DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board (CWIDB), part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, proudly announces that wine industry icon, Warren Winiarski has been named the 2018 Friend of the Colorado Wine Industry during the 2018 VinCO & WCHS Conference which took place January 15-18 in Grand Junction, Colorado and was sponsored by CAVE (Colorado Association of Viticulture & Enology). Also recognized at the conference were Bookcliff Vineyards and Creekside Cellars as Grower and Winery of the Year, respectively.
“I am so grateful to be honored with the Friend of Colorado Wine Award. And, even more grateful for the progress the Colorado wine industry has made over the years since my early days,” said Winiarski. “You should be very proud of what you’ve accomplished. For me, in the early days the friendship I felt for Colorado wines was based on your promise, your aspirations, and my hope. Now your efforts to adapt to your challenges and prevail, have brought about beautiful results. Now my friendship is based upon admiration for this new reality.”
Perhaps one of the world’s most iconic winemakers, Warren Winiarski helped put American wine on the global wine map when his 1973 “S.L.V.” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon won the 1976 Judgment of Paris. This blind tasting placed California wines against French classics that critics thought unbeatable, and changed the course of wine history. Winiarski moved to Napa in 1964, where he began his career in wine as an apprentice, quickly becoming Robert Mondavi's first winemaker in 1966. In 1968, Winiarski left Mondavi's Winery to make wine in Colorado at Ivancie Cellars. This project would kick start the Colorado wine industry. In 1970, he founded Stag's Leap Wine Cellars where a prune orchard once stood in what is now known as the Stags Leap District AVA. Without Warren's work with Dr. Ivancie and their encouragement for planting Vitis vinifera grapes in the Grand Valley, the Colorado wine industry would not be here today!
“It was a true honor to have Warren in Colorado to receive this award," said Doug Caskey, Executive Director of the Colorado Wine Board. “His contributions to our industry have been vast and significant since the 1970s and into today.”
CAVE brought in 15 speakers from all over the country to speak to the wine and grape growing industry about topics ranging from barrel sanitation and vine nutrition to social media strategies. The highlight of the conference are the Awards of Excellence in which the CAVE membership nominates Winery of the Year, Grape Grower of the Year, and Friend of the Colorado Wine Industry. This year, those awards were given to:
Bookcliff Vineyards ~ 2018 Grape Grower of the Year
Bookcliff Vineyards has pushed the envelope of grape growing by planting new grape varieties and championing quality vineyard practices as evidenced by the awards and Governor's Cup case wines their grapes have produced over the years!
Creekside Cellars ~ 2018 Winery of the Year
Creekside Cellars 2014 Cabernet Franc was the winner of the 2017 Governor's Cup, Best in Show and the first Colorado wine to score 91 points from Wine Enthusiast! For many years, Creekside Cellars has demonstrated a meticulous and passionate devotion to very incredibly quality products.
The Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology (CAVE) is the only non-profit dedicated to promoting the education and research of wine making and grape growing in Colorado. Each year, CAVE produces Colorado Mountain Winefest, the state’s largest wine festival – and recently named Best Wine Festival in the Nation by USA Today! Mountain Winefest takes place the third weekend in September in Palisade, CO. More information on Winefest can be found at www.ColoradoWinefest.com.
About the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board
The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board (CWIDB) is part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture dedicated to promoting and furthering the development of Colorado’s grape growers and vintners. The CWIDB supports the efforts of more than 140 wineries throughout the state, producing an increasing array of premium-quality wines. For additional information, visit www.coloradowine.com.