Press Release: Master Vigneron Academy Class of 2019

Master Vigneron Academy® Graduates Eighth Class, Continuing Its Mission of Professional Workforce Development

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

Kelseyville, Calif. December 12, 2019 – The Master Vigneron Academy® recently graduated its eighth class, awarding nine students with the credential of Master VigneronCM. To date, 82 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.

The Master Vigneron Academy is the first of its kind anywhere. Created in 2012 by the Lake County Winegrape Commission (LCWC), the Master Vigneron Academy 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 eight years, providing vineyard managers and supervisors in Lake County and other parts of the North Coast 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, LCWC’s Educational Programs Consultant. “The Master Vigneron credential program addresses training needs of vineyard managers and supervisors and represents an investment in a critical part of sustainable farming—people.”

2019 Master Vigneron Graduation in Lake County, group photo by Karen Pavone

Lake County’s Master Vigneron Academy® Class of 2019. Pictured, from left to right: Paul Zellman (LCWC’s Educational Programs Consultant), Óscar Martínez, José González, Gerardo Martínez, Eduardo Jiménez, Carlos Maravilla, Gerardo Ramírez, Broc Zoller (LCWC Chair). Not pictured: Mauricio López, Roberto López, José Sánchez. (Photo by Karen Pavone. Click photo to view full-size image.)

The 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.

The Academy 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 establishing the Master Vigneron Academy in 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
  • Amberview Vineyards
  • Beckstoffer Vineyards
  • Bella Vista Farming Company
  • Cache Creek Vineyards
  • Dorn Vineyards
  • JAC Ag Services
  • L & L Vineyards
  • Langtry Farms
  • Lyon Vineyards
  • Mauritson Farms
  • Michael Hat Farming
  • Nissen Vineyard Services
  • Noble Vineyard Management
  • 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


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