ASEV’s National Conference Returns to Pacific Northwest, Honors Yokotsuka and Butz With Distinguished Merit Award

Coming from the major wine producing regions of the world, researchers, scientists and wine industry leaders will gather in the Pacific Northwest to mark the 61st American Society of Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) National Conference. This week-long convening takes place at Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center from June 20-24. The week opens with the International Cool Climate Symposium on June 20-22. Over 1,000 members of the wine industry, including a host of international speakers, will gather to discuss, share and explore new approaches to making the wine of the future.

“We have been working with the support of the Pacific Northwest’s respected wine industry in developing this year’s National Conference” said ASEV Executive Director Lyndie Boulton. “We are focused on providing a range of collaborative opportunities, which include social and business networking, while enjoying the local food and wine.”

One of the National Conference’s established draws is the presentation of the ASEV’s prestigious Merit Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to ASEV and/or the industry. The award will be presented on Thursday, June 24, and this year will honor two recipients: Dr. Koki Yokotsuka and Ellen Butz. Each recipient was chosen based on their outstanding contributions to an ASEV chapter.

Since the early 1980s, Dr. Yokotsuka has served as the executive director of the ASEV Japan Chapter and was instrumental in its formation. Dr. Yokotsuka is also professor emeritus and vice president and executive director for research and planning at the University of Yamanashi. He has worked with the University since 1970, when he began as associate professor of enology. He also studied enology in California at UC Davis. During Dr. Yokotsuka’s 38-year tenure, he has conducted chemical studies of the relationship between wine quality and grape components. As a result of his extensive career, he has published 100 papers in English journals, 54 papers in Japanese journals, 35 reviews and 10 books.

Ellen Butz, a 25-year veteran of wine production, works as a consultant at Vintage Winery based in Indiana. Since 1988, Butz has been a member of the board of directors of the ASEV Eastern Section and played a key role in the chapter’s development. She was an active chapter board member for eight years, holding positions as chairperson and treasurer. Butz’s extensive wine career has taken her around the world. In 1995, she received a notable honor when the Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance invited her to participate. As a result, she spent two weeks in Tirana, Albania, with a project title of “Wine Quality Control Technology and Applied Research,” followed by one week in Krasnodar, Russia, working with the Temryk Small Scale Wine Production Project. Butz co-authored the book Commercial Winemaking, From Grape Growing to Marketplace with Dr. Vine, and upon her retirement in 2007, she and Richard Vine established Vintage Winery Consultants.

“Both Dr. Yokotsuka and Mrs. Butz exemplify the Society’s standards for the Merit Award,” Boulton said. “They both have made significant contributions through their dedication to ASEV chapters that span several facets of the grape and wine industry.”

For more information on registration and topics covered during the Seattle conference week, click here.