Earning over 300 Awards and Accolades in 2016
Lodi, CA. December 12, 2016 – The Lodi Winegrape Commission is proud to announce that 129 currently released wines made from Lodi Rules™ certified grapes, indicating strict sustainable growing practices, have earned 333 awards and accolades to date. In addition to these honors, 2016 marked a year of huge accomplishments for participants of the Lodi Rules™ program, which include winning Grower of the Year (Mohr-Fry Ranches, California Association of Winegrape Growers), Winery of the Year (Michael David Winery, Unified Wine & Grape Symposium), and a California Green Medal in Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Award (McManis Family Vineyards). These honors are attributed to high quality fruit, responsible viticulture, sound winemaking practices, and the dedication of Lodi’s winegrowing community.
What is Lodi Rules™?
The Lodi Rules™ for Sustainable Winegrowing Program is America’s original sustainable viticulture program. The Lodi Rules™ Program certifies sustainable management of the ecosystem, soils, water, business practices, human resources, and pest control with an emphasis on reducing pesticide risk to farm workers, consumers, small aquatic invertebrates, birds, and bees. Each of the 101 standards is measurable, auditable, and addresses at least one sustainability aspect (environmental health, social equity, economic viability). Over the past eleven years, the program has grown to more than 36,000 acres certified statewide.
The program was created by a dynamic team of scientists, industry leaders, growers, and academics, and is peer-reviewed and accredited by Protected Harvest, a non-profit organization that independently certifies farmers’ use of stringent environmental growing standards. Most Lodi Rules™ grower participants voluntarily choose to farm sustainably because they truly believe in the value of the program. Their generational efforts in responsible viticulture are reflected in the high quality of Lodi Rules™ sustainable grapes, which in turn have led to a long list of award-winning wines, found here.
Green Business Award
According to fifth-generation growers of the McManis Family, winners of a 2016 California Green Medal in Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Award, the Lodi Rules™ Program, “is a standard of farming practices that not only protects our land, our workers and the community that we live in, but also produces a higher quality of wine that reflects the place and the people that create them.” The Green Medal – Business Award honors the vineyard and/or winery that best demonstrates smart business through efficiencies, cost savings, and innovation due to implementing sustainable practices. www.greenmedal.org
CAWG Grower of the Year
Also notable, the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) selected its 2016 Grower of the Year, Jerry and Bruce Fry of Mohr-Fry Ranches. From CAWG: “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. Jerry Fry is the president and CEO, and Bruce Fry is the vice president of operations of the family-run Mohr-Fry Ranches in Lodi. The father and son are two of the most respected growers and leaders in the Lodi winegrape community and are known for their quality winegrapes. They advocate on behalf of winegrape growers and dedicate an enormous amount of time serving the industry and their community. Mohr-Fry Ranches was one of the original six Lodi growers to certify their vineyard under the Lodi Rules™ for Sustainable Winegrowing.” www.cawg.org
Winery of the Year
Michael David Winery was honored as the Winery of the Year at the 2016 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium. The Phillips family has been farming in the Lodi area since the 1860s for six generations, and they have more than 800 acres of vineyards in Lodi. The Michael David Winery is an important advocate of the Lodi Rules™ program and was not only one of the first to have their grapes certified, but also one of the first to incentivize grower participation through financial bonuses for grapes from certified vineyards. www.unifiedsymposium.org
More than 333 awards and accolades derived from 23 prestigious wine competitions have been earned by currently released wines made from Lodi Rules™ sustainable grapes. These competitions include: Sunset International Wine Competition, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, TEXSOM International Wine Awards, California State Fair Wine Competition, and more. Accolades also include several 90+ point scores and Best Buy awards from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and Wine Advocate. For a full list of the award-winning wines in 2016 to date, click here.
According to Executive Director Wendy Brannen, “We are very proud of our growers and wineries and these exceptional honors and accolades. These individuals and companies are an inspiration to all of us to work hard and continue to raise the bar for Lodi. We are looking forward to seeing what accomplishments 2017 will bring.”
About the Lodi Winegrape Commission
The Lodi Winegrape Commission, established in 1991, strives to serve the common interests of all Lodi winegrape producers and to enhance the profitability of winegrape production through promotion, research, and education. The Lodi Winegrape Commission represents 750 winegrowers farming nearly 110,000 acres of winegrapes and 85 wineries.
Located south of Sacramento, west of the Sierra Nevada, and east of San Francisco, the Lodi wine region cultivates more than 100 diverse varieties and features a classic Mediterranean climate. A major winegrape growing region since the 1850s, Lodi was recently named “2015 Wine Region of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast magazine. The Lodi Winegrape Commission created Lodi Rules™, California’s first third-party certified sustainable winegrowing program.