Press Release: Master Vigneron Academy Class of 2017

Lake County’s Master Vigneron Academy® Graduates Sixth Class, Continuing Its Mission of Professional Workforce Development

Industry-leading program provides skills and knowledge that benefit workers and employers

Kelseyville, Calif. December 15, 2017 – In 2017, the Master Vigneron Academy® (MVA) graduated its sixth class, awarding 14 students with the credential of Master VigneronCM. To date, 61 vineyard managers and supervisors have completed the year-long Spanish-language program, gaining insight into many aspects of the wine industry and bringing valuable skills back to their employers.

Master Vigneron Academy(R) logoThe Master Vigneron Academy® is the first of its kind anywhere. Created in 2012 by the Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC), the MVA program remains ahead of the curve in recognizing that the key to quality winegrapes and sustainable practices is the professionalism of those in the vineyard.

Now an established and successful program, the Master Vigneron Academy has been cultivating a professional workforce for six years, providing vineyard managers and supervisors in Lake County with knowledge and skills that would not otherwise be available to them. It serves the economic interests of families, the wine industry, and the greater Lake County community.

“The Lake County Winegrape Commission recognizes that what is often overlooked in sustainable farming is the human element,” said Paul Zellman, Educational Programs Director, Lake County Winegrape Commission. “The MVA program addresses training needs of vineyard managers and supervisors and represents an investment in a critical part of sustainable farming—people.”

MVA Class of 2017

Lake County’s Master Vigneron Academy Class of 2017. Pictured, from left: Broc Zoller (LCWC Research & Education Chair), Ricardo Hernández, Omar Hernández, José Lepiz, Guadalupe Duran Villalobos, José Rojas, Gerardo Guerrero, Arturo Jiménez, Daniel Cruz, Jesús Serrato, José Hernandez, Juan Ceja Reyes, Paul Zellman (LCWC Education Programs Director). Not pictured: Gil McCullaugh, Anastacio Ceja, José Rangel. (Click to view high-res image.)

The MVA concept originated with Randy Krag, former LCWC Research & Education Chair and former vineyard manager at Beckstoffer Vineyards, now retired.

“The Master Vigneron Academy connects our employees to a modern business environment. It creates a bond with the larger industry, and it gives them a perspective of their role in the larger purpose,” said Krag.

Lake County’s MVA offers a model for developing an industry-wide standard by which a supervisor’s knowledge and achievement are formally recognized. Leaders in other winegrowing areas have expressed interest in the Master Vigneron Academy, and some are working to develop similar training for their regions.

More information about the Master Vigneron Academy is available on the Lake County Winegrape Commission’s website:

Wine industry leaders who would like to learn more are encouraged to contact the Lake County Winegrape Commission at (707) 279-2633.

The Winegrape Commission also recognizes the following winegrowers for their support of the Master Vigneron Academy:

  • Adobe Creek Packing
  • Beckstoffer Vineyards
  • Bella Vista Farming
  • Cache Creek Vineyards
  • Dorn Vineyards
  • JAC Ag Services
  • L & L Vineyards Langtry Farms
  • Lyon Vineyards
  • Mauritson Farms
  • Nissen Vineyard Services
  • Obsidian Ridge Vineyard
  • Oldham Vineyard
  • Red Hills Vineyard
  • Robinson Lake Vineyard Rogers Vineyards
  • Shannon Ranches
  • Six Sigma Vineyards
  • Stokes Farming
  • Stonehouse Cellars
  • Sun Alpine Vineyards
  • Trinchero Family Estates


    LCWC Executive Committee Meeting 3:00 pm
    LCWC Executive Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office and Video Conference
    Mar 12 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Agenda – LCWC Executive Committee Meeting, March 12, 2024
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