Awards of Excellence

The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE PROGRAM is meant to spotlight exceptional individuals or families who have benefited the broader community of winegrape growers through exemplary leadership and outstanding commitment to the well-being of the winegrowing industry, California communities and the environment. 

CAWG is currently calling for nominations for its 2019 Awards of Excellence Program, recognizing a Grower and Leader of the Year.


Award nominations of CAWG members may be made by any individual or organization. The identity of the nominator will be known only by the nominee and judges. The nominator can only put forward one nominee per award category annually. Award winners will be invited to attend a dinner in their honor on June 25th at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn during the CAWG Summer Conference. They will also receive a one-night hotel stay that evening.

>> Grower of the Year Nomination Form
>> Leader of the Year Nomination Form

All nominations are due by Friday, April 12th, 2019


2019 Awards of Excellence Reception & Dinner- Tuesday, June 25 - Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn


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Grower of the Year Award
The Grower of the Year Award is the highest honor given by CAWG. The award is bestowed annually to an individual, family or company who represents an outstanding example of excellence in viticulture and management, and is recognized by others for innovation and leadership within the industry. A central purpose for bestowing the Grower of the Year Award is to identify and promote outstanding examples of efficient, successful producers of quality California winegrapes. 
This award is exclusive to CAWG members only. Nominees may be an individual, family or company. Consideration will be given only to nominations that clearly address the criteria listed on this form. Nominations or endorsements received after the submission deadline shall not be permitted.

Previous Grower of the Year Award winners
John Kautz, John Kautz family; Steve McIntyre, Monterey Pacific; Andy Beckstoffer, Beckstoffer Vineyards; The Ledbetter Family; Jerry and Bruce Fry, Mohr-Fry Ranches; Brad & Randy Lange, LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards and Steve Schafer, Schafer Vineyards.


Leader of the Year Award
The Leader of the Year Award is given to the grower whose record of exceptional leadership has benefited California’s wine industry. By giving this award, the association seeks to recognize and promote an outstanding example of leadership for the purpose of bringing credit to the industry and inspiring others to lead as well. 
This award is exclusive to CAWG members. Nominees must be an individual who is a grower or is associated with a winegrape growing operation. Consideration will be given only to nominations that clearly address the criteria listed on this form. Nominations or endorsements received after the submission deadline shall not be permitted. 

Previous Leader of the Year Award winners
Nat DiBuduo, Allied Grape Growers; Ben Drake, Drake Enterprises; Richard Keehn; Volker Eisele, Volker Eisele Family Estate; Richard Smith, Smith Family Wines; Al Scheid, Scheid Vineyards and Karissa Kruse, Sonoma Winegrowers.


Bruce & Jerry Fry, Mohr-Fry Ranches
2016 Grower of the Year


The Fry Family


Jason Smith and family accepting Leader of the Year
on behalf of Rich Smith (Jason's father).


The Smith Family