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Washington Winegrowers Association Honors Industry Leaders

The Washington Winegrowers Association holds its annual Leadership & Legacy luncheon to celebrate the careers, accomplishments, and leadership of Washington wine legends during its WineVit® Convention.

This year’s Leadership & Legacy luncheon was held on February 5 in the Toyota Center in Kennewick, WA, and was sponsored by Wilbur-Ellis. Washington Winegrowers Association Executive Director Colleen Frei emceed the event.

The Washington Winegrowers Association recognized the growers and vineyards in the Sustainable WA certification program, which establishes standards for environmental and economic sustainability in wine grape growing.

Olivia Arellanos

The Walter J. Clore Scholarship is presented to a student furthering higher education in viticulture and enology.  This year’s Walter J. Clore Scholarship recipient is Olivia Arellanos.

Dick Shaw
Jerry Bookwalter

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given in recognition of a career commitment to the wine industry, establishing a legacy of influential excellence enriching the great tradition of Washington wine. Dick Shaw and Jerry Bookwalter were each posthumously honored with this prestigious award, with presentations by Mike Januik and Rob Griffin.

Kay Simon

The Grand Vin Award recognizes a winery employee or owner that has made a significant impact on the winery, wine, the brand or the process of making exceptional wine. This year’s Grand Vin is Kay Simon, presented by Cheryl Barber-Jones.

Jack Maljaars

The Industry Service Award is presented in recognition of an exceptional career of impactful service to and for the grape and wine industry. Jack Maljaars, who joined the event virtually, was presented this award by Dustin Tobin.

Vineyard Manager & Grape Sales Representative for Four Feathers Wine Services

The Grower of the Year – Erick Hanson Memorial Award recognizes extraordinary viticultural talent, creating the atmosphere for a perfect grape in the vineyard resulting in exceptional wine in the bottle. Carly Faulk was honored as this year’s Grower of the Year, presented by Kari Smasne.

In addition to the annual awards, the Washington Winegrowers Association presented Vicky Scharlau with a Special Legacy of Leadership Award for her decades of service to the Washington wine industry. Scharlau stepped back from her role of Executive Director for the Washington Winegrowers Association at the end of 2023, but she remains involved with both organizations in an of-counsel role.

The Leadership & Legacy luncheon serves as an opportunity to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of both individuals within the Washington wine community and the strength of the community as a whole.

About Washington Winegrowers Association:
Founded in 1983, the Washington Winegrowers Association supports members by addressing industry needs through collaboration and partnerships to enhance the Washington wine industry.

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