North Coast Winegrower Andy Beckstoffer Makes Vineyard & Winery Management’s List of the Top 20 Most Admired People in the North American Wine Industry

The 20 Most Admired People in the North American Wine Industry

Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine

Andy Beckstoffer



Andy Beckstoffer
Chairman/CEO, Beckstoffer Vineyards


Beckstoffer is one of Northern California’s leading grapegrowers, and one of the region’s most prolific. As one of the 20 largest grapegrowers in California, he owns a total of 3,600 vineyard acres in Napa Valley, Mendocino County and Lake County.

Beckstoffer began his wine career in the ´60s as a
business analyst for Heublein Inc. He eventually became
president of the Vinifera Development Co., a subsidiary
he helped create, and in 1973 he purchased it from Heublein.
That company evolved into Beckstoffer Vineyards.
Beckstoffer became known as a leader in developing
and implementing new vineyard technologies in the North
Coast, pioneering drip irrigation, closer vine spacing, overhead
frost protection, new trellis systems and bench graft

“The key to Andy’s success is the quality of the grapes
he delivers to his clients, the vintners and winemakers,”
said Frederick H. Schrader of Napa Valley’s Schrader Cellars.
“The Beckstoffer team is second to none in dialing in
their vineyards and delivering the highest quality grapes
year after year. In my opinion he’s the finest farmer in America when it comes to vineyards.”

As an advocate for Napa Valley growers, Becksoffer has inspired both admiration and controversy. In 1976, as president of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG), Beckstoffer was instrumen- tal in increasing the federal requirement for
varietal and appellation content from 51% t o 7 5 % . T h e c h a n g e w a s applauded by local growers and consumers, but resented by some vintners. Through NVG he created the “bottle price formula” that directly ties the price of grapes to the price of a bottle of wine. He also helped develop the Napa County Winery Definition Ordinance, which mandated that 75% of grapes in
Napa- appellated wine come from the Napa Valley.

Today Beckstoffer is focused on agricultural pres- ervation in Napa County. He’s a board member of The Land Trust of Napa County, which works to permanently pre- serve agricultural land from development, and has con- tributed more than 400 acres of easements to the trust, with plans for hundreds more in the works.
“Andy has been a tireless advocate for the protection of agriculture and the advancement of quality viticultural practices for over 40 years,” said former NVG president Bruce Phillips, whose family owns Vine Hill Ranch in Napa Valley. “His continuing efforts have helped to solidify the Napa Valley as the preeminent winegrowing appella- tion in the United States, and have in no
small part helped position it among the finest grapegrowing regions of the world.”


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