Cottingham to leave Sonoma’s wine trade group SVVGA

After 17 years at the helm of Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance, the Valley’s wine trade group, executive director Maureen Cottingham announced she will end her tenure there in April.

Cottingham is leaving to take over operations of her family’s Ventura County farm.

In a press announcement, Cottingham described the move as “bittersweet,” noting her deep gratitude to the SVVGA over the years, but that she was also “honored to be called upon to bring our family’s farming tradition to the next generation.”

SVVGA Board President Prema Behan described Cottingham’s accomplishments for SVVGA as “extensive,” noting how she had “elevated and coalesced our wine region over the years.”

“Maureen’s departure, while amazing for her family and the succession plan for her family ranch, is a deep loss to our community and to SVVGA,” said Behan, a cofounder of Three Sticks Wines. “We are truly grateful for her bold leadership, unwavering dedication and service to our vintners, winegrowers and community.”

Cottingham is the seventh generation of her family to operate their commercial farm. The family has been growing avocados and lemons for 50 years, she said.

“It goes back to my great-great grandfather, and beyond,” she said.

The Vintners & Growers Alliance Board of Directors plans to launch a search for Cottingham’s replacement soon. Questions about the position should go to Maureen Cottingham at

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