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Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association Appoints New Executive Director

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Anderson Valley WinegrowersPhilo, Calif., November 30, 2015 – The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association (AVWA) has hired John Cesano as its new executive director, effective December 1.

Cesano is a veteran of the Mendocino wine industry and a noted local journalist. He crushed his first grapes in 1972 for a family wine, worked vineyards during summers as a teen, and has been involved with wine his entire life, both personally and professionally.

“We’re very excited to welcome John to the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association,” said Joe Webb, president of the Association. “With his skillset and experience, plus his intimate knowledge of Mendocino County, I have no doubts that the AVWA will continue to prosper under his leadership.”

After a degree in marketing and four years of service in the U.S. Army, Cesano worked as a tuxedoed waiter in a fine dining restaurant in Sonoma County, where he learned fine wine service. John went on to open a restaurant and put together his first wine list. For eight years, Cesano managed tradeshows for Windsor Vineyards and Rodney Strong wineries, also traveling the nation to promote their wines and host “Meet the Winemaker” dinners. He visited hundreds of wineries and tasting rooms and opened 42 California counties to outside sales for the Wine Appreciation Guild – the nation’s largest seller of wine books and wine accessories. For the last five years, Cesano managed retail operations the McFadden Farm Stand & Tasting Room in Hopland, also working to promote the Hopland Passport event.

In addition to his 30-plus years of wine industry experience, Cesano writes an award-winning wine column in The Ukiah Daily Journal – Mendocino’s largest daily newspaper – and on his Web site, JohnOnWine.com, where he has profiled many vintners in Mendocino County and covered its many wine events.

Cesano will take over day-to-day management of the association from current Executive Director Janis MacDonald, who is retiring this month. He will also be responsible for the organization’s four major events: the International Alsace Varietals Festival in February, the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival in May, the Anderson Valley Barrel Tasting Weekend in July, and the Winesong Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Celebration in September.

“I could not be more excited,” Cesano said. “Everything I have done in the wine industry in the past has paved the way for what I consider to be my dream job. I love the wines of Anderson Valley, the unmatched beauty of the area, and consider myself blessed to be able to tell the story of our vineyards, wines, and appellation on behalf of the more than 100 members of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association.”

Cesano can be contacted at the AVWA: (707) 895-9463 or via e-mail at [email protected].

For more information about the AVWA or its events, visit the AVWA Web site at www.avwines.com. A recently completed vineyard census (2014) can also be found online.

About the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association:

The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association operates with the goal of supporting the region’s grape growers and wineries, as well as promoting the region’s wines. In addition to acting as a resource for its members, the association aims to better its community by donating funds every year to local nonprofit organizations. To-date, more than $350,000 – raised at the association’s events – has been given to local charities. For more information about the association, its board of directors, or for a list of association members, please visit www.avwines.com.

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