Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Billion Reasons to Like Peg Melnik.

Peg Melnik
Peg Melnik writes a nice blog for the Press Democrat which weighs in on interesting wine and tourism related issues in Napa and Sonoma from time to time. She's a great resource for anyone visiting the area, and her book, the Explorer's Guide to Napa & Sonoma, is now in its 9th Edition (you can pick up a copy on Amazon). She writes with her husband, Tim Fish, who is an associate editor for Wine Spectator.  

She put up a piece a few weeks ago about Sonoma Valley rebranding itself, a screenshot of which is at the right. It's an interesting article, but there was just one thing that really jumped out at me ... $7 million spent in Sonoma County on tourism per year? 
Peg Melnik, "Identity Crisis?"
Tasting Room Blog, The Press Democrat, Jan. 29, 2013
available at

Someone gave Peg some very bad statistics.  The actual number in 2011, was, of course, much higher - about $1.32 billion.

By way of contrast, the value of the County's entire grape crop in 2011 was $347 million.

The figures are courtesy of Sonoma County's Economic Development Board, whose graph on the issue I excerpt at the right, and the Sonoma County Agricultural Commission.  

So -- Peg -- don't underestimate the effects of books like yours on the local economy ..., "Annual Tourism Report, 2012"
Sonoma County Economic Development Board
available at
These statistics are part of the very comprehensive economic reporting done on Sonoma County on a yearly basis.  The statistics on the EDB's web site go back more than a decade, and reading through them (and watching the changing predictions) is often illuminating.  These materials, like the UCLA Anderson Forecast and the Moody's annual reports to the County, are a great for answering questions about the economy for anyone involved in local government.