In the breakneck-paced Bay Area, you'd think being considered slow is a bad thing, but Wine Country is celebrating a new slow title.
In Italian, Cittaslow means "slow city" and it has everything to do with slow food and quality of life. It is pronounced chee-tah slow if you happen to find yourself sharing this news around the office.
Chittaslow towns are located in Italy, Austria, Spain, Sweden, The United Kingdom, Denmark, South Korea, Poland, Australia, Germany, Turkey, The Netherlands, Norway and thanks to Sonoma -- the United States.
Longtime Sonoma resident Virginia Hubbell coordinated the effort to get the recognition.
"Sonoma Valley is the perfect community to become the first Cittaslow in the United States. We are committed to the "slow" philosophy and goals for the long term," Hubbell said.
The town's mayor Ken Brown calls it an honor.
"We’re used to being first. The City of Sonoma was the first to raise the Bear Flag for the Republic of California before it was a member of the Union. Sonoma takes this honor seriously," Brown said.
In order to be considered slow enough to be Cittaslow- slow, towns have to have populations fewer than 50,000 residents. They are then evaluated in areas like sustainable agricultural practices, land use and infrastructure, environmental policy, support for local food cultivation and preparation, conservation of traditional artisan products, available hospitality programs, historic preservation and educational programs for all ages.
So the next time you are in Sonoma sipping some great wine: sit back and relax. No reason to hurry. They take pride in being slow.