Portland, OR, February 22, 2022 – The work of nine individuals in Oregon’s wine industry was recognized last week at the 18th annual Oregon Wine Symposium. Two additional frontrunners from the Oregon Wine Board were acknowledged by their peers for their service to the industry. Here are details on the winners as well as those who presented awards to them.
Julia Cattrall, winemaker at Ransom and Great Oregon Wine Company, presented the Founders Award to Bill and Tom Cattrall, her father and uncle, of Cattrall Brothers Vineyard. A 5th generation Oregonian, she told stories of their lives beginning on the family’s century farm in the Eola-Amity Hills, and their shared love of organic farming and wine spanning 50 years.
Maria Stuart and Maria Ponzi were both recognized for Lifetime Achievement in Oregon wine. First, Jeff Knapp, executive director of Visit McMinnville awarded Maria Stuart of R. Stuart & Co. Winery posthumously for her contributions to Oregon’s wine industry. Stuart passed away in fall of 2021 and her husband Rob Stuart accepted the award.
Alison Sokol Blosser then presented the second Lifetime Achievement award to Maria Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards whose life was devoted to winemaking and hospitality since she was a child. A decorated and lively career in the Willamette Valley’s wine industry that began at the age of four with her parents in the vineyards and cellar, Ponzi gave homage to the mothers working in wine. She said, “Maria and I believed that wine is all about gathering and by bringing people together, we could build community. We certainly have been able to do that in this industry…”
Outstanding Industry Leadership
Rachel Adams, founder of Assemblage Symposium presented the Outstanding Industry Leadership award to Sofia Torres-McKay, founder of AHIVOY and co-owner of Cramoisi Vineyard. AHIVOY helps empower Latinx and Hispanic workers vineyard stewards while providing a positive and inclusive framework to bring meaning, opportunities and connection within the Oregon wine industry.
Two winners were presented with the award for Vineyard Excellence. First, Luisa Ponzi, winemaker at Ponzi Vineyards awarded Miguel Ortiz of Laurelwood Vineyard Management. Ortiz’s work was singled out in the purchase of Ponzi Vineyards by Bollinger as maintaining meticulous vineyards.
Javier Marin of JM Vinegrower in McMinnville, who founded his own company in 2009, was also recognized for his excellence in viticulture. This was presented by viticulturalist Ashley Lindsay who talked about his planting and development of Shea Vineyards, widely noted throughout the Willamette Valley and the world for its distinctively high quality grape growing and wines.
Two Industry Partners were awarded with the coveted decanter presented by Dr. Greg Jones, wine climatologist and CEO of Abacela. Data scientist Bob Parker at the Institute for Policy Research and Engagement (IPRE) at the University of Oregon was awarded for his tireless study of the trends, growth and other factors within the Oregon wine landscape. The data that is mined from this annual study is the result of input culled from hundreds of producers and takes almost an entire year to compile.
The second recipient within the Industry Partner award bracket is Rebecca Sweet-Smith of Buzz Cover Crop Seeds. This was presented by Jason Cole of Rogue Valley’s Pacific Crest Vineyard Services. Sweet-Smith has had a lifelong study of plants, starting in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Her study in agriculture at grad school at OSU led her to discover “what a powerful tool cover crops can be in vineyard management,” she said.
Legacy Leadership Award
David Adelsheim, founder of Adelsheim Vineyard and whose name is synonymous with Oregon Wine, presented the first Legacy Leadership Award to Harry Peterson-Nedry of Ribbon Ridge Winery and Ridgecrest Vineyards, and the founder of Chehalem Vineyards. The Legacy Leadership honor celebrates Peterson-Nedry’s 40 years of collaborative history in Oregon winemaking and industry service. 2021 was a milestone for Peterson-Nedry as he successfully championed a decade-long effort to earn the EU recognition of the Willamette Valley as a winemaking region, only the second region in the U.S. behind Napa Valley to receive such an honor.
Board Service Award
Oregon Wine Board chair Justin King of King Estate presented the Board Service Awards to Bertony Faustin at Abbey Creek Vineyard and Hilda Jones of Abacela who completed their terms with the Oregon Wine Board in 2021. Both Board members designated non-profit organizations as beneficiaries of their donations.
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About the Oregon Wine Board
The Oregon Wine Board is a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research, and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and wine grape industry. The Board works on behalf of all Oregon wineries and independent growers throughout the state’s diverse winegrowing regions. To learn more, visit industry.oregonwine.org
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