Karen Ross and Jerry Lohr Honored

UC Davis to present Awards of Distinction Oct. 12

by Tina Caputo
Karen Ross and Jerry Lohr Honored
Karen Ross
Davis, Calif. -- Two wine industry leaders will be honored by the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) on Oct. 12. Karen Ross, president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), and Jerry Lohr, founder and president of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, each will receive an Award of Distinction--the college's highest honor--and will be named a "Friend of the College."

The award is presented annually to a handful of recipients whose contributions and achievements enrich the image and reputation of the college and enhance its ability to provide public service. Ross and Lohr are the only wine industry recipients among the seven honorees this year. Past recipients have included Robert Mondavi, Louis Martini and the Wente family.

Karen Ross has had many UC Davis collaborations, including efforts to educate California winegrape growers about sustainable agriculture practices, air and water quality issues, and climate change impacts.

She has served on committees to select key agriculture faculty; is a member of the CA&ES Dean's Advisory Council; is an associate fellow to the Board of Visitors and Fellows in the UC Davis department of viticulture and enology; and is a member of a stakeholder committee selecting a new UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources.

Among Ross' achievements are her efforts in creating the Sustainable Winegrowing Program, which has inspired other commodity groups to create similar programs. Ross was also instrumental in the formation of the National Grape and Wine Initiative, an organization seeking federal funding for research and outreach in grapes and wine.

"Karen is an excellent sounding board for what issues are on the minds of growers, and the kinds of research and education needs that would most impact their efforts to stay competitive in what has become a global wine business," said Jim Wolpert, former chair of the UC Davis department of viticulture and enology. "The department wanted to recognize her for her leadership both in California and nationally."

Karen Ross and Jerry Lohr Honored
Jerry Lohr
Jerry Lohr's contributions

Pioneering vintner Jerry Lohr has been an active supporter of the UC Davis department of viticulture and enology for many years.

"Jerry Lohr has given richly of his time and talent to our department and campus," said Andy Waterhouse, interim chair of the UC Davis department of viticulture and enology. "His leadership has made a tremendous impact, and the knowledge and perspective he brings is invaluable."

Lohr is an active member of the Trellis Alliance and the department's Board of Visitors and Fellows. He supports outreach efforts such as the annual RAVE conference for the wine industry, and brings knowledge, skills and education as an engineer and builder of his own winery to the design and planning of a new campus winery. Lohr is an active supporter of the UC Davis Heritage Vineyard and Oakville Research Center in the Napa Valley.

A Monterey County wine pioneer, Lohr planted his first vineyard in the Arroyo Seco appellation in 1971. He was also among the first vintners to explore the Paso Robles area, where J. Lohr's red wine program is based.

Lohr has held many important leadership posts, including director and chair of the Wine Institute, and founding director and four-time president of the Monterey Vintners and Growers Association. He was also a co-founder of Wine Vision, a strategic planning initiative to expand the global market for U.S. wine.

For more information about the award presentation and recipients, visit caes.ucdavis.edu.
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