Russian River Valley Winegrowers (RRVW) have announced Jesslyn Jackson as the organization’s new executive director. Responsible for supporting the diverse winery and grower membership base, along with new member recruitment, Jackson will drive strategic marketing initiatives, member services programming, and overall agency administration. Jackson takes the lead as visitors are again warmly – and safely – welcomed back to the area’s wineries and tasting rooms.
“Jesslyn brings exceptional industry experience, and has a proven ability to develop meaningful winery marketing programs, create unique events and serve as a strong champion for our region,” said Clark Lystra, board president, Russian River Valley Winegrowers. “As we look forward to a year of reopening, we’re thrilled to have Jesslyn’s energy and expertise.”
Over the past decade, Jackson has been focused on sharing the stories of wine country, and was previously director of membership & international programs for Sonoma County Vintners, where she managed large-scale marketing, education and trade events across the globe. She has also held positions in hospitality and wine sales, and spent a season as a harvest intern.
“With its rich history, convivial spirit, and diversity of terrain, this region has so much to offer,” said Jesslyn Jackson, incoming executive director, Russian River Valley Winegrowers. “I’m honored to join RRVW and am dedicated to working closely with the Board and our members to bring even more awareness to the people, places and distinctive wines of the Russian River Valley, a place I have been happy to call my home for nearly a decade.”
With the return of tourism, Jackson will be immediately focused on supporting RRVW’s nearly 200 members during the summer travel season, welcoming guests to the area to safely taste and explore in-person.
“After a year of virtual events, we know wine lovers are eager to get out from behind their screens,” Lystra continued. “Our members have created some exciting experiences, with curated tastings and tours that allow for a very personalized visit. It’s a wonderful time to come to the area.”
Just an hour from San Francisco and with easy access to the Sonoma County airport, it’s a destination for Bay Area day trips or longer vacations. Tucked among hillsides and valleys along the winding Russian River, the area is defined by the foggy mornings and warm afternoons that are ideal conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with other cool-climate varietals. Wines from the area are widely acclaimed, and visitors can find a rich diversity of tasting options, along with exceptional dining and recreation.
Adding to the appeal of the region, last year the University of California at Davis, in collaboration with RRVW, unveiled pioneering research that scientifically proved Pinot Noir wines and grapes possess different nuances, depending on where in the valley the fruit was grown. Sampling wines from each of the six Russian River Valley “neighborhoods” is a chance to experience the impact of terroir. More information on the neighborhoods is available at https://russianrivervalley.org/discover/neighborhoods.
Visit https://russianrivervalley.org/travel-planner for travel details.
About the Russian River Valley Winegrowers
The Russian River Valley Winegrowers (RRVW) is a community of winemakers and farmers dedicated to producing exceptional wines that showcase the nuance and diversity of the Russian River Valley neighborhoods. Members are committed to being good stewards of the land and honoring the area’s rich farming heritage. Founded in 1994, the nonprofit organization is dedicated to driving awareness for its 200 members with marketing, sales and event initiatives that showcase the acclaimed Russian River Valley growing region and its outstanding cool-climate wines. For more information on the Russian River Valley, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.russianrivervalley.org.
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