Unified Wine & Grape Symposium


The largest wine and grape symposium in the nation is taking place this week in Sacramento.  Our Mike Cook, Vice President/CFO, is in attendance.

The Symposium provides attendees direct access to the latest information they need to remain competitive along with disaster preparedness and recovery.

The wine industry faced unprecedented hurdles in 2017, from drought, to heavy rain and most recently, the wildfires.  The symposium is addressing these issues with many scheduled sessions on topics to hear about the best practices, trends, products and the issues affecting the industry today to better plan for the future.

Gina Gallo of E. & J. Gallo Winery opened the symposium as the Keynote speaker.  And, with over 650 vendors displaying their products and services this year’s symposium is sure to serve as a clearinghouse of information.

To read more, click here  https://www.unifiedsymposium.org/

Bouchaine Vineyards, Inc

As the new year kicks off, 2018 is going to be a great year for Firma Design Group.  One of our largest, more complexed construction projects will be completed in 2018.  We started construction in late 2017 after a 3-year planning and building department review.  Firma Design Group (Mike Cook) led the effort of our staff, as well as a full design and construction team to get to this point.  Mike worked with out-of-the area owners over that period to get approvals from the County of Napa.

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As you can see, from the photos, the steel is up and this Winter and Spring will be a busy time at Bouchaine Vineyards.  A fully custom-designed building, with two different curved exterior walls, will truly be unique to the world.

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Stay tuned for more updates in Spring, 2018.

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The Rain is Upon Us

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We can all be prepared to lessen the danger and damage of potential flash floods, debris flows and mudslides as we have seen occur in Southern California.

Many of our local, state, federal agencies along with non-profits have been hard at work to protect our watershed and working hard to prevent floods, mudslides, and debris flow here in Santa Rosa and the entire County.  As we have all witnessed these preventative steps have helped greatly.

The fires scarred our landscape creating a waxy coating leaving the ground more vulnerable to erosion due to the fact that the burnt upper layers of soil repel water, which accumulates rapidly and flows with a strong intensity lending itself to picking up sediment, boulders, trees and other debris that creates a bigger punch than just mud.  These potential hazards will stick around for a few years.  With this in mind, along with the preventative steps being taken, residents need to implement erosion-control measures on their property.

A professional can assist you in assessing your property and what needs to be done.  Cleaning your property of burnt trees,  plants and other matter may not be a good solution because some of this debris may act as protection from wind and water erosion and slows the water runoff.  However, clearing debris from nearby streams, storm drains and drainages is necessary to keep these channels clear.


It’s important to hire and/or consult with a licensed civil engineer with erosion and sediment control experience along with design, installation and maintenance experience.

A long-term maintenance plan is needed.  One of the main reasons recommended treatment practices fail is the lack of long-term maintenance by the landowner or responsible party.

To stay up to date click here,  http://www.sonomacountyrecovers.org

Sign up for SoCo Alerts by clicking here, http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/FES/Emergency-Management/SoCoAlert/#signup




On the fence about Rebuilding – or Not?

There’s help!

Sonoma County is a beautiful place to live and I believe will rise to new heights through this rebuild.  I have talked to many who have lost everything and now I am seeing the for-sale signs and it saddens me.  We don’t want to lose our fellow Santa Rosan’s.  “The world breaks everyone and afterwards many are stronger in the broken Places,” Ernest Hemingway


Hopefully, with our help and the help and knowledge of AIA California Council, The American Institute of Architects new website, ArchitectsHelp.org, you will decide to rebuild and stay.

By clicking on the link above you will find a wealth of information on Rebuilding, Homeowner Insurance Tools, Insurance Guidebook, Disaster Assistance (State & Federal) and Questions and Answers for fire survivors.

Not only does this website assist with the after effects it will help all of us consider preparedness options in case of wildfire, earthquakes and other natural disasters in the future.


Welcome Alison!

AlisonFirma Design Group would like to introduce you to Alison Brown.

Alison will be our Office Manager while Nicole is out on maternity leave.  Alison comes to FDG with many years experience in Sales and Office Administration.

Outside of work, Alison enjoys spending time with her 3 grandchildren, her  family along with her dog, Max.  She knits and enjoys attending live music events in beautiful Sonoma County.

Alison can be reached at 707.792.1800, ext. 116 or by email at alison@firmadesigngroup.com.