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2015 Vintage Report Innovation Award

Apply and share your innovations!

Submit your application to the 2015 Vintage Report Innovation Award by clicking on the "Application form" box below. Submission deadline is .

If you have any questions, please reach out to us via the Contact form.

Award Winners
Monica Cooper
Melissa Staid
Sarah MacDonald

An award celebrating innovation during the vintage

For the third year, the Vintage Report is partnering with Bank of the West’s Premium Wine Group to present the Vintage Report Innovation Award. This prestigious award will recognize the most groundbreaking method, practice or sustainable approach used during the 2015 vintage.

The most challenging part of making an exceptional wine takes place in the vineyard. To adapt to shifting weather and water patterns, as well as the evolving palates and priorities of today’s consumers, winemakers increasingly turn to creative experiments and new, sustainable approaches in their quest to create premium wines. The Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West raises the profile of these approaches and celebrates innovation and experimentation in viticulture.

Submission guidelines:

  • Eligible techniques, trials, approaches, methods and practices must be vineyard-based and yield provable results
  • Approaches must have been used during the 2015 vintage (though they may have started earlier)
  • The techniques - if not implemented in Napa Valley - must be exportable to Napa Valley terroirs
  • The award is noncommercial: while experiments may rely on a branded technology, the award recognizes the experiment, not the brand.

Judging panel

A panel of highly-regarded winemakers, wine scholars and industry experts will review proposals and identify the most innovative idea or approach during the 2015 vintage.
This year's judges include:

  • Professor James A. Kennedy, Professor and Chair, Department of Viticulture and Enology, California State University, Fresno
  • Helen Keplinger, Winemaker, Keplinger Wines
  • Linda Reiff, President and Chief Executive Office, Napa Valley Vintners
  • Luis Sanchez, Senior Research Scientist, E. & J. Gallo (Winner of the 2014 Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West)
  • Mike Wolf, Vineyard Manager and Owner, Michael Wolf Vineyard Services

Recognizing the winning innovation

The Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West aims to showcase winemakers, vineyard managers and owners whose methods and approaches warrant greater attention in the industry.

  • The three finalists will receive recognition and promotion through social and trade media leading up to the Vintage Report Napa 2015 conference.
  • The winner will receive a trophy at the Vintage Report Napa 2015 held in January 2016;
  • The Vintage Report Innovation Award winner will also be invited to present their methodology and results at the Vintage Report conference in Napa, attended by representatives of some of the most esteemed wineries in the Napa Valley.
  • Additionally, the 2015 winner will be celebrated in Wine Business Monthly, Wines & Vines and Vineyard and Winery Management and also announced in a news release and promoted through multiple media channels.

Key dates

  • June – Harvest: Experiment season and participants registration (participant names will not be disclosed)
  • December 15, 2015: Deadline for award submissions
  • January 6, 2015: Jury deliberation
  • January 7, 2015: Three finalists announced
  • January 20, 2015 (tentative): Winner announced at the Vintage Report Napa 2015 conference

Application Support

Applicants seeking guidance to present their approach in the best light may contact us for support at any time during the submission process. The award team – including prior winners and judges when appropriate – will share insights about the amount and type of data to feature, key elements to include, and other considerations to help applicants submit the strongest submissions possible.