Attend the Premiere of the Visual Oral History of Legendary Sonoma County Winemaker Edward Lee “Mac” McDonald

Rohnert Park, CA, May 7, 2024 – The premiere of the Visual Oral History of Edward Lee “Mac” McDonald, the esteemed patriarch of African American winemakers in Sonoma County, is set for Monday, June 17 at 5 pm, generously hosted by Paradise Ridge Winery, 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa, announced Chris Falley, President of the Sonoma County Library Foundation. Tickets and more information available at https://sonomawinelibraryassn.org/events/.

“We are honored to present this next event in our new Tasting Diversity project as part of Juneteenth celebrations,” Falley said. Tasting Diversity is a collaboration of the Library Foundation, with the Sonoma County Library’s Wine Library, and the Sonoma County Wine Library Association. Advising partners include the Association of African American Vintners and the NAACP Santa Rosa/Sonoma County chapter.

“Mac sets the example for all of us,” said Tasting Diversity project coordinator Dennis McCarter, founder of award-wining McCarter Cellars and a member of the Foundation’s board of directors. “He’s an honored winemaker, dynamic teacher and formidable evangelist.  He and his wife Lil founded Visons Cellars in Windsor in 1995. Mac co-founded the Association of African American Vintners in 2002.”

The Visual Oral History (VOH) is produced for the Wine Association by Sonoma’s On the Wine Road radio host and podcaster Jeff Davis.  This is another in the Association’s noteworthy series of histories capturing the life and times of Sonoma’s iconic trailblazers in winemaking and winegrowing. Previous subjects have included Lee Martinelli, Zelma Long, and Joel Peterson, to name a few.

In addition to the premiere, the event features wine tasting and appetizers from some of the county’s prominent African American winemakers and chefs: Chris Christensen (Bodkin Wines), Dan Glover (L’Objet Wines), Justin Michelle Ward Trabue (Ward Four Wines), Dennis McCarter (McCarter Cellars), and Chef Marc-Henri Jean-Baptiste (Maison Porcella). Wines from Paradise Ridge will also be available to taste.

General admission is $55. For donors to the Library Foundation, and members of the SCWLA, AAAV, and NAACP, tickets are $45.

Sonoma County Wine Library has one of the most comprehensive collections of wine information in the world, with a collection of 5,000 volumes (including 1,000 rare books with some dating to 1514); subscriptions to some 40 periodicals, and more. The mission of the Wine Library is to preserve, make available, and distribute information regarding viticulture, enology, and wine history, with particular emphasis on the California North Coast Region. For more information, contact Megan Jones at mjones@sonomalibrary.org or 707.433.3772, ext 0416.

The Sonoma County Wine Library Association, founded in 1985 by Millie Howard, is the champion of the Wine Library, dedicated to supporting the Wine Library’s mission, resources, and activities.  Association activities throughout the year are carefully designed to engage, inform and empower. For more information, contact Julie Pedroncelli St. John, President at julie@pedroncelli.com or 707.482.3157.

The Sonoma County Library Foundation, since its initial formation in 1986, has been equal parts vocal advocate, dedicated funder and staunch champion for the Sonoma County Library. The Foundation received its IRS designation as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 1991, and since then has made its priority to support SCL services and programming where needed with inspiring examples throughout its history including bolstering various collections, enhancing the capacity of programs, and strengthening services through its strategic donations. Currently, the Foundation is leading a $3.6 million campaign to provide the collection, furniture, fixtures and equipment for the new Roseland Regional Library. Groundbreaking will be in late 2024.  For more information, contact Chrissy Nelson at funddevelopment@sonomalibrary.org or 707-800-2658.

Tasting Diversity, with its mission to showcase African American leadership in the wine community, held its sold-out ground-breaking inaugural event in February 2024.  Hosted by Fog Crest Vineyard, guests heard a panel discussion moderated by Jay Jackson, with panelists including: Christopher Christensen (Bodkin Wines), Danny Glover (L’Objet Wines), Rosalind Manoogian (Fog Crest Vineyard), Angela McCrae (Association of African American Vintners), Brenae Royal (Vineyard Manager, Monte Rosso Vineyard).  Tasting Diversity is a collaboration of the Sonoma County Library’s Wine Library, Sonoma County Wine Library Association, and the Sonoma County Public Library Foundation. Partners include Steve and Mary Graves, descendants of abolitionist John Brown; Association of African American Vintners; and the NAACP Santa Rosa-Sonoma County Branch.

Founded in 2002, the Association of African American Vintners stands as the first resource for advancing equity in the wine industry. Our mission is to provide comprehensive education, advocacy, and community support not only for Black vintners but also for wine brands and industry professionals. Serving as a guiding beacon, we advocate for inclusivity and breaking down barriers for all. With the mantra “We Make Wine Inclusive,” we welcome individuals across the wine community to seek the information required for industry advancement. Our commitment is to be a central hub where knowledge, support, and unity converge to propel everyone towards success. Visit aaavintners.org for more information and to purchase many AAAV member wines.

NAACP Santa Rosa – Sonoma County Branch envisions an inclusive community rooted in liberation where all persons can exercise their civil and human rights without discrimination. The organization is committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities. Its mission is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.

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