Each year, Sonoma County has a Barrel Auction. This is your opportunity to own a truly one-of-a-kind wine. I’ll write about their weekend events. For now, I just want to highlight who is going to be honored: the Innovators and the Icons.


Cultivated in Sonoma County’s most acclaimed vineyards. Handcrafted by legendary winemakers. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to taste, bid, and possibly own, a masterpiece of Sonoma County winemaking. Auction lots range from 5 to 20 cases, giving trade buyers the opportunity to offer true original wines for resale to their customers and ultra-premium wine collectors.

MAY 3, 2019

The Sonoma County Barrel Auction has traditionally celebrated Sonoma County Icons, vintners who have shaped the heritage and history of Sonoma County winemaking. New this year, Sonoma County Vintners have added the category of Innovators, to honor forward thinking visionaries in the Sonoma County wine community. They’ll be celebrated at a private reception, to be held on Thursday, May 2, 2019, at Seghesio Family Vineyards. They will also be honored at the Barrel Auction, on May 3.

2019 Sonoma County Innovators and Icons

The Duncan Family, Silver Oak Cellars, Alexander Valley


Under the direction of David R. Duncan, President and CEO, Tim Duncan, Chief Revenue Officer, and his daughter Haley Duncan, LEED AP, the Duncan family together have achieved LEED Platinum Sustainability Certification, the highest level of certification, at Silver Oak Cellars, Alexander Valley. It is the first winery in the world to earn this certification under the category of Building Design and Construction. Globally recognized, LEED is the most widely used green building rating system. LEED buildings are known to save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health.

Ron Rubin, Ron Rubin Winery, Green Valley of Russian River Valley


After experiencing a rapid heartbeat ventricular tachycardia and being saved by a defibrillator, Ron Rubin made it his personal mission to pay it forward by launching the “Trained for Saving Lives” program. In collaboration with the American Red Cross and ZOLL Medical Corporation, Ron Rubin has covered the cost of one ZOLL® AED Plus® (Automated External Defibrillator) unit for over 100 Sonoma County wineries and expanded the program to include the entire North Coast, including: Napa, Solano, Lake, Marin and Mendocino Counties. To date, he has provided over 200 defibrillators throughout the entire North Coast.

Margo Van Staaveren, Chateau St. Jean, Valley of the Moon


Margo Van Staaveren celebrated her 38th harvest with Chateau St. Jean in 2018 and is the winery’s fourth winemaker. Upon joining the winery in 1980 as a lab tech, she worked her way up through various positions before becoming head winemaker in 2003. Margo was instrumental in helping create Cinq Cépages, a Sonoma County Bordeaux blend, which was awarded “Wine of the Year” by Wine Spectator in 1999, the first Sonoma County winery to receive this prestigious distinction. Margo was recognized by Wine Enthusiast as Winemaker of the Year in 2008, the first female winemaker to receive this honor.


Rod Berglund, Joseph Swan Vineyards, Russian River Valley


Rod Berglund of Joseph Swan Vineyards has been making wine for 40 years, 32 of those at Joseph Swan. His winemaking career began at La Crema Viñera (now La Crema) in 1979. When Joe Swan, his friend and mentor, asked him to help him finish the 1987 vintage, he joined him for what would become his final vintage. Joe became ill that winter and Rod gradually took over the day-to-day operations prior to Joe’s passing. Rod’s service and dedication to Sonoma County has spanned his entire career—from being one of the founding members of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers to acting as President of Wine Road to helping move forward Sonoma County conjunctive labeling.