminars, chef demonstrations, vineyard experiences, and a top chef competition. The Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, renowned for its wild themes and winemaker skits, continues that tradition to raise funds for local charities, to which it has donated more than $7 million since its inception.

"Creating this event is the right thing to do for Sonoma County," commented Honore Comfort, Executive Director of Sonoma County Vintners. "By joining forces with the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers, we can offer an unbeatable consumer event and increase awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world's premier wine regions. It is greater exposure for Sonoma County and the members of our two organizations, and even more enjoyable for attendees."

Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation Executive Director Grant Raeside added, "Our collaboration makes Sonoma Wine Country Weekend bigger than the two individual events combined, and it puts Sonoma County on a bigger stage.

Additionally, we're passionate about giving back to the community, and the higher profile resulting from our partnership means that we'll be able to do more for our beneficiaries."

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is produced by the Sonoma County Vintners and the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers, and proceeds benefit local charities. Beneficiaries for the 2008 event are local charities that benefit students, children, farm workers and people in need. The 2008 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is presented by Visa Signature, whose cardholders will receive exclusive benefits throughout the event. For more information about Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, visit SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com or call 800.939.7666.

About the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction
Since its inception 15 years ago, the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction Weekend has established itself as one of the nation's top wine auctions, drawing visitors from all over the world to the three day wine classic and fundraiser. In addition to showcasing Sonoma's unparalleled wine quality and unrivaled hospitality, the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction has donated more than seven million dollars in vital funding to local charities serving children, vineyard and hospitality workers, their families, and community healthcare. The Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction is produced by The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation (SVVGF), a unique non-profit organization. Hundreds of vintners and growers share a mission to promote Sonoma Valley wines and grapes, support cooperation and collaboration among vintners and growers, and develop community awareness of the industry. For more information on the SVVGF, visit SonomaValleyWine.com.

About Sonoma County Vintners
Sonoma County Vintners, the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, is dedicated to increasing awareness and improving the quality image of its wines to consumers, media, and trade locally and globally. With more than 60,000 vineyard acres planted among the county's 13 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), Sonoma County is considered one of the world's premier winegrowing regions, producing an unparalleled range of varietals and wine styles. SCV has promoted this diversity and quality since 1944, and currently represents more than 135 member wineries. For more information on the wines and wineries of Sonoma County, visit http://www.SonomaWine.com .

Phil Bilodeau
Director of Communications
Sonoma County Vintners
420 Aviation Blvd, Suite 106
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
P: 707.522.5849 F: 707.573.3942

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