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Sonoma Valley Rings in the 197th Harvest

photo by Steven Knudsen

SONOMA, CA (August 18, 2021) - The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA), a non-profit trade association representing more than 100 wineries and 140 grape growers in the Sonoma Valley, continued the tradition of their annual Harvest Kickoff Ceremony and Bell Ringing at the Mission San Francisco Solano in the Sonoma Valley. Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance developed this ceremony to recognize and celebrate the demanding work and unprecedented dedication of Sonoma Valley growers and vintners, as they continue to produce the highest quality winegrapes and wines. 

On August 17, the entire community of Sonoma Valley participated in the bell ringing, symbolizing the beginning of Sonoma Valley’s most anticipated time of year, which signals to the community at large that harvest has begun. “The bell ringing and harvest blessing is one of our sweet valley’s most exciting and anticipated traditions,” said Prema Behan, SVVGA Board President. “The energy is always high as we prepare ourselves as a valley and an industry to get to the magnificent work of harvesting grapes and making some of America’s finest wines. To mark the 197th harvest is a point of immense pride for our entire region! It is an honor for me to serve the SVVGA and our amazing membership as we leap into action for the vintage” 

Each year SVVGA nominates an ‘Honorary Bell Ringer’ to ring in the new vintage. The Honorary Bell Ringer is a wine community member who exemplifies and embodies dedication, excellence, and heart. This year SVVGA was proud to have the Bundschu Family ring in 2021 Harvest. 

Sixth Generation vintners and siblings Jeff and Katie Bundschu, alongside their father Jim Bundschu rang in Sonoma Valley’s 197th vintage, alongside growers, vintners, elected officials, Sonoma Valley Fire and Police, partners, neighbors and more. 

“We are excited to be here and position this family for the next generation, as we’ve been involved here for a long time. We love Sonoma Valley as an organization, an appellation, and a source for world class grapes,” said Jeff Bundschu of Gundlach Bundschu Winery. “As far as we may go in the world of wine, we are always happy to come home, because this is the perfect blend of very high-quality viticulture wine growing, intense focus on business, and most importantly, on community and on each other.”

Gundlach Bundschu is California’s oldest family-owned winery and for six generations and more than 160 years, their family has farmed their Rhinefarm estate vineyard at the crossroads of the Sonoma Valley, Carneros and Napa Valley appellations. Today, they focus on making small lots of ultra-premium wines from this distinctive and historic property. 

Additionally, SVVGA will hold a valley-wide bell ringing at the Sonoma Valley Farmers Market on Tuesday, August 24 at 7:00pm, where the entire Sonoma Valley community is invited to participate and toast the season. SVVGA encourages community members and the public to follow along on these Social Media channels: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and news alerts on the Sonoma Valley Harvest. Please use #SonomaValleyHarvest when sharing your own photos and videos.  

Special thanks to our generous Harvest Bell Ringing Sponsors, Bank of America.   

About SVVGA  

The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA) is a non-profit organization serving more than 500 members who share a mission to promote awareness of Sonoma Valley’s grapes, wine and history as the birthplace of the California wine industry. Sonoma Valley comprises six of the eighteen American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) of Sonoma County: Bennett Valley, Los Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain and Sonoma Valley. To learn more about the SVVGA visit www.SonomaValleyWine.com or call 707-935-0803.   


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