Feb 29, 2024
Washington Winegrowers Association honors industry leaders

Washington’s wine industry is paying tribute to its industry leaders.

At the Feb. 5 Washington Winegrowers Association annual Leadership & Legacy luncheon in Kennewick, Washington, the association celebrated the careers, accomplishments and leadership of Washington wine legends.

During this year’s WineVit Convention, the winegrowers association recognized the growers and vineyards in the Sustainable WA certification program, which establishes standards for environmental and economic sustainability in winegrape growing.

Dick Shaw, Jerry Bookwalter, Jack Maljaars, Carly Faulk and Kay Simon were among the individuals in Washington’s wine industry honored by their association.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given in recognition of a career commitment to the wine industry, establishing a legacy of influential excellence enriching the great tradition of Washington wine. Dick Shaw and Jerry Bookwalter were each posthumously honored with this prestigious award.

The Grand Vin Award recognizes a winery employee or owner that has made a significant impact on the winery, wine, the brand or the process of making exceptional wine. This year’s Grand Vin is Kay Simon.

The Industry Service Award is presented in recognition of an exceptional career of impactful service to and for the grape and wine industry. Jack Maljaars, who joined the event virtually, received the award.

The Grower of the Year, the Erick Hanson Memorial Award recognizes extraordinary viticultural talent, creating the atmosphere for a perfect grape in the vineyard resulting in exceptional wine in the bottle. Carly Faulk was honored as this year’s Grower of the Year.

WSWC-Washington-State-Wine-CommissionIn addition to the annual awards, the winegrowers group presented Vicky Scharlau with a Special Legacy of Leadership Award for her decades of service to the Washington wine industry. Scharlau stepped back from her role of the association’s executive director at the end of 2023, but remains involved with both organizations in an of-counsel role. Her family surprised her at the Leadership & Legacy luncheon while Scharlau was on-stage, and she received a standing ovation from all attendees.

The Walter J. Clore Scholarship is presented to a student furthering higher education in viticulture and enology. This year’s Walter J. Clore Scholarship recipient is Olivia Arellanos.

The Leadership & Legacy luncheon serves as an opportunity to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of both individuals within the Washington wine community and the strength of the community as a whole, according to a news release.

The event was in the Toyota Center and was sponsored by Wilbur-Ellis. Washington Winegrowers Association executive director Colleen Frei emceed the event.

Founded in 1983, the association supports members by addressing industry needs through collaboration and partnerships to enhance the Washington wine industry.

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