CAWG\u2019s 2017 Leader of the Year\r\nThe California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) has selected Al Scheid of Scheid Vineyards Inc. as its 2017 Leader the Year. The award will be presented on July 17 in Napa.\r\n\r\nThe award recognizes a grower whose record of exceptional leadership has benefited California\u2019s wine industry. The recipients demonstrate a commitment to promote and protect the interests of California winegrape growers.\r\n\r\nIn addition to being chairman of Scheid Vineyards Inc. in Greenfield, California, Scheid co-founded two of the industry\u2019s most influential organizations, the California Association of Winegrape Growers and Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association. He was also part of a group that pushed for the creation of the California Grape Crush Report, an invaluable industry tool.\r\n\r\n\u00a0Scheid was a Harvard Business School graduate, an investment banker and entrepreneur when he first bought land in Monterey County in 1972. For 15 years, he operated the Monterey Farming Corporation, a partnership that sold bulk wine to large wineries. By the early 1990s, Scheid had bought out the last of his original limited partners and acquired an additional vineyard.\r\n\r\nToday, the Scheid family owns 11 estate vineyards totaling 4,000 acres in the Salinas Valley. They also have a state-of-the-art winery with a crushing capacity of more than 30,000 tons and a smaller winery for boutique wine production.\r\nJohn Wilson Named Vine Cliff's Winemaker\r\n\r\n\r\nNell Sweeney, owner of Vine Cliff Winery in Oakville, California, has named John Wilson as her new winemaker. He will be responsible for the 2017 vintage of Vine Cliff wines, most notably the Cabernet Sauvignon from the Oakville Estate.\r\n\r\nWilson was previously the winemaker at Russian River Valley producer Thomas George Estates. While at Thomas George, he designed single-vineyard Burgundy and Rh\u00f4ne-style wines. Prior to joining Thomas George Estates in 2014, Wilson worked at Littorai Wines, a premium single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producer from Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast.\u00a0He has also worked with winemaker and mentor Thomas Rivers Brown to produce wines for Schrader Cellars, Maybach Family Vineyards and Seaver Vineyards.