Leadership academy starts for Sonoma County vineyard workers

Fifteen workers from various Sonoma County farms attend class to gain skills so they can advance in their workplace.|

Future leaders in the Sonoma County wine industry are in school for the next few months.

Fifteen employees from various local vineyards attended their first session of the Richard and Saralee Kunde Leadership Academy earlier this month where they will gain skills to advance in their workplace.

Topics include financial literacy and conflict resolution. The academy is sponsored by the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation.

California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross spoke to the workers who are being paid by their employers to attend sessions that run through July. The lessons are conducted in both Spanish and English.

Seidenfeld promoted at Rodney Strong

Justin Seidenfeld has been named senior vice president of winemaking and winegrowing at Rodney Strong Wine Estates in Healdsburg.

Seidenfeld succeeded Rick Sayre as director of winemaking in 2018 for the winery. He has focused on sustainability and innovation during his tenure as the fourth winemaker for the winery founded in 1959.

The wine company is best known for Rodney Strong Vineyards but its portfolio also includes Davis Bynum Wines, Rowen Wine Co., Upshot and Knotty Vines. Seidenfeld helped create the Upshot brand, which features both white and red blends.

Drought workshop to be held in Mendocino County

Grape growers can learn more about drought preparedness during an April workshop in Mendocino County.

The event is sponsored by the UC Cooperative Extension and will be held on April 1 at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center.

The cost to attend is $50 per person and includes a full day of live instruction from UC Cooperative Extension viticulture and grapevine experts. Lunch will be provided.

For more information visit https://ucanr.edu/sites/ShortCourse17.

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to bill.swindell@pressdemocrat.com.

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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