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Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance Launches New Training Initiative, the Petaluma Gap Accreditation Program for Wine & Hospitality Professionals


Ideal for sommeliers, servers, retailers, and distributors, who can earn a résumé-building certification, the engaging training video highlights the distinctive attributes of Petaluma Gap wines

Petaluma, CA, April 18, 2022 – The Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance today announced it has launched a new training initiative, the Petaluma Gap Accreditation Program (PGAP), to educate wine and hospitality professionals about the unique growing conditions that define the Petaluma Gap American Viticultural Area (AVA). The federal government approved the AVA in 2017, more than 30 years after Petaluma Gap’s more established neighboring AVAs in Sonoma County. It is the only AVA whose boundaries are based primarily on wind patterns, and it is also the first to include vineyards in Marin County.

“Our hospitality professionals and partners are eager to learn about the Petaluma Gap, but until now, we have had no easy way to educate them on the unique qualities of the region,” said Ana Keller, Proprietor of Keller Estate and an Emeritus Board Member for the Alliance. “We modeled the program after the training we wanted for our own tasting room teams. Once we created the concept, we realized that the training would also be valuable for sommeliers, wine retailers and distributors, hotel and restaurant staff and eventually even for wine enthusiasts who crave more knowledge about their favorite wines.” 

The program consists of an online 25-minute training video hosted by award-winning wine writer Elaine Chukan Brown, a study guide, and an optional online certification test. A nominal fee covers the administration of the test and the certificate, which can enhance wine professionals’ résumés. 

“We greatly value our partners in the hospitality industry who recommend our wines to their guests. This dynamic training program will make it even easier for them to understand and convey all that makes our Petaluma Gap wines so special,” said Tom Gendall, President of the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance Board of Directors and Director of Winemaking & Viticulture at Cline Cellars.

The Petaluma Gap Accreditation Program is sponsored by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors – District 2 and American AgCredit. Beginning April 18th, the training video and certification exam can be accessed by visiting www.petalumagap.com/certification.

About the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance

Founded in 2005, the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance (PGWA) exists to educate members of the wine trade and consumers about the Petaluma Gap AVA and to increase awareness of the region’s unique growing conditions and resulting wine quality. PGWA additionally supports member winegrowers and vintners within the region through ongoing programs and communications designed to help them maximize their success within the industry. The group’s membership is made up of grape growers, wineries, associate business members, sponsors and local community members with a passion for the region and its wine.

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