Hundreds of vineyards – some tiny, some massive – dot the landscape of the Sonoma Valley, and until now there was no single source to locate them all. The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance is changing that and will debut at the third annual Signature Sonoma Valley next week, the first of four maps that will identify each vineyard in the valley.
âBeing the birthplace of California wine, our region deserves a map like this to showcase all of our wineries in one map, one place,â said Maureen Cottingham, Executive Director of Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance (SVVGA).
The dazzling reveal will take place at Signature Sonoma Valley’s opening event on May 16, the âBig Bottle Partyâ to be held at Buena Vista Winery. Events run throughout the weekend ending May 19.
âWe’re going to project the full map onto the wall of the champagne cellars,â Cottingham told Buena Vista.
Throughout Signature Weekend, the vineyard cards will be “intertwined” with every event, Cottingham said. No matter what is tasted or discussed, the vineyard where the wine comes from “will have a zoom in and a special vineyard map,” she said. For example, during the âImmersion: Exploration and tasting of vineyardsâ on Friday May 17th, guests will taste wines from the Monte Rosso vineyard, where the event takes place, and where they will be able to see a specific map of the Mountain. from the moon. AVA district where it is located as well as a map of the vineyard itself.
The maps are created by Vinous – renowned wine author and critic Antonio Galloni and cartographer Alessandro Masnaghetti – the same team that created similar maps for the Napa Valley wine region.
âThe Sonoma Valley wine vineyard maps will help solidify our region’s reputation alongside other leading regions in the world that have long provided detailed vineyard maps and information, such as Burgundy, Bordeaux , Barolo and Napa Valley, âKenneth said. Juhasz, owner of Author Wines and president of SVVGA. âOur greatest hope with the development and publication of these maps is that wine enthusiasts and collectors, as well as key members of commerce and the media will have a deeper connection to our vineyards and an appreciation of the caliber of wines from of the Sonoma Valley. . “
Masnaghetti, who lives in Italy, documented all of the regions Juhasz mentioned, and more. He and Galloni spent 10 days in the Sonoma Valley touring the region, meeting wineries and growers, local historian Arthur Dawson and touring vineyards, Cottingham said.
Over 400 vineyards, some as small as a quarter of an acre, others up to 700 acres, have been submitted to SVVGA and Cottingham expects to have identified around 600 vineyards by the time the entire project is finished, which should be in about 18 months.
Working across the world – Masnaghetti in Italy, Galloni in New York, and the SVVGA team in Sonoma – they used a Google document to track data and Slack to communicate. Paul Brown, operations and events assistant at SVVGA, walked the entire valley literally knocking on doors and introducing himself and the project, Cottingham said, to complete the project.
Each sub-AVA (American Wine Zone) – Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Mountain, Los Carneros, Bennett Valley and Moon Mountain District – will have its own wine map with the first segment, Sonoma Valley corridor and Moon Mountain District, released during Signature.
Forms were sent to all known wineries requesting information such as number of acres planted and varietals, year of planting, and certifications (such as biodynamic, organic, sustainable and historic wine company). They also asked the management company of the vineyard, where the fruit is sold, if the vineyard is open to the public and if the current owner has historical information about the vineyard or the property.
The Vinous Vineyard Maps – which are different from existing vineyard maps – will help draw attention to distinctive and well-known wineries such as Durrell, Bedrock Sangiacomo, Gap’s Crown and others, Cottingham said.
âThis project allows us to focus on these amazing heritage wineries that we have in the Sonoma Valley, the wineries that are really showcased in designated vineyard programs throughout the Sonoma Valley. And it tells the story of the Sonoma Valley as a wine country, âshe said.
âWe’ve never had a tool like this before,â Cottingham said.
It will be a comprehensive overview of the make-up of this region with property lines on one side and on the back 3D images of vineyard sites and a “glimpse into what the region is, why it is so special”, a- she declared.
Although the written part of the region may not be able to tell the stories of each vineyard, it will give an idea of ââthe wines produced by the AVA, “the geology, the climate, the microclimate, the soils, all those things that are so interesting in viticulture, âCottingham said.
Cottingham declined to reveal the cost of the project saying “It cost a pretty penny”, and explained that it was an “investment” for “an educational tool” that they can use in all segments. Of the industry.
Traveling the country for SVVGA, Cottingham said consumers were always interested in looking at maps showing the location of wineries and asking questions about wineries as well.
âPeople just want to learn. It will take it to the next level, âshe said. “Once you have the knowledge (you are) able to understand the area and understand what you are drinking and understand why it is so good.”
One day, it could also be used to test the knowledge of future sommeliers about the region. A map with the vineyards identified, but not named, could be placed in front of the tester for him to fill out, she said.
The AVA segmented maps will have a poster size of approximately 24 inches by 33 inches, and the entire Sonoma Valley map will be much larger and framed like a work of art.
Most Signature Sonoma Valley events are sold out, but there are still tickets for some events available on the SVVGA website at sonomavalleywine.com/signature-sonoma-valley.