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The Rhone Rangers Press Releases

18 September, 2007


Rhône Rangers Hire New Executive Director


(Seattle, WA) – Ken McCabe, president of Corus Estates & Vineyards and president of the Board of Directors of the Rhône Rangers, announced today that the organization has hired Cheryl Quist, Founder of Mendocino Food and Wine Ventures, LLC as the executive director of the Rhône Rangers.


“It’s time for the Rhône Rangers to expand its membership beyond the two hundred current winery and grower members and to reach out to new producers of Rhône varietals. Artisan-crafted American Rhônes have found their way into the hearts of oenophiles and novices alike. In the last five years, the vineyard acreage in the U.S. for Syrah and Petite Sirah has grown significantly and there are now a handful of wineries that have achieved cult status with their Rhône-style wines” said McCabe. “Cheryl has the requisite promotional and marketing expertise to bring our membership to the next level. Her vision for the organization is to build winery partnerships that will be rooted in local appellation chapters and to partner with food and wine organizations, many of whom also operate on both a local and national basis.” According to Quist, “Syrah, Grenache and Viognier, three of the major grape varieties grown in the Rhône River Valley, are very food friendly. With the current emphasis on food and wine pairing, it’s a natural progression for the group to partner with other organizations that place an emphasis on wine served with meals, especially local wines served with food produced by local purveyors.” In her leadership role, Cheryl intends to cultivate relationships with these organizations and to provide consumers with more opportunities to taste these wines with the finest local foods. “Pinot Noir has come of age, and now it is time for consumers to discover the unique flavor profile, the dark, rich fruit and silky texture, for example, of a beautifully-crafted Syrah.”


Former Rhône Rangers executive director, Rusty Eddy of Rainmaker Marketing in Ukiah, CA, managed the organization since 2004, and is moving on to focus on marketing and public relations for individual winery clients. “I’m pleased to turn over the reins to Cheryl, and watch her move the organization forward while utilizing her unique skills, expertise, and passion for food and wine” said Eddy. Under Eddy’s direction, the Rhône Rangers grew from 150 winery members to approximately 200 members, and has conducted three events each year including the annual Rhône Rangers Tasting at San Francisco’s Fort Mason, a consumer and trade tasting in Seattle, and in 2007 a trade tasting in Los Angeles.


Cheryl Quist has solid experience in the wine industry, as the former executive director of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association, and as a food and wine event producer for Sequoia Hospital Foundation, Pinot Days, and the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. She has assisted organizations in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars through food and wine festivals, winemaker dinners, wine auctions, and other charitable events.


For more information on the Rhône Rangers, visit their web site at www.rhonerangers.org, or call their office at 800 467-0163.


The Rhône Rangers was founded in 1997 and is a non-profit organization that produces annual consumer and trade tastings and leads outreach to the press, trade and consumers on American Rhône wines. Members come from all regions in the United States. More information is available at www.Rhônerangers.org.