Saturday, September 25, 2010


Regional Definitions

Because Mr. Olney found that there is such diversity in the source of the fermentable juices used and styles in wine producing areas of America, he recommends that the recognition of individuals and organizations should be conducted on a regional basis possibly as segmented as follows: (These numbers are based of 2005 count and are in the process of being updated at this time to reflect the best estimated as of December 2009

West (2079)

The nominees are voted upon by members of the wine industry. Individuals employed in the industry must register with the AWIHOF office establishing their credentials as performing in some capacity within one or more of the seven wine industry categories previously detailed.


Mission StatementTo educate the public regarding the origin, development and growth of wine production as an important part of American culture.

To promote the positive values of wine in the lifestyles of Americans.


The AWI Museum, HOF and Foundation will be a qualifying 501 non-profit company established with a Board of Trustees, slate of officers and paid staff members, augmented by a volunteer work group to document the history of wine in America, provide tours, information services to on-tine visitors of both buildings & grounds and Internet Web sites of the AWI.

Board of Trustees The founding trustees will be selected by the founding funding sponsors and they would serve a three- year period in office and then would implement future selections of trustees in a manner such as Mr. Olney describes below

At-Large Trustees ( 5 ) - They will serve four-year terms. These individuals will be nominated and voted upon by the registered members of the wine industry.

Trustee of Qualified Other HOF Organizations( 6 ) - They will serve three-year terms. Mr. Olney suggests that a permanent seat be offered to each of the existing HOF organizations cited earlier in this presentation, and any such organization in the future that the Board of Trustee feels is a legitimate representative of some field of the AWI. These organizations will nominate and vote for their selected representative to the Board.

Regional Trustees (24) - They will serve two-year terms. He suggests that initially two (2) willing parties be located from within each of the 12 regional areas cited earlier in this presentation, to be the first occupants of the Regional Trustee seats. Thereafter these seats would be selected by nomination and voting by only members within each of the respective 12 regions.

The full Board of Trustees will select the following positions from among their membership:Chairperson1st Vice Chairperson 2nd Vice Chairperson SecretaryTreasurer

Executive Committee (11) The Board of Trustees would select an Executive Committee from among their composition to oversee the routine operations of the staff officers, salaried/waged employees, volunteers and program effectiveness, This committee will be composed of the following membership:

Two (2) from the At-Large category - They serve a four year term. They are selected by vote of the five Trustees of this category

One (1) from the Other HOF category - Serves a three year term and is selected by vote of the six Trustees of this category

Eight (8) from the Regional category with two each from the four geographical areas of the 12 regions listed above. These members will serve two-year terms.

They are selected by vote of the Trustees of this category in the following


Two from the West

the eight trustees of the region - voted into

office in even number years

Two from the East:the six trustees of this region - voted into office in odd number years.

Two from the South:the six trustees of this region - voted into office in odd number years

Two from the GL and MW

Board Committees:

The Board may establish ad hoc committees as its membership deems appropriate but there will be the following standing committees of the board which are filled by voluntary commitment:

Finance and Audit

- Presiding member Treasure Program Development - Presiding member 1st Vice Chairperson Public Awareness and Promotion - Presiding member 2nd Vice Chairperson Facility and Property Operations and Maintenance - Presiding member Secretary

1. California (1200 wineries)

2. Washington (460)

3. Oregon (300)

4. Other (119) Coast : (5) - AK (3), HI (2), Territories (0)

Inland: (114) - AZ (24), CO (40), ID (23), NM (20), NV (1) , UT (6

East (328)

5. NY (179)

6. PA (70)

7. Other East (79) - CT (10), DE (1), ME (3), MA (12), MD (12), NH (2), NJ (24), RI(5), VT (10), Territories (0)

South (328)

8. VA (90)

9. TX (60)

10. Other South (178)

Gulf: ( 96) - AL (24), FL (14),LA (3), MS (55)

Inland: (37) - AK (4), , GA (20) , KY (7), TN (6),

Atlantic: (45) - NC (10), SC (24), WV (11)

Great Lakes and Central (287)

11. Central: (109)IA (20), KS (8), MO (50), MT (5), NE (5),ND (1), OK (15), SD (4), WY (1)

12. Great Lakes (178)IL (40), IN (30), MI (40), MN (16), OH (40), WI (12)

As currently envisioned, Hall of Fame floor display space would be dedicated to each of the 12 regional areas shown above.

Nominations for consideration of induction into the Hall of Fame

Anybody can nominate individuals and organizations to be considered for the HOF. Unlike other wine related HOF organ-ization sponsors, Mr. Olney does not believe it is a true reflection of the impacts on the American Wine Industry if the selection criteria is to only allow individual names to be considered since there are a number of influences that were developed on a team basis - whether university or private industry - wherein multiple contributors created a particularly valuable improvement to the American Wine Industry. Therefore Mr. Olney recommends that there be six categories in which individuals and organizations can be nominated for induction into the HOF as listed below:

Growers: Grapes, Fruits, Berries, Honey (Mead), Other sugar based feedstock resources



These are the people who actually make the wine


These are the individual, famiiies and companies that envisioned the business and funded it and may or may not have been actively involved in the hands on operation of the facilities

universities scientists


Institutions/Corporations Marketing and Public Relations



Organizations – Printed, TV, Radio, Internet websites, movies/DVD

Writers – Columnists, Blogs, Historians, reporters, newsletters,

Distributors and Retailers


eriods of American Wine Industry History

Mr. Olney feels that the annual inductees might be derived in accordance with the following guidelines,“We are leaning towards selecting individuals and organization from each of what we call the three distinct periods of wine production within American. By doing what we s propose, we can offer each generation the opportunity to recognize those with whom their wine experiences were developed. This also ensures that history is retained by inducting those who came way before any of us in the industry today.”

The three eras that Olney recommends are briefly described below:

"Initialization and Migration" This period is defined as the time from the first arrival of foreigners to the new world up to year about 1825, with the start of America’s great period when it was declared that it ‘was our manifest destiny to make the United States, one country reaching from coast to coast.” This became part of what is known as "The Monroe Doctrine. " Wines were also being produced using non-grape feedstock’s

"Expansionism and Refinement”

The period from about 1825 through the enactment of Prohibition against the commercial production and consumption of alcoholic beverages in 1920 including the period of bootlegging of spirits, beer and wine until Repeal in 1933. This is the period when grape wine moved from just American varietals and their "foxy" taste to the palette, into production using European varietals with a much more refined after-taste. Wines were also being produced using non-grape feedstock’s.

"Resurrection and Perfection" This era commences with Repeal of Prohibition in 1933 to the present and constitutes the period when winemaking retreated from sweet, fortified wines and moved back to premium varietals and excellent generic wines produced in mass quantities. Meanwhile, wines were also being produced using non-grape feedstock’s.

Voting for AWI Hall of Fame Inductions>

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Problems with the California Vintners Hall of Fame Nominating Process

September 21, 2010  By John Olney

For those of you who may not know, I have been a member of both the Nominating Committee (NC) and the Electoral College (EC) since the inaugural year (2006) with the selection of the Class of 2007. I offer the following observations, conclusions and recommendations about the current procedures related to the recent California Vintners Hall Of Fame (CVHOF) nominating, voting and selection process. 

To read about those who have already been inducted, click here:;

I would like to point out a number of errors, misstatements, and obvious personal observations contained in the most recent CVHOF nomination ballot abstracts that I believe are inappropriate to what we are trying to accomplish. The abstracts coversheet has no qualifying caveat stipulating that they were not written by the NC but rather by it's chairman, or perhaps some other single member. Thus, the other EC members probably assume the abstracts are essentially generated by the NC or at least are approved by that committee, which is not the practice.

It is my opinion that our job is to evaluate the wine business contribution(s) made by nominees to the California Wine Industry and not the legal issues that happen between an owner and a winemaker (or other employee/agency), civic contributions and charity donations that are certainly noble and commendable but not directly related to contributions to the California Wine Industry.

The presentation that follows represents a few of the abstract examples of what I personally feel contain false information, statements not germane to the subject of contribution(s) to the California Wine Industry, and/or are personal beliefs about the nominee as opposed to supported factual information. I took great exception to the abstracts on a number of nominees. I complained to the CIA sponsor representatives on three separate occasions seeking a revised ballot to be send out to the Electoral College members. Although they indicated amendment was being considered, they made no such transmission before the close of balloting on September 17, 2009.

I encourage all to make comment and provide feedback about the nominee abstracts contained in the ballot of the Class of 2011 as well as my observations, conclusions and recommendations contained herein. I also want to add that none of these are not made out of malice but rather in an effort to better the process for the nomination, election and meaning of induction to the CVHOF.

Incidentally, I voted favorably on the nominations of Steele, Franzia. Dunn and Sebastiani -- of the five discussed below-- plus a number of others listed on the full ballot. But my reasoning for my vote was not based on any of the abstracts presented on the ballot but rather my own knowledge through research and interviews of the contributions made by many of those nominated, including those listed above and my own lengthy interviews of four (Dunn, Steele, Trinchero and Sullivan) and phone conversations with one (DeLuca) for my wine industry books (Nevada and Napa Counties) in draft at this time.


Observations and Conclusions

Jed Steele
“….He left K-J in 1991...and lost a lawsuit to K-J involving "trade secrets" about winemaking. So you won't see many interviews from Steele, but he has continued to make good wines…… . Steele continues to play a necessarily quiet role in crafting quality California wine.”

I am interviewing Jed Steele for my Nevada County Wine Industry book, “Empire Gold: Mines to Wines -The Past Meets the Present,” focused on 17 wineries. I am doing this by phone and e-mail in part while Jed was recently in travel status and when I sat down with him on September 13 for an extended in-person interview. Earlier I asked him about the Kendall-Jackson/Jed Steele lawsuits. His description of the results of the suits are vastly different than what is presented in the abstract and I quote Jed below:

“I didn't ‘lose’ my lawsuit against Kendall Jackson. This legal action had four separate elements. The judge ruled that I prevailed in two matters and that Kendall Jackson prevailed in two matters. As part of the verdicts, I actually received a cash settlement from K-J. The only restriction placed on me was that I was prohibited from making Chardonnay according to a ‘supposed’ formula used at Kendall Jackson.”

I also asked him if he was restricted from giving interviews because of the lawsuit and he immediately fired back the following:
“John, first of all I have given numerous interviews, etc... over the past 19 years to all sorts of publications. Consulting all over the western USA for 15+ years, really wouldn't be considered keeping a low profile!”
Later in the conversation, he indicated he was under no such restrictions that result in a “necessarily quiet role“ in the California/American Wine Industry!

If any of you attended the 11th Annual Lake County Wine Auction event this past Saturday evening, you would have seen and heard speaker after speaker praising the efforts and commitment by Jed Steele to the growth of both vineyards and wineries and quality of wines produced in Lake County. Those efforts were also recognized and rewarded by the U.S. Congress issuing Jed a commendation plaque presented to him personally at the auction by local resident U/S. Congressmen Mike Thompson.

Fred Franzia
“…Franzia introduced Charles Shaw wines, varietal vintage wines in bottles for just $2. ….which allowed low income people to have a bottle of wine on the table with dinner. ... He has done as much as anyone in the 21st century to make California wine a part of American daily life. “

Since legal issues are addressed in the abstract for Jed Steele, I cannot help but wonder why the fact that Fred Franzia in 1994, pleaded guilty to federal felony charges for fraud for intentional false grape grading/pricing, was not also included in the Franzia abstract? Then he lost his case to use central valley grapes under former Napa Valley labels he purchased and with that loss, the ruling aids in guaranteeing the protection of AVA and the wine in that bottle. There is no mention of this fact which is as monumental, if not more so, as the protection of alleged “proprietary winemaking formulas.”

If we are to bring up legal issues on one nominee then we need to bring up the same on all other nominees. Otherwise don’t bring up legal issues at all!

The abstract stipulates that Franzia “…introduced Charles Shaw wines, varietal vintage wines in bottles for just $2. ” This is incorrect. Franzia bought rights to the label from the former wife of Charles F. Shaw . The winery operated in the 1980s producing Beaujolais styled wines in upper valley Napa County between St. Helena and Calistoga. Mrs. Shaw gained rights to the label in the 1990s through divorce settlement of the joint property.

Additionally, it was not Franzia per se who introduced “Two Buck Chuck” wine but rather the retail outlets of Trader Joe’s who exclusively presented the wine directly to the consumer public. It is true that Franzia/Bronco produced the wine but Bronco did not sell it directly to the consuming public. The production was a joint business effort of the two separate companies.

Without a retail outlet as well known and patronized by wine and food consumers, the wine in the bottles of what became “Two-Buck Chuck’ would most likely have never become so popular. There were a number of factors that came together to make the success of the wine:

First of all is the extreme popularity of Trade Joe’s stores. It took awhile for the average consumer to even know that it was Franzia/Bronco who produced the wine.

Second was the innocent nicknaming of the Charles Shaw wine as “Two Buck Chuck” by a non-participating party in Los Angeles area and that name has not appeared as a wine label name. That catchy and very marketable nickname greatly helped launch the success of the wine.

Third is the fact that it can only be purchased at a Trader Joe’s outlet, making it exclusive, unique and therefore more interesting to the consumer market.

Fourth was the price of $1.99, which by the way, was only available in California outlets. It sold for $2.99-3.99 elsewhere.

The concept that the wine “allowed low income people to have a bottle of wine on the table with dinner,” is, in my opinion, an unfounded editorial comment that lacks any credible evidence since the wine sells in all economic groups. I doubt seriously that the owners of Trader Joe’s will appreciate such an evaluation of their customer base. Cost Plus, $/dollar stores, supermarkets, etc have also offered wines in the $1 to $4 price range. Before these “new marketing methods” were many wines made by large companies that were affordable to almost all income levels of America - Virginia Dare, Italian Swiss Colony, etc. just to name a couple.

The following is a unfounded editorial comment about Fred Franzia by the author of the abstract: “He has done as much as anyone in the 21st century to make California wine a part of American daily life.” This is simply a lobbyist-like statement, an opinion only, not the result of market assessment or survey. It is the type of comment most appropriate to an induction ceremony but not a nomination abstract.

Randy Dunn
“... An iconoclast who has never joined Napa Valley Vintners or participated in Auction Napa Valley, he has nonetheless led fund-raising efforts for Howell Mountain schools and fire-fighting. ……Dunn is also an advocate for preserving forest. He owns more than 200 acres on Howell Mountain, but has planted only about 30 and has donated 63 to the Napa Valley Land Trust.”

Not joining the NVV is a completely editorial comment by the author of the abstract. Dunn is not the only Napa Valley winemaker/owner who has not joined the NVV, or participated in the auction. Only about 45% of all Napa County CABC Type 2 - winegrower licensed wineries are members of NVV. Almost all vintners, regardless of AVA, contribute wine and/or cash to fund-raising efforts in local communities. Are we to list all advocacy and charity groups for all nominees? These statements has no place in our abstracts. How do they relate to Dunn’s, or any other candidate’s contribution to the California Wine Industry?

Preserving forest? Others do the same, and it is a noble act, but this is not a contribution to the California Wine Industry.

Not planting all owned acres to vineyards? There are how many wineries and growers who own large amounts of land and for a number of reasons do not plant all to vines? If the author was trying to say that Dunn held off planting more acres to vineyards to preserve forest land then the author needs to rewrite the last two sentences to ensure that will be the readers conclusion. But more importantly, how does this make a contribution to the California Wine Industry?

I was privileged to interview Randy Dunn for my book in draft, “The Essence of the Modern Napa Valley Wine Industry - A Trilogy of Contributions by Individual and Team Greats.” I can truly say that there is much more to the man and his contributions to the California Wine Industry that could have been mentioned than what the abstract contained.

Robert M. Parker, Jr.
“…– if Parker gives an unknown wine a high rating, it can sell out without any trouble from the three-tier distribution system that blocks the success of many small wineries….”.

Is the author of the this abstract the PR man, lobbyist, etc for Parker? How does this portion of the abstract qualify as a contribution to the California Wine Industry? Why are we singling out the three-tier distribution system? I thought that our Electoral College is not suppose to be a political organization. It serves no useful purpose to take on those big businesses!

August Sebastiani
“…He played a major part in the economic development of the town of Sonoma, and was a significant philanthropist whose charitable gifts included the property for the Sonoma Valley Hospital…”

Again, I do not believe this type of comment applies to the credentials for nomination to the HOF for contribution to the California Wine Industry. If we make this kind of comment for one nominee then we must make similar comments for all other nominees for they too do good citizenship efforts in their communities. These type of comments are appropriate to a biography on the nominee and certainly if elected, in the presentation speech on his life accomplishments.

Conclusion and Recommendations

I thought we were evaluating what the nominees contributed to the California Wine Industry? Abstract comments like the donation of wine to charity auction events, or land to trusts or avoiding planting of vines reads like we are electing nominees because of good citizenship and their donations to the community. The aforementioned comments in the abstracts have nothing to do with contributions to the California Wine Industry! These type of comments are appropriate to a biography on the nominee or in a speech introducing an inductee at an installation ceremony.

The abstracts written on the Nominees have legal implications in that in some cases they are highly editorial, opinionated and could be deemed derogatory and possibly represent defamation of character. In some cases they could be construed as sabotaging the prospects of the nominee gaining sufficient votes to be inducted in the CVHOF.

The Electoral College should:

1. Develop a set of written guidelines defining the purpose, goals, missions and operating procedures for the process of nominating candidates for presentation on a ballot. These guidelines should be provided to each member of the college.  hings like how committee members are considered, and then appointed to serve and how long they serve, etc. should be spelled out.

2. Establish a review committee to ensure that abstracts are “politics, bias” free as possible and/or run them by the nominee to ensure that the abstract is not going to cause a problem. Since the list of nominee names is published on the internet, there is no reason why the abstracts should not also be published to the nominee and the wine consuming public so they know upon what the Electoral College members based their votes,

3. The nomination ballot should contain an announcement of who wrote each of the abstracts and it should also include a disclaimer provision holding all of the other Nominating Committee members harmless and indemnified from lawsuit due to the contents of the abstracts.

4. Require the publication to the members of the Electoral College the vote count for each nominee prior to the announcement of the “winners” so that the body understands how candidates were finally selected for induction. In this manner there is no secrecy or chance of errors going unnoticed.

5. The Electoral College should send out a receipt e-mail or letter to each member upon the receipt of that members’ completed ballot just as we receive receipts for proof that we voted in public elections.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Inductees thru Class of 2010 Calif. Vintners HOF

Culinary Institute of America - Greystone, St. Helena, CA:

Sponsors of:

The California Vintners Hall of Fame (CVHOF):

Inductees to date: 31 over four years



* Signifies that party is deceased
Inductee line format: name, facility/organization, year 1st in wine, year inducted , County/District

Primarily Vineyard Growers and Owners or Managers (not winemakers) [1]
Andy Beckstoffer, Beckstoffer,1965, 2010, Napa

Primarily Winery Owner (not winemakers) [5]
Jess Jackson, Kendall Jackson, 1974, 2009, Lake
*Robert Mondavi, Mondavi & Sons, 1940's, 2007, Napa
*John Daniel, Jr., Inglenook (now known as "Rubicon), 1935, 2008, Napa

*Pre-Prohibition through Repeal Era "-- 1730’s through 1933
Georges de Latour, Beaulieu, 1920’s, 2007, Napa
Gustave Niebaum, Inglenook (now known as "Rubicon), 1870’s, 2007, Napa

Primarily Winemakers (not owners of a winery) [2] the timeframe of person’s primary contribution
Mike Grgich, Ch. Montelena (Now he owns Grgich winery), 1958, 2008, Napa
*Andre Tchelistcheff, Beaulieu, 1938, 2007, Napa

Primarily Winemakers/Owners [17]
Randall Gramhm, Bonny Doon, 1983, 2010, Santa Cruz
*Justin Meyer, Silver Oak, 1972, 2009, Napa
Zelma Long, R. Mondavi/Simi, 1970, 2010, Napa/Sonoma
*Al Brounstein, Diamond Creek, 1968, 2010, Napa
Warren Winiarski, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, 1964, 2009, Napa
*Jack & *Jamie Davies, Schramsberg, 1964, 2009, Napa
Paul Draper, Ridge, 1962, 2009, Santa Cruz
*Louis P. Martini, Martini, 1950s, 2008, Napa
*Brother Timothy, Christian Bros., 1935, 2007; /Napa
*Ernest and;* Julio Gallo, Gallo Bros., 1933, 2008, Central Valley

*Pre-Prohibition through Repeal Era - 1730's through 1933
Frederick and; Jacob Beringer, Beringer Bros. 1850’s, 2009, Napa
Carl H. Wente, Wente, 1850’s, 2008, Livermore
Agoston Harazathy, Buena Vista, 1850’s, 2007, Sonoma
Charles Krug, Krug, 1850’s , 2007, Napa

Marketing/Public Relations/Trade Advocacy [0]

*Pre-Prohibition through Repeal Era - 1730's through 1933

Brokers/Distribution/retail Sales [1]
Daryl Corti, Corti Bros., 1930's, 2009, Sacramento Valley

*Pre-Prohibition through Repeal Era - 1730's through 1933

An example would be Kohler and Frohling operating out of San Francisco and moving wines first out of Southern California to the east and then from Northern California when the area caught up with the southern California producers.

Media -- Print, Film, Television, Internet [2]
Gerald Asher, writer, 1970s, 2009, San Francisco, Ca
*Leon Adams,writer,1960s,2010, Sausalito, CA

*Pre-Prohibition through Repeal Era - 1730's through 1933

Academic/Research and Development [3]
Carol Meredith, Ph.D., UC Davis,1981, 2009,Sacramento Valley
*Harold Olmo, Ph.D., UC Davis,1938, 2007,Sacramento Valley
*Maynard Amerine Ph.D.,UC Davis,1935, 2007,Sacramento Valley

*Pre-Prohibition through Repeal Era - 1730's through 1933
An example might be George Husmann who was one of earliest to recognize problems from phyyoxera and search for resistant root stock
Architecture/Engineering [0] 
*Pre-Prohibition through Repeal Era -- 1730’s through 1933
An example is the winery manager at Inglenook (now known as Rubicon) Hamdon McIntryre, He produced the designs of the following eight (8) Napa County wineries during the 1880/90s, all of which are buildings still in use today: Inglenook, Greystone (home of the CIA food and wine campus), Far Niente, Chateau Montelena, interior of Beaulieu ( was originally the Ewer & Atkinson winery), Hedgeside leased to Del Dotto wines) , Trefethen, and Frog’s Leap,

Nomination Ballot Abstracts for Class of 2011 Candidates


Vintners Hall of Fame 2011 Introduction

Thank you for participating in the Vintners Hall of Fame Electoral College. You will decide who will be honored in 2011 for their contributions to California wine.

We vote by acclamation. It's easy: vote for as many candidates as you like. You can vote for everyone on the ballot, just one person, or any number in between. It's entirely up to you.

The top vote getters in each category will enter the Vintners Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

The ballot is separated into two categories: the general category, for contemporary nominees, and the Pioneer category, for people who will have been dead for more than 10 years on the induction date.

This separation is purely for balloting convenience. Once inducted, a Hall of Famer is a Hall of Famer.

While you can vote for everyone, the net effect would be that no one would gain a vote over anyone else. It's up to you to make the hard choice between those you believe belong in the Hall in 2011 and those who are not yet at the same level of achievement.

As you can see from the nominee list, the achievement may be in any area: winemaking, viticulture, research, promotion, writing or whatever.

I encourage you to vote thoughtfully, but not to delay. The deadline for submitting your ballot is September 17, 2010. Ballots may be emailed to or faxed to 707-255-1119.

If you have any questions about the voting process, the nominees or the Vintners Hall of Fame, please email Electoral College Chairman W. Blake Gray at "" .

Thanks for voting!

Vintners Hall of Fame 2011 Ballot

Instructions: Vote for as many nominees as you wish. Using MS Word, you should be able to click in the box next to the people that you would like to vote for, save as a new document, and send back to Michael Wangbickler. Or, you can simply send a list of those who you would like to vote for in an email. Please include your name so that we can follow up with you if there are any questions.

Your name (click on grey box and begin typing):      

General Category

John A. De Luca
John De Luca served more than 27 years as President and CEO of Wine Institute. Deputy mayor of San Francisco until he started in 1975, he came into the position with no real knowledge of wine. But he had experience in Washington, having worked on national security matters in the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson. De Luca quickly established his position on the existing regulatory climate with a paper titled "The Neo Prohibitionists." De Luca helped represent the wine industry to Congress during several hostile periods, and successfully opposed a Nickel a Drink tax in 1990. During his tenure in 1995, wine was added to the federal dietary guidelines, and officially recognized by the US government as having cardiovascular benefits. This fundamentally repositioned the way wine is regulated.

Randy Dunn
Randy Dunn established his reputation as winemaker at Caymus Vineyards from 1975 to 1984. An iconoclast who has never joined Napa Valley Vintners or participated in Auction Napa Valley, he has nonetheless led fund-raising efforts for Howell Mountain schools and fire-fighting. He bought his original vineyard property on Howell Mountain in 1972 and opened Dunn Vineyards in 1979. Since then he has maintained an interest in making balanced Cabernet Sauvignon, generally keeping the alcohol below 14%. Dunn is also an advocate for preserving forest. He owns more than 200 acres on Howell Mountain, but has planted only about 30 and has donated 63 to the Napa Valley Land Trust.

Fred Franzia
In 2002 Fred Franzia introduced Charles Shaw wines, varietal vintage wines in bottles for just $2. Within three years he was selling 6 million cases of them, which allowed low income people to have a bottle of wine on the table with dinner. Franzia has also produced inexpensive wines specifically for restaurants as part of the idea that people should drink wine with dinner instead of beer or soda. Franzia has built Bronco Wine Co. into the 4th largest wine company in the United States, with a portfolio entirely of value wines. He has done as much as anyone in the 21st century to make California wine a part of American daily life.

General Category Continued

Josh Jensen
A native Californian, Jensen went to Burgundy after getting his master's degree in anthropology from Oxford and worked two harvests, including one at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Legend has it that he smuggled clones of DRC's Pinot Noir vines to the US in his pants on a trans-Atlantic flight. In any case, he planted Pinot atop Mt. Harlan because of its limestone soils, which he found by searching maps from the state's Bureau of Mines. The location is so remote that it has no electricity, phones or paved roads, but Jensen was convinced it was the perfect terroir. For more than 30 years he has been one of America's leading Pinot Noir makers, making elegant, ageworthy, vineyard-designated wines from a still-primitive location.

Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Parker took a giant leap of faith in publishing his first Wine Advocate newsletter in 1978. At the time, he was a lawyer who thought wines were not being priced in relation to their quality. Parker's easily understood ratings and user-friendly tasting notes have helped many boutique wineries establish themselves – if Parker gives an unknown wine a high rating, it can sell out without any trouble from the three-tier distribution system that blocks the success of many small wineries. He has been a champion of California wines from the beginning of his career. Parker's prestige has helped project the influence of the American wine community throughout the world, as European wineries now focus more on the American media than on their UK counterparts.

Vince Petrucci
Fom 1948 through 1993, Vince Petrucci built Fresno State's Department of Viticulture and Enology from the ground up. He said he got the job over several other qualified candidates because "I was the only one who could drive a tractor," and that approach characterized his philosophy of education. While UC Davis is known for strong theoretical and experimental research into grapes and wine, Fresno State is known for producing winemakers and grape growers who get their hands dirty. Petrucci's students have fanned out around the world and he has advised wineries in more than 50 countries, but his greatest impact was in California, where his intensive hands-on training produced more than one generation of winemakers and vineyard managers.

Joel Peterson
While working as a microbiologist, Joel Peterson co-founded Ravenswood Winery in 1976 with $4,000, no vineyards and no winery. He had worked with Joseph Swan for five vintages and wanted to make great wine from older vines planted in the right locations, which is how he became a Zinfandel expert, as those were the oldest vines in California. At the time, Zin was mostly known for making sweet pink wine. With his single-vineyard Zins, Peterson was instrumental in showing how well the grape reflects its terroir. Peterson's wines helped preserve some of California's oldest vineyards. In 2001, Ravenswood was sold to Constellation Brands for $148 million, but unlike many winemakers who strike gold, Peterson stayed with Constellation as a senior Vice President and Ravenswood's head winemaker, where he has continued to promote and produce the excellence of single-vineyard Zinfandel.

General Category Continued

Andy Quady
While working at Heublein in the Central Valley in the 1970s, Andy Quady built a small winery behind his house. He made his first Port-style wine in 1975 from Amador County Zinfandel. For several years he made dessert wines on nights and weekends at home. In 1980 he created Essensia from Orange Muscat, an obscure variety. In 1983, he turned Black Muscat into Elysium. He also makes a wine in the style of Amontillado Sherry, and one of California's first artisanal vermouths. Quady elegantly solved the problem of what to call his initial Port-style wine when faced with the issue of Portuguese producers complaining that Port is a place name. Sweet-wine-loving consumers are now able to enjoy Quady Starboard.

Richard Sanford
A Burgundy fan, Sanford graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in geography in 1965 but was immediately drafted. He got out of the Navy in the late 1960s with a passion for Pinot Noir. He drove across Santa Barbara County with a thermometer before settling on a site west of U.S. Highway 101 in the Santa Ynez Valley. For some years Sanford had the west side of the highway to himself; he was the first winemaker to prove the potential for Pinot Noir in the chilly Santa Rita Hills. He founded Sanford Winery in 1981 and spent the next 20 years making some of the best regarded Pinot Noirs from the region. Sanford left his namesake winery in 2005 and founded Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards.

Angelo Sangiacomo
Angelo Sangiacomo and his siblings took over his family's fruit farming operations in the 1950s. In 1969, he planted a 100-acre vineyard with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. He quickly realized that Sonoma Carneros was Pinot and Chardonnay country. In the early 1980s he converted 400 more acres from fruit trees to wine grapes. Angelo was one of the first Californians to see the value in promoting a vineyard – not a winery – as a brand, and he has actively worked on promotions like hosting annual educational tastings. Sangiacomo Vineyards has evolved to become one of the most respected vineyards in Sonoma County, working with more than 70 different wineries. Angelo's program of dedicating individual rows to different wineries that want them has resulted in some of California's best small-lot Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, and his viticulture is rewarded by having the name Sangiacomo Vineyards appear on more than 30 vineyard-designated wines.

Vernon Singleton
An expert on wine chemistry, Professor Singleton spent more than four decades in the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, retiring in 1991. He published more than 220 papers and four books. Wine: An Introduction for Americans, co-authored with Maynard Amerine, remains among the most widely read books of its kind, even decades after its last printing. Principles and Practices of Winemaking, co-authored with three UC Davis colleagues, is a textbook used worldwide. Professor Singleton is best known for his identification, characterization and transformation of the many phenolic substances in wine, including tannins. He also studied the contributions of barrel aging to wine phenolic composition and the role of oxygen in wine maturation.

General Category Continued

Jed Steele
As vineyard manager and winemaker for Edmeades, Jed Steele was one of the first to show the potential of Anderson Valley grapes. He went to work for Kendall-Jackson in 1983 and developed the slightly sweet Vintners Reserve Chardonnay that has been one of America's favorite wines ever since. He left K-J in 1991 to found Steele Wines and lost a lawsuit to K-J involving "trade secrets" about winemaking. So you won't see many interviews from Steele, but he has continued to make good wines under his own label, Steele Wines, in Kelseyville for the last two decades. His wines were among the first to put Lake County on the map. He has also been director of enology at Villa Mt. Eden and a consulting winemaker for Indian Springs Winery in Nevada County. Steele continues to play a necessarily quiet role in crafting quality California wine.

Charles Sullivan
Charles Sullivan is the leading contemporary historian of California wine. His books include A Companion to California Wine: An Encyclopedia of Wine and Winemaking from the Mission Period to the Present (1998); Napa Wine: A History from Mission Days to the Present (1994); and Zinfandel: A History of a Grape and Its Wine (2003). Sullivan's books have been as important as any in preserving the knowledge of California's wine history for future generations. Disclosure: Sullivan is a member of the Nominating Committee for the Vintners Hall of Fame. He was nominated by other committee members and did not vote for his own inclusion on this ballot.

Bob Trinchero
Bob Trinchero took over Sutter Home Winery in the 1960s, inheriting a mom-and-pop operation that sold generic wines to their Napa Valley neighbors, who filled barrels and bottles at the winery's back door. In 1968 he began making Amador County Zinfandel, purchasing fruit from some of the oldest vines in California. In 1972, looking for a way to make the wine more intense, he drained off some of the juice before fermentation and left some natural sugar in it, calling it "Oeil de Perdrix, A White Zinfandel Wine." Three years later, he dropped Oeil de Perdrix, as he had created what became America's favorite wine for the rest of the millennium. Say what you want about White Zinfandel, it was affordable, introduced non-wine drinkers to wine, and preserved some old Zinfandel vineyards that might have been grafted to Chardonnay or paved for housing. And it made millions of people happy. Trinchero has played a large role in hosting Auction Napa Valley, which has contributed tens of millions of dollars to charity.

Nils Venge
Nils Venge has been one of the most important Cabernet Sauvignon winemakers of the past 30 years. He established his reputation as the first winemaker at Villa Mount Eden in the 1970s. Many California Cabernets have now earned 100 points from Robert Parker, but his 1985 Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was the first, and that had ripples throughout the wine world. Venge and his father-in-law purchased the property that became Saddleback Cellars in 1976, and in 1993 he left Groth to make it his main focus. However, even today Venge is a sought-after winemaking consultant throughout Napa Valley.

Pioneer Category

Cesar Chavez
Forced with his family off their Arizona farm by the Great Depression, Cesar Chavez became a migrant farm worker in California at age 11. In 1952, at age 25, he was hired as a community organizer by the Community Service Organization, where he developed his aggressive yet non-violent style of confrontation. In 1962, he and Dolores Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers. Their first major labor event was a grape-picking strike in 1965. The UFW encouraged all Americans to boycott table grapes in support of workers' rights. Chavez and the UFW reported illegal immigrants who had been brought in to break the strike, and in 1973 they organized along the US-Mexico border to prevent people from crossing illegally. Thanks to Chavez, the Mexican-American farmworkers achieved greater rights, recognition, and better pay. Chavez also led a boycott of grapes in the 1980s in protest of pesticide use, and fasted for 36 days as part of that protest.

Hamilton Crabb
Hamilton Crabb came to Napa Valley in 1868 and planted a 240-acre vineyard he called To Kalon. Crabb was a pioneer in converting from Mission grapes to vinifera varietals, which he was one of the first in California to graft onto native rootstock. His passion for viticulture led him to create a plant library of more than 400 varieties. He was one of the first to plant and promote Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. By 1884, he had the largest winery in upper Napa Valley, and was instrumental in earning the region a name for excellence. Crabb's To Kalon vineyard still exists today and is still one of the best regarded vineyards in California.

Richard Graff
Richard Graff was a pioneer of California Pinot Noir. With a loan from his mother in 1965, Graff bought Chalone vineyard, which had been producing mistletoe. He recognized that the limestone soil was similar to terrain he had worked on during a year spent in Burgundy. He restored neglected grapevines and introduced Burgundian methods of winemaking: fermenting in oak barrels imported from France, aging white wines on their lees, and encouraging malolactic fermentation – all anathema in California at the time. He took pains to preserve the character inherent in the microclimate of Chalone’s unusual site. He produced finely crafted Pinot Noir of a quality we now take for granted in California. Demand for his wines far exceeded the supply. Eventually he brought in partners, expanded, and later the enlarged company acquired Acacia, then a leading producer of Pinot Noir in Carneros.

Myron Nightingale
Myron Nightingale began his career as a winemaker in 1944, and by 1949 he was chief chemist at Italian Swiss Colony, one of California's largest wineries. In 1953 he took charge of Livermore's historic Cresta Blanca Winery, guiding the resuscitation of the rundown facility. He made enological history with his Premier Semillon made in the style of Sauternes, in which the botrytis cinerea was actually produced in the laboratory. Nightingale moved to Napa in 1971 to apply his resuscitation skills at the old Beringer Winery, newly purchased by Nestle. As winemaker and director of operations he did far more than just bring the dilapidated facility back to life; he gradually made it a large scale producer of world class varietal wines. The Los Angeles Times called him Beringer's "Angel of Mercy."

Pioneer Category Continued

Eugene Hilgard
In 1874 Eugene Hilgard was lured to UC Berkeley from his research post at the University of Michigan. The UC president needed a great scholar to head the College of Agriculture and to pursue research in agriculture science. What Hilgard found in California was a land whose soil and climate were perfect for winegrowing. And yet the state's young wine industry was struggling, its wines were generally of poor quality, and its most promising wine lands had been invaded by phylloxera. Hilgard spent 25 years leading a statewide movement to remedy the situation. He created a unit at UC devoted to viticulture and enology, the first in the nation, and today the greatest. He organized courses, recruited faculty, and reached out a helping hand to the state's winegrowers. By 1894 the College had published its 100th technical bulletin, more than half devoted to viticulture and enology, all supplied free to all who asked. He traveled the state continually, and knew personally all its leading winegrowers. Hilgard's ideals and the program he founded are still evident today in UC Davis' department of Viticulture and Enology.

Charles LeFranc
Charles LeFranc was the father of commercial winegrowing in today’s Silicon Valley. He came to California in 1850 and went to work for a Frenchman who had planted a few grapes south of San Jose at the head of the Almaden Valley. By 1857 LeFranc was in charge of the estate and the next year made the first commercially important import of French grape varieties. In five years he was marketing California’s first Cabernet Sauvignon. He expanded his import by grafting a few buds onto native vines, a first in California viticultural history. Year after year his Almaden Winery wines took the lion’s share of medals at Bay Area fairs. Charles Krug claimed LeFranc’s Riesling was the best in the state. LeFranc's success grew in the 1870s, when the rest of the state’s wine industry was beaten almost to death by a national depression.

August Sebastiani
August Sebastiani, the youngest of three children, purchased Sebastiani winery from his father's estate in 1952 and developed it into what was at the time of his death in 1980 the 6th largest winery in the U.S. As his father had, August sold mostly jug wines, increasing production by more than 100 times over three decades. He was the first California vintner to make affordable varietal wines in magnum sizes. August Sebastiani was an enormous source of support for major growers in key wine growing regions including Alexander Valley, Lodi and Napa and Sonoma Valley. For many of these growers, his support often came at a time when they had no other home for their grapes. He played a major part in the economic development of the town of Sonoma, and was a significant philanthropist whose charitable gifts included the property for the Sonoma Valley Hospital.

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