Press Release

Proposals Invited for the 2015 Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West
SAN FRANCISCO & NAPA | Jun 25, 2015

Bank of the West’s Premium Wine Group and Fruition Sciences announced today that the submission period for the 2015 Vintage Report Innovation Award has begun. Now in its third year, this prestigious award – presented during the annual Vintage Report conference in Napa – celebrates innovation and sustainability in viticulture by recognizing the most creative approach or technique used during the vintage.

Each year, the Vintage Report conference brings together winemakers, viticulturists and scientists to share information about the vintage and present the latest technical advances in the field. In doing so, the Vintage Report serves as an ideal venue for bringing new ideas to the forefront and improving the industry as a whole.

“Through our work with hundreds of clients across all avenues of the wine business, we have a ringside seat to the exciting ways growers and vintners are innovating in response to changing conditions. The creativity and energy behind these innovations – whether they’re driven by the need to adapt to environmental shifts, meet the evolving tastes of consumers, become more efficient or produce a better product – represent the future of the industry,” said Adam Beak, head of Bank of the West’s Premium Wine Group, “Our goal for the Vintage Report Innovation Award is to amplify the dialogue so these ideas can have as much impact as possible.”

This year’s judges include acclaimed experts and leaders in the industry:

  • Professor James A. Kennedy, Professor and Chair, Department of Viticulture and Enology, California State University, Fresno
  • 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

“New ideas are transforming the wine industry, and some of them will become the traditions of the future. We believe that innovation is key to promoting a more sustainable use of resources and continuing to produce world class wines,” said Thibaut Scholasch, co-founder of Fruition Sciences. “Innovations sometimes come from the most unexpected places, and we encourage any grower or winemaker to submit applications for this year’s award. Napa Valley is one of the most innovative wine regions in the world, so this is an opportunity to identify and value new ideas and to discuss them with a broader community for everyone's benefit.”

Last year’s winning approach was a collaborative experiment by E. & J. Gallo and IBM that used a variable-rate irrigation system across separate quadrants of a 31-acre Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard. The result decreased vineyard spatial variability and increased water-use efficiency without compromising quality during a period of historic drought.

To be eligible for the Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West, approaches must be used during the 2015 vintage (though they may have started earlier), and the techniques must be implemented in or exportable to Napa terroirs. The winner will be announced at Fruition Sciences’ 2015 Vintage Report conference in January 2016.

The winner will be invited to present the project and results at the 2015 Vintage Report conference in Napa.  The winner will also be announced in a news release; celebrated with a full-page ad in Wine Business MonthlyWines & Vines, and Vineyard & Winery Management; and promoted via social media.

The deadline for applications is December 15, 2015. Details about applying for the award can be found on the award website.

About the Vintage Report
Created in 2010 in Napa Valley, the Vintage Report is an annual rendezvous for winemakers, vineyard managers and owners eager to get unique firsthand insights into the past vintage from the industry. Connecting terroir and innovation, the Vintage Report is a one-of-a-kind event that convenes vintners and scientists to discuss the vintage, present the latest innovations and share recent technical advances in viticulture and enology. Organized by Fruition Sciences, partner and founder of the event, the Vintage Report is now held in Napa, Paso Robles, Bordeaux and Narbonne.

About Bank of the West Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $70.9 billion in assets as of March 31, 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 650 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in more than 75 countries with 180,000 employees.

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