Home Industry News Releases Virginia Tech to Bestow W. Andrew “Andy” Beckstoffer with the University Distinguished...

Virginia Tech to Bestow W. Andrew “Andy” Beckstoffer with the University Distinguished Achievement Award on May 12, 2023, at Commencement


America’s Most Famous Vineyard Owner and Land Preservationist to Receive Alma Mater’s Top Award

(Rutherford, Calif.—May 3, 2023) – Virginia Tech’s University Distinguished Achievement Award is given to an individual with nationally distinguished achievement, whether personal and/or professional, in any field or endeavor of enduring significance and value to society. For 2023, the prestigious university will below this award on Richmond, Virginia native and Virginia Tech graduate W. Andrew “Andy” Beckstoffer, America’s most famous vineyard owner, noted land preservationist, and sustainability pioneer and innovator, at commencement on May 12, 2023.

Few have made a larger impact on the evolution of Northern California’s wine industry than Andy Beckstoffer of Beckstoffer Vineyards, who has been named “Napa’s most powerful grape grower” by both the Wall Street Journal and Wine Spectator. For more than 50 years, Beckstoffer Vineyards has been at the forefront of putting Napa Valley and California wine on the global stage, forging significant shifts in how the industry values the land, the grapes, and the farmers. Beckstoffer’s ever-growing portfolio of premium vineyard sites consistently produces the highest quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Northern California. The company continues to play the role of an industry leader, focusing on technology-driven, precision farming, with an unwavering focus on land conservation and agricultural sensitivity, as well as sustainability in the face of climate change.

Beckstoffer Vineyards owns approximately 4,000 acres of vineyards Napa, Mendocino, and Lake Counties, including some of Napa’s most historic vineyard properties. In 1983, Beckstoffer Vineyards purchased its first Heritage Vineyard, Las Piedras in St. Helena. Later came To Kalon—arguably the most famous American vineyard—Georges III, Missouri Hopper, Dr. Crane and Bourn. Beckstoffer sells this fruit to a carefully selected group of winemakers, who collectively produce more than 100 vineyard-designated wines that originate entirely from a Beckstoffer Heritage Vineyard. These wines are consistently awarded 95+ scores and other accolades.

Andy, born in Richmond, Virginia, earned a B.S. in Construction Management, Engineering at Virginia Tech in 1961 and an M.B.A. at Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth in 1966. Andy has been named Grower of the Year three times, by three different organizations: in 2005 by COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts, in 2006 by the Napa Valley Grapegrowers Association—their first bestowal of the award—and in 2015 by the California Association of Winegrape Growers. He was also named Agriculturalist of the Year twice, in 2007 by the Napa County Farm Bureau and in 2016 by the 12 District California Agricultural Association. In 2007, Andy received the Wine Industry Leadership Award, the first-ever United States Congressional Wine Caucus Commendation, and in 2010, he was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame.


Named “Napa’s most powerful grape grower” by both the Wall Street Journal and Wine Spectator, Beckstoffer Vineyards was founded in 1970. Beckstoffer Vineyards is firmly rooted in the soil of Northern California’s wine country, with Andy Beckstoffer playing an integral role in the evolution of the wine grape industry since 1970. Beckstoffer Vineyards’ goal is to produce the highest quality grapes in Northern California that form the foundation of exceptional wines, a passion for preserving the land, and viticultural expertise.



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