The Yucaipa Valley Wine Alliance is proud to announce that we have been granted over $5,000 by the Yucaipa City Council to pursue an AVA designation for the region of Yucaipa.
The process began on June 25th, when Craig spoke on behalf of the Yucaipa Valley Wine Alliance to City Council to request $8,000, a portion of the annual Community Activity Grant. The Community Activity Grant is a city grant available to local non-profits who are holding events and pursuing goals that are beneficial to the community.
The subject was hotly contested amongst the present City Council members, with Denise Allen and Bobby Duncan voting in favor of approving the YVWA with $3,035 to contribute to the establishment of an AVA. Council members David Avila and Dick Riddell did not approve the funds, and because Mayor Greg Bogh was absent for this week's City Council meeting, the vote was delayed until the upcoming meeting on July 9th.
Two weeks later, Craig spoke again to City Council, as well as a supportive crowd that gathered cheers from the audience at the conclusion of his speech. As City Council began to debate the merits of a wine industry in Yucaipa, Denise Allen and Bobby Duncan gave impassioned speeches about the benefits of a wine country in the Yucaipa Valley, gathering large cheers from the crowd. Though Dick Riddell maintained his view that we were not properly before the board, David Avila publicly gave support to the Wine Alliance, though he preferred that we search for alternative funds to create the AVA and not use the Community Activity Grant.
Greg Bogh became the deciding vote on City Council, and opened up his remarks to the audience with "This could be a game changer." Mayor Bogh, clearly seeing the vision put forth by Craig and the Wine Alliance, awarded us the $3,035 and an additional $2,000 in in-kind help from the City to help further offset the costs of fundraising for an AVA.
This is the most significant step the YVWA has made toward establishing a viticultural area in the Yucaipa Valley. We have raised over $5,000 in funds and now received the public support of 4 Council Members to create a wine region in Yucaipa. With these seed funds, we'll begin the process for applying for the AVA, which Vice President Preston Todd, Board Member John Leuer, and President Craig Suveg have tentatively named the Yucaipa Valley District AVA.
Though this is a significant step forward in the creation of an AVA, we still have lots more work to do. The application process is lengthy and will cost close to $20,000 when all is said and done. You can get involved by becoming a member, or making a contribution to the Wine Alliance to help establish an AVA, enriching the Yucaipa area and transforming the region forever.