Long, Walker Selected for Top Honors at ASEV’s Annual Meeting in Napa

Each year, extraordinary contributions are made to the artistry and science of enology and viticulture. The American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) announced that its two highest honors, the Merit Award and Honorary Research Lecturer, will be presented to Ms. Zelma Long and Dr. Andrew Walker, respectively, at the Society’s 60th Annual Meeting to be held in Napa, California, from June 23-26.

Zelma Long, a world renowned winemaking master will be honored with the ASEV’s Merit Award. Her copious accomplishments are impressive and revered throughout the industry. She was the first woman in the industry to run both the winemaking and business side of a major winery and led Simi Winery to prominence serving as its winemaker/vice president, president and finally CEO in the 1980s and 1990s.  Today, she is the owner and winemaking partner with her husband, Philip Freese, of Vilafonte (Wine Estate) in South Africa as well as owner and winemaker of Long Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. Long has received national and international awards throughout her career for her leadership positions in wine industry organizations, which have included: founding president of the American Vineyard Foundation, chair of the American Viticultural and Enology Research Network (AVERN), founding president of the Alexander Valley Winegrowers, founding member of the North Coast Viticultural Research Group, ASEV Board director and member of the local Board of the International Women’s Forum. She will receive the Merit Award on Thursday, June 25.

Dr. Andrew Walker of the University of California, Davis, will present the Honorary Research Lecture on Wednesday, June 24. A grape breeder/geneticist in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis since 1989, Dr. Walker is a familiar face in the worldwide conference circuit based on multiple research projects. He has developed new rootstocks with resistance to fanleaf degeneration, nematode complexes, plylloxera and, more recently, salinity tolerance. He is currently involved in breeding wine, raisin and table grape resistance to Pierce’s disease and powdery mildew. In addition to his research work, Dr. Walker has served as chair of the Horticulture and Agronomy Graduate Group since 1997, which oversees Master of Science and doctorate degrees in viticulture. He has also served as Vice Chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis from 2005-2008, Secretary-Treasurer for ASEV from 1999-2004 and is an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture.  Currently, he is Chair of the National Grape Crop Germplasm Committee, which advises the USDA and represents grape germplasm interests at the national level. He was awarded the Louis P. Martini Endowed Chair in Viticulture in 2001.

The ASEV Annual Meeting was established in 1950 by a committee of industry and academic representatives who included founding leaders such as Maynard Amerine, James Guymon, Joseph Heitz, Louis P. Martini, Harold Olmo, André Tchelistcheff, A.W. Webb and A. J. Winkler. Today, the ASEV Annual Meeting continues to serve as the wine and grape industry’s platform for progress, offering a unique combination of continued professional education in regard to scientific rigor and fundamental practice. The diverse and comprehensive program includes seminars addressing topics of daily experience in the winery and vineyard as well as reports and updates on original research, and enology and viticulture work in progress. Open to all industry and academic representatives, the annual meeting provides an ideal opportunity for networking between members of all U.S. wine and grape regions as well as respected international experts and professionals.