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Wineries and viticulture experts honored for industry advancements

Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West recognizes innovation and experimentation in viticulture

SAN FRANCISCO and NAPA, Calif., Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West and Fruition Sciences today recognized the winner and two finalists of the Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West for their demonstration of innovation and sustainability in viticulture.

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Ridge Winery was named as winner of the Vintage Report Innovation Award for their study on "The Effects of Lag Phase Thinning on Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel." The study, submitted by Ridge Winery Viticulturist Will Thomas in collaboration with James A. Kennedy, Professor and Chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at California State University Fresno, investigated and tracked the findings of their early lag phase thinning on grape quality.

Two finalists were also named:

Ovid Vineyards Winemaker Austin Peterson was recognized for his study of plant water use, and Murphys-based company Vineyard Concepts was recognized for its development of bin covers that help maintain fruit temperature during harvest, cold soaks and fermentation.

This is the first year of the Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West. The three submissions were honored during Fruition Science's annual Vintage Report Conference in Napa.

Each year, Fruition Sciences organizes the Vintage Report, an exclusive conference that brings together winemakers, viticulturists and scientists to share information about the vintage and present the latest technical advances in the field. In doing so, the Vintage Report provides a venue for bringing new ideas to the forefront and improving the industry as a whole. The Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West focuses on approaches and techniques used during the 2013 vintage (though they may have started earlier) that are either being used in or are exportable to Napa terroirs.

"As one of the largest bank lenders to the nation's agricultural sector, Bank of the West's Premium Wine Group has the privilege of working with many organizations and individuals who are dedicated to advancing best practices in the wine industry," said Managing Director Adam Beak. "We're pleased to have partnered with Fruition Sciences to develop this forum for highlighting creativity and innovations from some of the world's finest wine producing regions."

As the winning submission, Ridge Winery and researchers from the Department of Viticulture and Enology at California State University were invited to present their project and results at Fruition Sciences' 2013 Vintage Report conference.

About Fruition Sciences
Founded in 2007, Fruition Sciences is an information technology company providing winemakers and grape growers with a decision tool to optimize their vineyard management. With a focus on monitoring plant physiology, Fruition Sciences has developed a very unique approach to optimize vineyard monitoring.

About Bank of the West
Founded in 1874, $65 billion-asset Bank of the West offers a full range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees. Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com) is a Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.

SOURCE Bank of the West

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