The Spill: Vintners’ grants, environmental awards and restoring Hood Mountain

The Spill is devoted to news about and for the wine industry. Learn about how locals support locals, and a chance for those devoted to the environment can earn recognition.

The grant application process for Sonoma County Vintners Foundation 2021 community grants opened Feb. 12 for organizations seeking financial assistance of between $5,000 and $20,000.

To best serve current conditions and needs the Foundation is focusing its giving in four priority areas that include education; health and human services; the environment; and arts and culture.

Examples of past grant winners in Sonoma Valley include La Luz Center, Sonoma Overnight Support and Friends in Sonoma Helping in the health and human services segment. Arts and culture examples include Art Escape. Literacy and education examples include Sonoma Valley Teen Services. Audubon Canyon Ranch, Pepperwood Foundation, and Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation are among those in the environment category.

Two virtual grant workshops that took place on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 — recordings can be accessed through the organization — are not mandatory, but suggested to better understand priorities and criteria.

A staggered application deadline is in place to ensure a smooth process. Friday, March 5 by 5 p.m. is the deadline for those applying in the health and human services and arts and culture categories. The education and environment grant applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 12.

Applicants will be notified in May for the grant period that runs June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022.

The Sonoma County Wine Auction, which has raised more than $37 million for local nonprofits, funds the Foundation’s grant program. There is a link to apply on line at Community Foundation Sonoma County (

Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 California Green Medal award.

California vineyards and wineries are encouraged to apply for the 2021 Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards. There are four categories for awards, they are: leader award, for the winery and/or vineyard that best demonstrates environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically viable practices; environmental award for the winery and/or vineyard that uses sustainable practices to demonstrate environmental stewardship; community award for using innovative practices that enrich relationships with employees, neighbors and communities; and the business award for employing sustainable cost savings and business efficiencies.

Now in its seventh year the Green Medal awards seek to honor those who are leaders in the wine industry implementing the “Three Es of Sustainability” – environment, economic and social equity.

Sonoma County’s winegrowers made a commitment in 2014 to become the most sustainable winegrowing region in the world and today claims that 99 percent of the county’s vineyards are certified sustainable.

Applications are now being accepted at through Friday, April 2.

To help the fire recovery efforts of Hood Mountain, Kenwood Vineyards will match the first $10,000 raised from Sonoma County Parks Foundation.

Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve was badly damaged by the Glass fire in September, some of the same area that was destroyed in the 2017 Nuns fire.

Things such as bridges, signs, trail markers and retaining walls were all damaged. Manmade infrastructure needs to be replaced with materials such as stone and steel that will withstand potential future fires.

Kenwood Vineyards’ match will benefit the Hood Mountain Fire Recovery Campaign of the Bill and Dave Legacy Fund, which honors longtime hike leaders Bill Myers and Dave Chalk who led the Bill and Dave Hikes in Sonoma County for 20 years.

Donations can be made through Sonoma County Parks Foundation.

Contact Anne at

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