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Wine and Sustainability Experts with 150+ Combined Years of Experience to Judge 2024 California Green Medal Award Applications, Due January 12

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SAN FRANCISCO — Since the California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards launched in 2015, the program has featured an impressive judging panel of wine and sustainability experts with 2024 being no different. Take a closer look at the line-up for this year — the award program’s 10th anniversary. 

A look at the 2024 California Green Medal Awards Judging Panel

  • Amy Azzolina, social media and communications manager, Wine Institute
  • Stephanie Bolton, research and education director, Lodi Winegrape Commission
  • Anna Brittain, executive director, Napa Green
  • Natalie Collins, president, California Association of Winegrape Growers
  • Lisa Francioni, deputy director, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
  • Evan Goldstein, MS, president, Full Circle Wine Solutions and Master the World
  • InHaeng Jung, professor, Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute
  • Cyril Penn, editor-in-chief, Wine Business Monthly
  • Tonya Pitts, wine director, One Market Restaurant
  • Jennifer Richards, vp of operations and business development, Sonoma County Winegrowers
  • Beth Vukmanic, executive director, Vineyard Team

California Green Medal judges represent a variety of roles within the wine industry ranging from Executive Directors of sustainability-focused non-profits to academics to wine media and to Master Sommeliers. The primary criteria for being a judge is industry expertise and a deep understanding of wine and sustainable winegrowing — and this year’s panel accounts for over 150 years’ combined experience.  

One example of a wine industry leader, also serving as a 2024 judge, who demonstrates in-depth knowledge and breadth of experience is Evan Goldstein, ms. Goldstein was the eighth American and youngest ever (at the time) to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier examination. Additionally, he is the President and Chief Education Officer at Full Circle Wine Solutions and President and Chief Wine Officer of Master the World. Goldstein is the Master Sommelier for the San Francisco Giants and has served two terms as chairman of the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers, served as an adviser to the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, acted on the Board of Directors of Women Chefs’ and Restaurateurs and received finalist nominations four times for the James Beard “Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional” award in 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2005 — to name some of his accomplishments. 

When asked about serving as a judge on the 2024 California Green Medal panel, Goldstein shared, “I am so honored to be a member of the judging panel for the California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards. Now, more than ever, the wine industry needs to celebrate leadership in environmental stewardship. We have a duty to be responsible custodians of the land and to serve as role models through our holistic, sustainable practices — in the winery, in our community engagement, in our marketing and packaging materials, and in how we treat every individual involved in bringing wine from soil to table.”

Applications are open through January 12, 2024, and California vineyards and wineries that participate in a sustainability program in California are eligible to apply in four award categories (Leader, Environment, Community and Business) that recognize outstanding achievement in sustainability.

Winners will be announced in April 2024, receive a California Green Medal at an awards recognition event and be recognized in widely distributed communications. Learn more at greenmedal.org.

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