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Mendocino County Fish Friendly Farmers and CleanFish Partner for North American Wild Fisheries and Sustainable Seafood

July 21, 2008

CleanFish, one of the nation’s most prominent brokers of wild caught and sustainably farmed fish, and the Fish Friendly Farming(C)-certified grapegrowers and winemakers of Mendocino County have joined forces with some of the nation’s most prominent chefs and restaurateurs to celebrate North American Wild Fisheries and sustainable seafood. Together, they will produce a series of public-facing dinners in key metro markets to enlighten consumers about sustainable, artisan-quality seafood.

The first vineyards to be Fish Friendly certified, in 2002, were in Mendocino County’s Russian River and Navarro River watersheds according to Laurel Marcus, Executive Director of the California Land Stewardship Institute, which administers the Fish Friendly Farming(C) environmental certification program.

“Supporting an initiative that educates the public about better fish choices while sharing some of the great fish and wine pairing combinations is a perfect partnership,” said Paige Poulos, Mendocino Winegrape & Wine Commission spokeswoman. “Farmers in tune with their land and the environment are more aware of what happens in the vineyard. Quality farming leads to quality wine in the glass,” she said.

“Wild fish, like all foods, have seasons. CleanFish Alliance producers give chefs and fish lovers the opportunity to experience wild-caught and artisanal, sustainable fish at the peak of its seasonality,” said CleanFish founder Tim O’Shea. “At these dinners, we are celebrating a new movement where diners can feel and taste the difference we can all make when voting with our forks and our wineglasses for better practices and a better future for our rivers, lakes and seas,” he said.

The series, which will include dinners in the San Francisco Bay Area, Las Vegas, San Jose, Los Angeles, Boston and New York, among others, commences this month with dinners by Chef Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood in Las Vegas paired with Tim Thornhill of Mendocino Wine Co., July 30, 7pm, $125 +tax/tip, (702) 632-9300 and Chefs Roland Passot and Brian Berling’s Tanglewood in San Jose paired with Zac Robinson of Husch Vineyards, August 14, 7pm, $65 +tax/tip, (408) 244-0464. Chef Peter Pahk at Silverado Resort in Napa, paired with winemaker/winegrape grower Mary Elke of Donnelly Creek Ranch including wines from Elke Vineyards, Roederer Estate and Breggo Cellars will be held on a date TBD as of today. Proceeds from the dinners will benefit non-profit groups working to support wild fisheries and promote health and sustainability in artisanal fish farming operations.

About CleanFish

CleanFish sources and promotes top quality seafood that is safe and sustainable. As a national seafood company, CleanFish functions as a market champion for small-scale fishermen and artisanal fish farmers, bringing wild-caught and sustainably farmed fish to restaurants, retailers and seafood distributors who form the CleanFish Alliance for Sustainable Seafood. www.cleanfish.com

About Mendocino Winegrape & Wine Commission

Mendocino Winegrape & Wine Commission is an alliance of 73 wineries and 343 winegrape growers based in Mendocino County, California. The Commission, founded in 2006, is dedicated to sharing knowledge of the singular attributes of the winegrapes, wines and wine estates of Mendocino County, America’s Greenest Wine Region, with a diversity of audiences around the world. The region’s Fish Friendly Farming-certified vineyards are in both the Navarro River and Russian River Watersheds, and include: Brutocao Vineyards, Cakebread Cellars Anderson Valley, Cononiah Vineyard, Dark Horse Vineyard, Downey Vineyards, Duckhorn Wine Company: Goldeneye Vineyard, Elke Vineyards: Donnelly Creek Ranch/Witherell Creek Ranch, Ferrington Vineyard, Fetzer Vineyards (Sundial Vineyard/Anthony’s Hill), Gibson Vineyards, Golden Vineyards (Fairbairn Ranch/Heart Arrow Ranch), Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, Haiku Ranch, Hildreth Farms Inc (Babcock/Home Ranch/Ledford Ranch/Robinson/Scott Williams), Husch Vineyards, James Vineyards, King Farms, La Ribera Vineyards, Larramendy Vineyards, Light Vineyards, McDowell Valley Vineyards, McFadden Farm (McFadden Farm/Eel River Rd), Meyer Family Cellars, Milovina Vineyards (Parducci-Largo/Robinson Ranch), Navarro Vineyards, Nelson and Sons Vineyards, Norgard Farms (Twinning Ranch/Victim Vineyard), Raye’s Hill Vineyard and Winery, Ridley Vineyards, Roederer Estate Winery (Carney Ranch, Dach Pinoli Ranch, Walraven Ranch), Ruddick Ranch Inc, Russian Wolf Vineyard, Sanel Valley Vineyards, Schramsberg-Juster Vineyard, Summer Wind Vineyards, Waddington Ranch Vineyards, and Yorkville Cellars. www.mendowine.com

About California Land Stewardship & Fish Friendly Farming

The California Land Stewardship Institute (CLSI), a non-profit organization, which operates the Fish Friendly Farming Environmental Certification program in 5 counties and implements numerous stream habitat restoration projects with farmers and private property owners. The mission of CLSI is to help private landowners implement land management practices and ecological restoration projects for the long-term benefit of the environment. www.fishfriendlyfarming.org

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