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Monday, November 9, 2015

11/09/2015 - Wine for Good

Explore Boutique Sonoma County Wineries on the V2V Wine Safari

This November, Global Partners for Development will host its first annual V2V Wine Safari, in which ticket holders will gain access to free tastings at eight boutique Sonoma County wineries that are helping to “turn wine into water” for children in Africa. Through Vineyards to Villages (V2V), the Sonoma County wine industry raises funds for clean water projects at elementary schools in western Kenya. Participating wineries donate 1/3 of the sales price of designated V2V wines in their tasting rooms to the cause.
Safari tickets are $40 and can be purchased at The tickets provide a free tasting at each of the following wineries from November 14-22: Christopher Creek Winery, Deux Amis Winery, Esterlina Vineyards & Winery, Fritz Underground Winery, Merriam Vineyards, Pedroncelli Winery, Viszlay Vineyards, and the Windsor Tasting Lounge.

Access to potable water and hygiene facilities remains a key public health issue around the globe. Waterborne disease is rampant in western Kenya and causes chronic illness and death, especially among young children. In 2013, only half of Kenyans had access to a clean water source. In 2011, the World Health Organization attributed global economic losses of $260 billion to the reduced productivity of disease-affected populations and the opportunity costs of time spent collecting water.

The V2V program funds clean water infrastructure, sanitation facilities, hygiene education, and community water kiosks at village primary schools in western Kenya. Each school forms a water committee to manage the projects and provide sustainability over time. V2V has raised more than $70,000 in its first 18 months and has brought clean water to thousands of children and their families.

When families are freed from the burdens of waterborne disease, they have the opportunity to commit their time and energy toward educational and entrepreneurial activities and contribute to the development of their own communities.
V2V is managed by Global Partners for Development, a Rohnert Park-based organization that seeks to address community-level needs in the areas of health, water, and education in East Africa. 

For more information on the V2V Wine Safari, contact Amy Holter, Director of Programs and Evaluation for Global Partners at    


Amy Holter
Global Partners

Amy Holter is the Director of Programs and Evaluation and has worked for Global Partners since November 2013. Amy brings expertise in monitoring and evaluation of international projects and experience working for both local and international education nonprofits. Amy holds a B.A. in Journalism and Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in International Development from American University. Her interest in global service grew during her time working and volunteering in South Africa and Latin America

Dave Stare
Founder, Dry Creek Vineyards

David Stare - Dave has been a board member for Global Partners since 2009. David is the founder and board chair of Dry Creek Vineyards. After a successful 35 years in the wine business, Dave pursues the arts, travels, and serves on several community Boards.

The history of Dry Creek Vineyard is a long and colorful one. Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard paved the way for a renaissance of winemaking and viticulture in the Dry Creek Valley. Before his arrival, the Dry Creek Valley was little more than a few family farms and prune orchards. It was Dave’s vision to start a Loire Valley inspired winery, which triggered a viticultural reawakening in northern Sonoma County.

Without a doubt, David Stare is a pioneer. Heading west in the late 1960s, he personified the character and work ethic of early Gold Rush pioneers. Educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dave worked for the B&O Railroad for several years but quickly realized that his true calling was in the wine industry. Inspired by his trips to the Loire Valley, he headed west to California to start his own family winery.

Upon his arrival, Dave began taking winemaking classes at UC Davis as a graduate student. On the weekends, he spent time looking at vineyard land from Monterey to Mendocino. It was during one of those weekend trips that fate drew Dave to the Dry Creek Valley. When he saw an old prune orchard across the street from the Dry Creek General Store, Dave realized that he had found his dream location. He purchased the orchard and began planting vines. Captivated by his memories of Loire-style wines, Sauvignon Blanc seemed destined to figure prominently in the Dry Creek Vineyard portfolio. However, several famed vineyard specialists advised him against planting Sauvignon Blanc. Always looking to push the envelope, Dave planted the varietal anyway and the rest is history.

Clay B. Fritz
Fritz Underground Winery

 Clayton B. Fritz is the President of Fritz Cellars. A San Francisco native, he is the son of winery founder Jay Arthur Fritz and grew up playing in the vineyards and woods surrounding the winery. After graduating from the College of the Holy Cross, he spent several years working at start-ups and making wine during the summer. Eventually his love of wine took over and he came back to work harvest at Fritz and never left. 

At Fritz he has focused on expanding the offerings they produce at their unique subterranean facility, while maintaining a viticultural passion for sustainability, quality, and tradition. Clay is a board member of the Wine Growers of Dry Creek Valley and a board member of the Sonoma County Vintners Cooperative. 

Clay is married to Natalia Valpredo and they have three children: Buchannon, Bianca and Leonardo.

 Fritz Underground Winery is unlike any place you've ever visited. A visionary wonder built ahead of its time by namesake Mr. Jay Arthur Fritz in the late 1970's, this monumental Gaudi style masterpiece represents a viticultural passion for sustainability, quality, and tradition. Today, Jay's son Clayton runs the winery with the same dedication and enthusiasm to these core values.
Built into the side of a picturesque hill atop the northernmost region of the famed Dry Creek Valley, the Fritz Winery operates with a modern sensibility for efficiency and awareness by utilizing the unique attributes of its subterranean design. Naturally cool temperatures, ideal for wine making and cellaring, are maintained without any use of expensive or carbon-heavy devices common to most modern wine production. What's more, as a three-tiered structure, we're able to further cut down on energy usage by capitalizing on the always plentiful presence of gravity. By harnessing gravity to move our juice from the crush pad down to the tanks and barrels, we're not only saving energy by forgoing pumps, we're also saving our precious juice from the detrimental effects of excessive pulsation and buffeting. It's in this way that the delicate nuances present in our Pinot Noir and other prized Estate fruit is maintained and the nurtured by our winemaker Brad Longton.
Quality Starts with Terroir
Jay Fritz's vision for a winery grounded in responsible stewardship is what has allowed the quality of the natural bounty of our 120+ Estate to thrive over the past thirty years. With a natural spring to supply simple irrigation, redwood groves to provide unique micro-climates, and a soil ideal for prized planting year after year, the Fritz terroir provides for a caliber of wine unrivaled.
A Timeless Perspective
It was Jay Fritz's fidelity to sustainability and quality that ultimately made the Fritz Winery what it is today. The company's seamless respect for the vineyards, and the traditions of artisan, hand-crafted wine making continue today as both a testament to the founding and commitment to the future. Today, Clayton Fritz and the rest of the Fritz Winery Family work tirelessly to invigorate the traditions of old with the passion of the future. The results speak for themselves; we invite you to join us in enjoying the bounty of Fritz Underground Winery.


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