Press Release

Three Finalists Announced for 2015 Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West
San Francisco, CA | Jan 14, 2016

Robert Biale Vineyards and Tres Sabores Vineyards; Monica Cooper and Sarah MacDonald (UC Cooperative Extension); Ridge Vineyards Named Finalists

Today, Bank of the West and Fruition Sciences have announced three finalists for the 2015 Vintage Report Innovation Award presented by Bank of the West Commercial Banking Group. The award recognizes the most groundbreaking method, practice or sustainable approach used during the 2015 vintage. This year's finalists are Robert Biale Vineyards and Tres Sabores Vineyards; Monica Cooper and Sarah MacDonald (UC Cooperative Extension); and Ridge Vineyards.

"Through these awards, we have an opportunity to recognize innovative techniques and ways to improve the future of winemaking," said Managing Director Adam Beak, head of the Premium Wine Group with Bank of the West Commercial Banking Group. "In partnering with Fruition Sciences, we have identified key projects that demonstrate some of the most creative ideas in the valley today."

This year's finalists include these participants.

  • In an experiment led by Tres Goetting, Robert Biale Vineyards and Tres Sabores Vineyards used high-resolution, deep-soil moisture monitoring along with strategically placed, real-time soil sensors and a new software analytics tool to better understand water availability across the highly varied soil series where their grapes are grown.
  • Monica Cooper and Sarah MacDonald led a project that presents a new way to manage Grapevine Leafroll Disease – a major threat to vineyard health – by using hyperspectral airborne imaging to identify diseased vines. This technique allows vineyards to gather data from thousands of acres of vines in a single three-hour flight.
  • Led by Will Thomas and David Gates, Ridge Vineyards' experiment used spore traps to detect the pathogen's presence before it could be seen and to track how spores moved across the vineyards.

The judges panel met in early January 2016 at the offices of Bank of the West's Premium Wine Group in Napa to review submissions and select this year's finalists. Like last year, the judges included acclaimed industry experts and leaders in the field:

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

Each year, Fruition Sciences organizes the Vintage Report Conference, an exclusive event that brings together winemakers, viticulturists and scientists to discuss the latest innovations and advances in viticulture and enology. In doing so, the Vintage Report provides a venue for bringing new ideas to the forefront and improving the industry as a whole. Now in its third year, the Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West focuses on approaches and techniques used during the 2015 vintage that are either being used in or are exportable to Napa.

About Fruition Sciences
Founded in 2007, Fruition Sciences is an information technology company providing winemakers and grape growers with a decision tool to optimize their vineyard management. With a focus on monitoring plant physiology, Fruition Sciences has developed a very unique approach to optimize vineyard monitoring.

About Bank of the West
Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $74 billion in assets as of September 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 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees.


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