Grower Andy Beckstoffer on Lake and Mendocino County Appellations
By Charmayne Hefly, Associate Editor
When people discuss California wine, they most commonly associate it as having been grown and produced in Napa. However, Napa isn’t the only northern county to grow grapes that become iconic California wines.
Andy Beckstoffer, owner of Rutherford-based Beckstoffer Vineyards, owns more than 3,000 acres of premium winegrapes. He began his own vineyard in the 1970s in Mendocino and Napa counties before expanding into Lake County as well.
Beckstoffer said that Lake and Mendocino counties were some of the most promising new wine districts in the new world of wine. He ought to know; the California Association of Winegrape Growers named Beckstoffer 2015 Grower of the Year last month.
“Mendocino County has consistently produced some of the best Chardonnay for years,” Beckstoffer said. “We started back in the 1970s, and they continue to do it in the Red Hills of Lake County. The appellation, Red Hills Lake County AVA, is where we’re producing Cabernet at a reasonable price–North Coast Cabernet. It’s really the most promising new wine district in the new world of wine because it is encompassed by the vast North Coast AVA,” Beckstoffer said, “and the quality has been proven to be excellent.”
The North Coast AVA encompasses smaller appellations in six counties north of San Francisco: Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano.
Mike Wolf Named 2015 Napa Valley Grower of the Year
Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) announced TODAY they have chosen long-time Napa grape grower Mike Wolf as the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Napa Valley Grower of the Year. Wolf will be honored for his tremendous contributions to Napa Valley farming and the community on May 15 at the 40th annual NVG Annual Dinner.
Wolf has been involved with developing and managing California vineyards for over 35 years. He launched Michael Wolf Vineyard Services in 1997, working with many of Napa Valley’s leading independent growers, and premium and ultra-premium wineries in all phases of sustainable vineyard development, from planning and development to maintaining well-established vineyards. He currently farms over 800 acres across Napa County.
Wolf was raised just outside of New York City, and received a B.A. degree in history from New York’s Alfred University. He started working with grapes at the age 26, when he moved to Mendocino County with two college friends and wound up connecting with Beckstoffer Vineyards in Ukiah for his first vineyard job.
He moved to Napa County in 1981 as Vineyard Supervisor for a large agricultural development company in Pope Valley where he worked for 12 years, managing all vineyard development and vineyard operations. In 1994, he accepted a position overseeing 500 acres of vineyard in the Napa Valley for Beckstoffer Vineyards.
Wolf’s name is now associated with vineyards that express the exceptionally high quality for which Napa is known. Deeply respected for his commitment to Napa Valley farming and the community, Wolf has served as:
“Mike is a tremendous example of a quiet, genuine leader. He is a perennial contributor to advancing viticultural best practices, dependably mentors the next generation and furthers the process of sustainable farming,” said NVG President Steve Moulds. “We are very proud to honor him.”
He continues to be a strong advocate and support for farmworkers in the Valley, actively supporting the:
Nominations for the Napa Valley Grower of the Year come from the NVG membership and the recipient is chosen by a special Selection Committee made up of Past Presidents and current committee members. The award criteria are: a strong commitment to sustainable practices; recognized leadership in agricultural preservation; dedicated community focus, contributions to the Napa Valley community; and someone who actively promotes Napa’s reputation for the highest quality vineyards.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015, Napa Valley Grapegrowers is a non-profit trade organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley’s reputation as a world-class viticultural region for four decades. Its mission is to preserve and promote Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards. NVG represents over 690 Napa County grape growers and associated businesses.
For more information, visit www.napagrowers.org. Follow Napa Valley Grapegrowers on Facebook and Twitter.