Cheryl Durzy, president of the Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Association (SCMWA), and vice president of sales and marketing for Clos LaChance Winery in San Martin, has announced that Megan Metz will join the association as executive director. Metz, who was the former executive director of the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission, will be responsible for the full-time management, and oversight of operations, staff and promotional programs of the association.
“We are so pleased to welcome Megan to the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association,” said Durzy. “We look forward to capitalizing on Megan’s invaluable wine industry relationships and her ambitious reputation for bringing attention to smaller wine regions.”
Metz will work closely with the SCMWA Board to develop a three-year strategic plan, along with new marketing initiatives, that will include new promotional programs, expand local and regional media outreach both traditional and social, focus resources on ongoing, measurable programs that are sustainable over time and building regional partnerships to raise brand awareness of the vintners and the ultra premium wines produced from the Santa Cruz Mountain AVA. “With a long experience in wine industry promotion, marketing, events production, and travel and tourism, we felt Megan was best suited for the role of representing the entire Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties that the AVA represents," said Mark Vernon, COO of Ridge Winery and member of the SCMWA executive search committee.
“With the new staff in place, our region is poised to accelerate its promotional efforts on behalf of the vintners in a competitive market," said Dave Moulton, proprietor of Burrell School Winery and Chair of Pinot Paradise. “We are excited to have a new team in place that will be able to build and leverage partnerships with local organizations working to support tourism and economic development throughout the three counties,” said Moulton.
Shannon Flynn has been named the new director of operations, where she will help to develop and execute programs intended to raise revenues through a variety of promotional activities, with an emphasis on special events and communications initiatives.
The Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Association is an alliance of 79 wineries which promotes wines produced from the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Appellation that was federally recognized in 1981. One of the first American viticultural areas (AVAs) to be defined by geophysical and climatic factors, the appellation encompasses the Santa Cruz Mountains range from Half Moon Bay in the north to Mount Madonna in the south. The appellation is characterized by intimate, ultra-premium artisanal wineries tucked in and among the Santa Cruz Mountains defined by an elevation of 400 to 2,600 feet.