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2014 Proposals Now Accepted for the Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West

Renowned industry judges announced to lend their expertise in finding the next award winning innovation and experimentation in viticulture

SAN FRANCISCO and NAPA, Calif., Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West's Premium Wine Group and Fruition Sciences announced today that applications are now being accepted for the Vintage Report Innovation Award, which celebrates breakthroughs and sustainability in viticulture by recognizing groundbreaking methods and practices employed during the 2014 vintage.

Bank of the West logo.

This year's judges include acclaimed industry experts and leaders in the field:

  • Paul Goldberg – Vineyard Manager, Bettinelli Vineyards
  • Professor James A. Kennedy – Professor and Chair, Department of Viticulture and Enology, California State University, Fresno
  • Curtis Phillips – Senior Editor, Wine Business Monthly
  • Aaron Pott – Winemaker, Pott Wine and Huis Clos Consulting
  • Jennifer Putnam – Executive Director and CEO, Napa Valley Grapegrowers

The deadline for award submissions is December 1, 2014. Details about applying for the award are available at

The winner will be invited to present the project and results at Fruition Sciences' Vintage Report conference in January, 2015 and will be recognized in a variety of news media and promotional activities.

"The art of winemaking has evolved dramatically over the last forty years. Vintners know that to be successful they must innovate and acclimate to the environment around them to produce the best vintages," said Adam Beak, head of Bank of the West's Premium Wine Group. "As a leading bank to the wine industry, we are particularly interested in seeing what drives innovation and creativity among growers and winemakers."

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.

"We are thrilled to organize this second Vintage Report Innovation Award, which is a true addition to the conference," said Thibaut Scholasch, co-founder of Fruition Sciences. "This is a celebration of the creativity in the wine industry. It also aims at fostering innovation in viticulture and wine in one of the largest wine producing regions in the world. This year again, we are eager to see what the industry has been up to in recent months."

Last year's winner, Ridge Winery, was awarded for its study, "The Effects of Lag Phase Thinning on Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel." Its proposal, submitted by Ridge Winery Viticulturist Will Thomas in collaboration with Professor James A. Kennedy of the Department of Viticulture and Enology, California State University, Fresno, investigated and tracked the results of early lag phase thinning on grape quality.

To be eligible for the Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West, approaches must be used during the 2014 vintage (though they may have started earlier), and the techniques must be implemented in or exportable to Napa terroirs.

About Fruition Sciences

Founded in 2007, Fruition Sciences is an information technology company providing winemakers and grape growers with new decision tools, including web-connected sensors to monitor the conditions of the vines and grapes, in order to optimize vineyard management. Offering a holistic plant-based approach that combines weather, plant and fruit data, Fruition's technology can help winemakers and grape growers achieve better yield and wine quality.

About Bank of the West

Founded in 1874, $68 billion-asset Bank of the West (, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, offers a wide 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 75 countries with 180,000 employees.

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SOURCE Bank of the West

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