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Sonoma County Winegrowers Hires Sustainability Manager

Posted on April 28, 2014

The Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) announced the appointment of Robert LaVine as Sustainability Manager to help the organization reach its goal of bringing 100 percent of the vineyards in Sonoma County sustainable by 2019.

“Since making the announcement in January, we’ve promised our winegrowers that help was on its way to guide them through the process and ensure that we meet our goal of 100 percent sustainability,” says Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers. “We created a new sustainability manager role to support our growers, both small and large, receive the proper resources to successfully become sustainable within the next 5 years. The addition of someone like Robert LaVine with his strong background in sustainability and grower relations shows our continued commitment to this initiative long term.”

In this role, LaVine will oversee all aspects of the Sonoma County Winegrower’s push towards becoming the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable winegrowing region, including supporting the  development and implementation of the program; supporting Sonoma County winegrowers in their sustainability assessment and certification process; providing education and workshops to growers and other wine industry stakeholders; tracking, measuring, and communicating the progress of the initiative; as well as expand and build new sustainability partnerships.

LaVine is a well-respected viticulturist with more than 30 years of winegrowing experience throughout California with an emphasis on implementation, education, and promotion of sustainability. Most recently, LaVine worked at Fetzer Winery as director of sourcing where he was responsible for sourcing grapes, juice, and bulk wine for production of luxury, premium, and popular priced brands from throughout California and throughout the world. This included leading the company’s efforts to promote sustainability with its vineyard sources throughout the state, including organic producers. Prior to that, LaVine worked for two decades at Robert Mondavi as director of winegrower relations in the Central Coast region. During this time, he was a founding member of the Central Coast Vineyard Team, a groundbreaking group of winegrowers that took a leadership role in the early adoption of sustainable vineyard practices. He was also on the development committee for Sustainable in Practice (SIP) program. LaVine has a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis.

About the Sonoma County Winegrowers

Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, dba Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW), was established in 2006 as a nonprofit marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions. With more than 1,800 growers, SCW’s goal is to increase awareness and recognition of the quality and diversity of Sonoma County’s grapes and wines through dynamic marketing and educational programs targeted to wine consumers around the world. For more information about SCWC and its programs, visit

Region: Napa & Sonoma
Job Function: Vineyard Management/Viticulture

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