Nominated by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, Foundation Gala raises funds for student scholarships
SACRAMENTO – In a friendly and entertaining wine competition featuring 30 red and white wines from 23 California wineries, legislators and elected officials awarded gold medals to seven wines. The competition was held during the annual California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Foundation Gala, which raises funds for scholarships to children of California winegrape grower workers.
2015 Viognier, Bloomfield Vineyards, Contra Costa (wine nominated by Assemblyman Jim Frazier)
2015 Chardonnay, Rusack Vineyards, Santa Catalina Island (wine nominated by Sen. Ben Allen)
Other White Wines
2015 Vermentino, Ponte Winery, Temecula (wine nominated by Sen. Jeff Stone)
2014 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Paso Robles (wine nominated by Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham)
2012 Seven Twenty Eight Pinot Noir, Fiddlehead Cellars, Lompoc (wine nominated by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson)
2014 Mountain Zinfandel, Opolo Vineyards, Paso Robles (wine nominated by Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin)
“I’m not surprised at all,” said Assemblymember Jim Frazier. “The Bloomfield family has long farmed our region with great results. I nominated Bloomfield Vineyards for this competition because I knew its wine would more than hold its own against wineries across our Golden State. After all, east Contra Costa County is an up-and-coming wine producing area, as more residents and visitors are discovering every day. We not only have wonderful cherries, asparagus, stone fruits and Brentwood sweetcorn, but also award -winning wine and wineries. I’m just glad that other legislators are finally learning what I’ve known all along.”
It’s another prestigious win for Bloomfield’s 2015 Viognier, which earned a double gold at last summer’s California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition and was deemed the Best of the Greater Bay White wines.
“We appreciated being nominated by the Assemblymember,” said Becky Bloomfield. “The viognier has always been my signature wine, and I’ve been making them for 14 years. I’m super excited that it won!”
The boutique winery, based in Brentwood, produces only about 200 cases of viognier a year, among a total of 500 to 700 cases of wine. Most of the grapes the fourth-generation farming family grows on its 200 acres of vineyards are sold to other wineries.
About the CAWG Foundation: The foundation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that awards scholarships to high school seniors whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower. The foundation awards at least seven scholarships each year and has awarded $373,000 since its inception in 1998. For more information, visit www.cawgfoundation.org.
About CAWG: CAWG provides industry leadership to advocate for public policies, research and education programs, and sustainable farming practices to enhance the business of growing California winegrapes. The organization represents the growers of more than 50 percent of the gross grape tonnage crushed for wine and concentrate in California. For more information, visit www.cawg.org.
The Board of Directors of the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust (BALT), announced via email, Monday night, December 19, 2016 a change in their executive directors. Following is their announcement:
“We are writing to let you know about some significant changes that are taking place at the Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust. Since 2002 BALT has been working to preserve Contra Costa’s productive agricultural land and to work with farmers and the community to create a vibrant local agricultural economy.
In June of 2003 BALT hired Kathryn Lyddan as our first Executive Director. Prior to her work at BALT, Kathryn had 10 years of experience as a practicing attorney, specializing in land use and public finance law. During the past 13 years, under Kathryn’s professional leadership, BALT has permanently protected nine farms and has been instrumental in reforming County zoning to support a sustainable economic future for Contra Costa farmers.
Kathryn recently informed us that she has accepted a position Assistant Director of the California Department of Conservation, Division of Land Resource Protection. In her new role, Kathryn will be overseeing programs to protect California’s farmland and open space resources, including the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program, the Williamson Act and Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program This is an exciting opportunity for Kathryn and we know that all of you join our Board in congratulating Kathryn and wishing her well in this exciting new professional position.
While we are sad to lose Kathryn and her professional expertise, we are excited to let you know that our Board of Directors is currently engaged in the development of a new strategic planning process that is exploring a number of opportunities for ways in which BALT can be even more successful in protecting and enhancing our agricultural protection mission and in strengthening our community’s agricultural economy.
To assist us in conducting our Strategic Planning process, the Board of Directors is pleased to let you know that we have engaged Ron Brown to serve as our Interim Executive Director. Ron recently retired as the Executive Director of Save Mount Diablo where he served for over 15 years. Ron has a Master’s Degree in Management with a specialty in Marketing Non-Profit organizations.
Ron’s experience as a successful non-profit organization leader, in addition to his familiarity with Contra Costa County will assist us in maintaining our current operations and in supporting the Board of Directors, as we excitedly undertake the responsibility of planning for the next phase of BALT’s organizational lifecycle.
We value your support of BALT, so please feel free to contact Ron or any of the members of the Board of Director by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Bloomfield, Chairman
Janet Caprile, Secretary
Jon Harvey, Treasurer
Patrick Johnston, Stewardship Director
Jim Gwerder, Director”
BALT works with Contra Costa farmers and the community so that future generations in the Bay Area will have a local source of food. The rich agricultural lands on the urban edge of Contra Costa County include more than 12,000 acres of irrigated farmland located just fifty miles from the Bay Area. With rich delta soils, ample water and a year-round growing season, Brentwood farms have provided food for the Bay Area since the 1880’s. Today Brentwood farmers continue to grow a remarkable diversity of food, primarily fruits and vegetables.
BALT permanently protects the fertile orchards and farms in this rapidly developing region with an active farmland conservation program. BALT promotes local farming and builds new markets for farmers through the Buy Fresh Buy Local marketing program. Working closedly with local governments, BALT develops programs and policies that supports a vibrant agricultural economy for Contra Costa farmers. Together with community partners, BALT is creating food connections between farmers and their urban neighbors.
For more information on BALT, visit www.brentwoodaglandtrust.org.
As a Brentwood farmer, I have watched Steve Barr work through many East County issues, and his thoroughness and balance has always impressed me. Steve has always had the ability to see the greater picture, and make decisions which will work most effectively for the community at large. Steve’s decisions have helped East County’s quality of life through his long-time support of the establishment of agriculture conservation easements which will help ensure the future of agriculture in the East County.
Steve has also voiced strong support for value-added agricultural enterprises such as wineries, farmers’ markets, fruit stands and u-picks. These enterprises will help the local farm economy develop their own markets and increase sustainability. Steve’s volunteer work as lead organizer of the Brentwood Cornfest helped cement his relationship between the ag community and the urban city.
Steve’s experience as an independent businessman has given him an understanding and perspective of the greater community’s relationship between business, jobs and government. As Contra Costa County Supervisor, Steve Barr will use his experience and his insightfulness to make decisions which will be best for the entire community now and in the long run.
Partner, Dwelley Famly Farms