2015 Merit Award Presentation
Politics and Wine - Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
Mr. E.B. “Pete” Downs, Consulting Enologist and
Retired Senior VP for External Affairs, Kendall-Jackson, California
The ASEV Merit Award is presented annually to an individual who has significantly contributed in an outstanding manner to the progress and advancement of enology and viticulture to the industry and/or to the Society. This award acknowledges excellence in the fields of education, technology, research, management, public relations, or any discipline related to enology and viticulture.
The ASEV Board is pleased to honor E.B. “Pete” Downs of Kendall-Jackson Winery as ASEV’s 2015 Merit Award recipient.
As the external affairs senior vice president for Kendall-Jackson Winery, Downs worked with legislators, regulators, and other members of the industry on a local, state, national, and international level.
He served as an advisor for vital industry issues such as wine shipment regulations, and his efforts were pivotal in winning USDA funding for research and control of the spread of the Glassy-winged sharpshooters and Pierce’s disease. He was also part of the World Wine Trade Group that worked to minimize international trade barriers through international labeling requirements.
Downs served as ASEV president from 1991 to 1992 and has been an active member since 1973, holding several positions, including secretary/treasurer (1985-87 and 1995-99), membership committee chair, and public relations committee chair, and he was a member of the Unified Symposium organizing committee. His professional membership affiliations include Wine America, Family Winemakers of California, Sonoma County Wineries Association, Coalition for Free Trade, World Wine Trade Group, and the International Federation of Wines and Spirits. He was appointed by California’s secretary of agriculture to the Pierce’s Disease Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Board, and has served as a legislative committee chair for Family Winemakers of California, as well as the international committee chair for the American Vintners Association.