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The Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association Announces 2018 Award Recipients

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The Board of Directors of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association is pleased to announce the 2018 recipients of its Wine Grape Productivity Tray, Birchenall Award and Monteith Wine Bowl Trophy which are awarded annually for excellence in increasing the quality of wine produced on the East Coast.

The 2018 Wine Grape Productivity Tray is being presented to Peter Bell for his knowledge, innovation, research, leadership and support of the American wine industry.  Peter’s generosity in helping to mentor other winemakers and consulting on problems to increase the quality of the whole Finger Lakes area is notable. Peter Bell is the longtime winemaker at Fox Run Vineyards in the Finger Lakes Region of New York.  He was born in Boston and raised in Amsterdam, Berkeley and Toronto.  Peter studied enology in Australia and made wine in New Zealand before landing in the Finger Lakes. He was the winemaker at Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars for five years before joining Fox Run in 1995.  Fox Run Vineyards has over fifty acres of vineyards and is one of the region’s first artisanal wine producers.  Peter was an adjunct lecturer in enology at Cornell University for 15 years.  He is a consultant to many wineries in the eastern United States and a mentor to many.

The 2018 Birchenall Award, recognizing those in wine media who promote the East Coast industry, is being presented to Lenn Thompson, author of The Cork Report.  Lenn Thompson founded the NewYorkCorkReport.com in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. The site became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news.  In 2016, Lenn expanded his previous undertaking and launched TheCorkReport.us adding coverage of wines of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End, Edible Hudson Valley and recently on SevenFiftyDaily.  Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America.

Nick Frey is the recipient of the 2018 Monteith Wine Bowl Trophy which is an award presented to individuals or organizations that have performed exceptional contributions to the development and sustainability of the American wine industry.  Nick helped to put the Sonoma County winegrape industry on the world-wide map during his tenure as president of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission and as executive director of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association prior to that.  He currently leads public relation efforts for Balletto Vineyards and serves on the Russian River Valley Winegrowers Board, Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Viticulture Advisory Committee, SRJC Shone Farm Foundation Board and Sonoma County Harvest Fair Board.  From 2012 to 2014, he served as the program chair for the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium.  He has also served on the boards of the Sonoma County Vineyard Technical Group and Sonoma County Tourism Bureau.  He started his career at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a producer of hybrid seeds for agriculture and worked there for 25 years responsible for research, research management and new business development.  He holds a B.S degree in agronomy from Iowa State University and a PhD in plant physiology from the University of Minnesota.

The Wine Grape Productivity Tray, since its inception in 1984, has been presented to an individual or organization that has made major contributions to the sustainable growth and economic viability of the American wine industry, including professional consulting, innovation, technical research and knowledge, as well as leadership and active support.  Previous award recipients include Senator John W. Warner, Dr. Tony K. Wolf, Lucie T. Morton, Jim Law and Thomas Cosentino.

The Birchenall Award is given to members of the wine media for promoting knowledge of the East Coast Wine Industry.  The sole previous recipient of this award was Paul Vigna.

Since 1980, the Monteith Wine Bowl Trophy has been presented annually to individuals or organizations that have performed exceptional contributions to the development and sustainability of the American wine industry.  Previous award recipients include Dr. Konstantine Frank, United States Congressional Wine Caucus, Margrit Mondavi, Dave McIntrye and Richard Thomas.

The Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association promotes American wine produced in the seventeen eastern states: all those that touch the Atlantic Ocean plus West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Vermont. This trade organization was founded in 1973 as the Vinifera Wine Growers Association, and renamed in 2008 to reflect an expanded regional focus.

ASWA’s mission is to increase awareness of the fine wines of the Atlantic seaboard through trade and consumer education. Members liaise with national, state, and regional wine organizations to identify opportunities to highlight the wines and winemakers working here.

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