March 8th – The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) honors Mr. Fred T. Franzia, CEO of the Bronco Wine Company and a founding member of the AVF in 1979. Fred has served continuously on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the organization since its establishment, and was a major force shaping its success. Fred and other influential industry leaders joined together to form the AVF with the vision of creating an innovative, collaborative funding model for the wine industry in support of viticulture and enology research. Since its founding, the AVF has raised and contributed over $33,000,000 to grape and wine research in the US.
“It has been a privilege to serve over many years with a strictly volunteer group of independent growers and winery members to voluntarily raise money (without government intervention) to fund both viticulture and enology research projects. There have been many great board members over the years, such as Justin Meyer, Robert Gallo, and Jerry Lohr, among others, that have been great contributors to building the American Vineyard Foundation to what we are today. It is time for the next generation of leaders to continue the legacy.” – Fred T. Franzia
Fred was instrumental in the early development of the AVF, dedicating a generous amount of time, energy and financial resources, while shaping its initial framework. He has remained deeply involved in the evolution and direction of the organization, including the development of fund-raising strategies and regularly hosting AVF Board meetings at his facilities.
“Fred’s advocacy for the wine industry and generous support for Ag research and education have had an enormous impact on the growth, direction and success of the AVF,” Chairman Tony Stephen enthusiastically stated. “We will truly miss his charismatic presence and sense of humor at our AVF meetings.”
The Board would also like to recognize Fred for his ongoing efforts to promote the AVF at industry events and to engage new member support. His encouragement brought some of the organization’s top contributors and distinguished Board members into the mix.
We wish Fred, his family and the Bronco Wine Company staff all the best going forward and welcome John Allbaugh, Bronco’s Director of Winemaking and Wine Production Operations, to succeed him on the Board.
About the American Vineyard Foundation – The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is a California corporation organized in 1979 by the American Society of Enology and Viticulture as a vehicle to raise funds for research in viticulture and enology. Basic and applied research has made the American grape and wine industry the world’s leader. The AVF provides a unique opportunity to unify the industry through an industry-wide research effort to maintain this progress. For more information visit www.avf.org