Thursday, February 07, 2008

Suisun Valley Branding Itself As Agricultural, Winery Tourism Destination

Suisun Valley Branding Itself As Agricultural, Winery Tourism Destination
East Bay Business Times - by Judy Jacobs

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While Suisun Valley grape growers are trying to put the area on the Northern California wineries map, others are working to preserve the valley as a viable economic agricultural entity.

The Suisun Valley Fund has hired Tracy Ellison as agricultural ambassador to brand and market Suisun Valley as an agricultural tourism destination. She manages, created to publicize the valley's wineries and farm stands.

"Our big event is the Fun Family Farm Days in August, September and October. Everyone on our Web site or farm trails map - about 20 vendors right now - heightens their activities," Ellison said. The activities include wine tasting, grape stomps, U-pick produce and hayrides.

Meanwhile, Victoria Erickson, owner with her husband of Erickson Ranch and chair of the Suisun Valley Fund Advisory Committee grower subcommittee, has taken the lead in creating the Suisun Valley Harvest Trails Association.

"When the (Suisun Valley) fund ends in 2010, there has to be some kind of organization that will continue what they've started," she said. "We want to continue to make Suisun Valley known to the world outside Suisun Valley."

She is completing the paperwork for the Suisun Valley Harvest Trails Association to become a nonprofit. "When we become a nonprofit, we'll be able to access funds through the Suisun Valley Fund," she said.

"People have been waiting for this association to come along. We can open the (harvest trails) map to more people. We'll also be able to have members and associate members."

Erickson hopes the association will help the valley achieve her vision. "I would like to see Suisun Valley be the type of valley where people can come and get an eclectic mix of farm stands, restaurants and wineries - and maybe eventually B&Bs," she said. "A place where people can spend a day or a couple of days to discover what Suisun Valley has to offer. A combination new and old. We should take the old and build on what's here." | 925-598-1451

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