Awards of Excellence

The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE PROGRAM is meant to spotlight exceptional people who have benefitted 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.

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; Richard Kheen; and Jerry and Bruce Fry, Mohr-Fry Ranches.

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; the Ledbetter Family; Volker Eisele, Volker Eisele Family Estate; and Richard Smith, Smith Family Wines.

Awards of Excellence 2017 Recipients

The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) has selected Bradford and Randall Lange of LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards as the 2017 Grower of the Year and Al Scheid of Scheid Vineyards Inc. as the 2017 Leader the Year. The awards will be presented at the 2017 CAWG Awards of Excellence Program on July 17 in Napa.

The Grower of the Year award is the highest honor given by CAWG. It is bestowed to an individual, family or company that represents an outstanding example of excellence in viticulture and management. The recipient is an efficient and successful producer of quality winegrapes, recognized for innovation and leadership within the industry.

Bradford and Randall Lange are the co-owners of LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards in Acampo. The twin brothers are fourth generation Lodi growers who have been farming together since 1974. They are innovative growers who focus on advanced technologies and sustainable winegrowing to farm and make quality wines. Bradford and Randall have been actively involved in the industry for four decades and continue to be front and center with key issues affecting the winegrape industry.

The Leader of the Year award recognizes a grower whose record of exceptional leadership has benefitted California’s wine industry and is an inspiration to others. The recipient has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to issues of significant importance to winegrape growers and has achieved lasting changes to promote and protect the interests of California winegrape growers. 

Al Scheid is the chairman of Scheid Vineyards Inc. in Greenfield. His leadership legacy is that of a visionary pioneer who co-founded two influential organizations, the California Association of Winegrape Growers and Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association; was instrumental in building a successful Central Coast winegrape growing industry; and grew his own namesake company into a fully-integrated winery operation. He was also part of a group that pushed for the creation of the California Grape Crush Report, an invaluable industry tool.                                   

“Al, Bradford, Randall and their families are exceptional role models with their forward-thinking and sustainable winegrape growing practices,” said CAWG President John Aguirre. “They have also gone above and beyond as powerful advocates for winegrape industry issues. We are grateful to them for their decades-long involvement with CAWG and all that they have done for our organization.”  


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