February 3 was an important day for vintners and growers when the Sonoma Valley Vintner and Growers Alliance met at the Lodge in Sonoma. The who’s who of the wine industry met to discuss the past year’s success and challenges that may be ahead of the industry.
The biggest issue that lays ahead is the water policies being placed into effect by the Sonoma County Water Agency. 30 to 50 percent cuts are expected, vineyard owners will have to find ways to keep vineyards moist, especially on dry summer days as forecasted this upcoming season.
“Water is an issue. This is something we’re all going to be involved with,” said Sonoma Mayor Ken Brown in an address to the group, according to Sonoma News. “We should establish a slogan ‘Drink wine and champagne, not water.'”
Regardless what issues may exist with water, 2008 was a greatly successful year for the wine industry. Over two million tourists visited the Valley. Alliance President Michael Muscardini said “They’re tasting wines, they’re buying wine, they’re staying overnight and they’re eating in our fine restaurants,” he said.
Vineyards brought over $1.3 billion in revenues to Sonoma County as well as 15,900 jobs.
California vineyards seem to be a popular tourist attraction for Bay Area residents because people want vacations but cannot afford to travel in the current economic situation. Visitors can visit the Valley for a chance to get away without spending a great deal of money.
Despite the economic problems in the last year wine consumption has increased by 30 percent nation wide. Two out of three bottles purchased in America come from California.
Right now is the time to start living the dream of a vintner. Vineyard loans are available, a specialist at Farm Plus can answer any questions or concerns you have about vineyard loans. Join the booming wine industry and contact Farm Plus by telephone at 866-929-5585 or online.