The Society is pleased to announce that Jerry Lohr, president and owner of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, is the 2011 Merit Award recipient. The award is presented annually to an individual who has significantly contributed in an outstanding manner to the progress and advancement of enology and viticulture or to the Society itself. Jerry will be honored at the National Conference to be held this year in Monterey, California, on June 22-23, 2011.
Jerry established J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines as one of the world’s great independent wineries, with a 3,000-acre estate program spanning the Central Coast and Napa Valley. As a respected member of the industry, Jerry uses his extensive knowledge of the California winegrowing process to address the subject from a wide range of scientific and agricultural perspectives.
After taking root in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County and Paso Robles, J. Lohr Vineyard and Winery produced an acclaimed portfolio of wines over the decades, which includes J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series and J. Lohr Cuvée Series. Jerry helped build the stellar reputation of both regions he farms, cementing Monterey County and Paso Robles as significant wine growing regions in California. His dedication goes beyond J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines. His work on behalf of the entire industry has included posts as director and chair of the Wine Institute and chair of the Monterey Winegrowers Council. He is also one of the founding members of Wine Vision, a group that promotes a long-range view of the wine industry. Additionally, he founded the National Grape and Wine Initiative, a coalition representing winegrowers, wineries and academic institutions committed to improving the industry. In 2007, the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science at UC Davis honored him with its Award of Distinction; in 2008, he was named Wine Industry Person of the Year by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance; and in 2010, the New York Institute of Technology awarded him with its Professional Excellence in Oenology award.