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CAWG Announces 2022 Awards of Excellence Recipients

The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) selected Bogle Vineyards as the 2022 Grower of the Year and Dr. Anita Oberholster as the 2022 Leader the Year. The recipients will be honored at an awards reception on Jan. 25 during the 2022 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento.

“We applaud the outstanding leadership and exceptional efforts of the Bogle family and Dr. Oberholster, who are very deserving of these awards,” CAWG President John Aguirre said. “The Bogles – Warren, Jody and Ryan – are role models in the winegrape industry through their longtime commitment to sustainability, success in producing quality wines, advocacy for their community and fellow growers, and well-deserved respect as an employer. CAWG is proud to have Bogle Vineyards as a longtime member. Dr. Oberholster is an esteemed researcher and leading voice as an educator and expert on the complicated issues surrounding wildfire smoke and winegrapes. Her relentless drive to help by sharing her expertise and frequent communication have been incredibly beneficial to growers and vintners, and CAWG appreciates all that she has done for California’s winegrowers.”

2022 CAWG GROWER OF THE YEAR

The Grower of the Year Award is the highest honor given by CAWG. It is bestowed to an individual, family or company that represents an outstanding example of excellence in viticulture and management. The recipient is an efficient and successful producer of quality winegrapes, recognized for innovation and leadership within the industry.

The Bogle family has farmed in the Clarksburg region of the Sacramento Delta for six generations. The family-owned and operated winery planted its first 20 acres of winegrapes in 1968. For the first 10 years, the family grew grapes for other wineries, then began releasing the wine under their own label in 1978. Today, Bogle is one of the largest wine producers in the nation. It farms nearly 1,900 acres in the Clarksburg AVA and sells more than 2.5 million cases around the world, shipping to all 50 states and more than 40 countries. Along with the farmed acres, the family also purchases grapes from various California growers. Bogle Vineyards was named the 2019 American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast.

As part of Bogle’s commitment to sustainability, one of its goals is to ensure an abundant, clean water source for the land and people. Bogle partners with American Rivers to protect and restore rivers. The company focuses on high-efficiency drip irrigation on its estate vineyards and all water used at the winery is reclaimed and reused for irrigation of on-site crops and landscaping. It also invested in an energy- and water-efficient production facility. The family is committed to good land stewardship and preserving its vitality. Bogle Vineyards is a Certified Green Winery and certifies all its estate vines under the California Rules. It was also awarded the 2018 California Green Medal: Leader Award. In 2017, Bogle required all 91 of its growers to implement the California Rules for Sustainability standards. By 2018, 96% of all grapes crushed at Bogle were Certified Green.

Giving back is also important to Bogle Vineyards. In addition to the work with American Rivers, the company created Bogle Gives Back to pledge its commitment to the community. Partners include the American Red Cross to raise funds for wildfire relief efforts, as well as Habitat for Humanity in the greater Sacramento region.

Dr. Anita Oberholster, UC Cooperative Extension Specialist & Recipient of CAWG’s Leader of the Year Award

2022 CAWG LEADER OF THE YEAR

The Leader of the Year Award recognizes an individual whose record of exceptional leadership has benefitted California’s wine industry and is an inspiration to others. The recipient has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to issues of significant importance to winegrape growers and has achieved lasting changes to promote and protect the interests of California winegrape growers.

Dr. Anita Oberholster completed her Ph.D. in wine sciences at the University of Adelaide in Australia in 2008. In 2011, she moved from her research position at the Stellenbosch University Department of Viticulture and Oenology in South Africa to the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, where she joined the staff as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist.

In her current position, Oberholster focuses on continuing education for the grape and wine industry, while her research program concentrates on current issues in the grape and wine industry. Her core research program focusses on the influence of viticultural practices and environmental factors on grape ripening and composition, and related wine quality and investigations to determine the influence of different vinification practices on wine composition and quality.

Since 2017, smoke exposure in winegrapes became a main research area, investigating the absorption of volatile phenols on to grapes and the subsequent impact on wine composition and quality. Oberholster has been instrumental in the research and dissemination of information regarding smoke exposed fruit. She has been an active member of the West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force and a willing presenter for CAWG-supported webinars and meetings.

Oberholster completed a series of YouTube videos demonstrating how to conduct small-scale fermentations for the evaluation of smoke exposure risk to winegrapes and answered questions through her Zoom presentations titled “Office Hours with Dave and Anita.”

RECEPTION

The CAWG Awards of Excellence reception will be held on Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. (following the Unified welcome reception) at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento.

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