Mike Wolf Named Napa Valley Grower of the Year
Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) have chosen long-time Napa grape grower Mike Wolf as the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Napa Valley Grower of the Year. Wolf will be honored for his tremendous contributions to Napa Valley farming and the community on May 15 at the 40th annual NVG Annual Dinner.
Wolf has been involved with developing and managing California vineyards for over 35 years. He launched Michael Wolf Vineyard Services in 1997, working with many of Napa Valley’s leading independent growers, and premium and ultra-premium wineries in all phases of sustainable vineyard development, from planning and development to maintaining well-established vineyards. He currently farms over 800 acres across Napa County.
Wolf started working with grapes at the age 26, when he moved to Mendocino County with two college friends and wound up connecting with Beckstoffer Vineyards in Ukiah for his first vineyard job.
He moved to Napa County in 1981 as Vineyard Supervisor for a large agricultural development company in Pope Valley where he worked for 12 years, managing all vineyard development and vineyard operations. In 1994, he accepted a position overseeing 500 acres of vineyard in the Napa Valley for Beckstoffer Vineyards.
Wolf’s name is now associated with vineyards that express the exceptionally high quality for which Napa is known. Deeply respected for his commitment to Napa Valley farming and the community, Wolf has served as:
· Board Trustee of the California Grower Foundation since 1987; board chairman from 1994–1998
· Professional member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture
· Member of the Napa Valley Viticultural Technical Group’s Executive Committee from 1995–1996
· Director of the Napa County Farm Bureau from 1986–1998; president from 1990–1992; vice president from 1988–1989
· Board Member, Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch
“Mike is a tremendous example of a quiet, genuine leader. He is a perennial contributor to advancing viticultural best practices, dependably mentors the next generation and furthers the process of sustainable farming,” said NVG President Steve Moulds. “We are very proud to honor him.”
He continues to be a strong advocate and support for farmworkers in the Valley, actively supporting the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF); Harvest STOMP, and the annual Napa Valley Pruning Contest. Mike was raised just outside of New York City, and received a B.A. degree in history from New York’s Alfred University.
Nominations for the Napa Valley Grower of the Year come from the NVG membership and the recipient is chosen by a special Selection Committee made up of Past Presidents and current committee members. The award criteria are: a strong commitment to sustainable practices; recognized leadership in agricultural preservation; dedicated community focus, contributions to the Napa Valley community; and someone who actively promotes Napa’s reputation for the highest quality vineyards.
About Napa Valley Grapegrowers:
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015, NVG is a non-profit trade organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley's reputation as a world-class viticultural region for four decades. Its mission is to preserve and promote Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards. NVG represents over 690 Napa County grape growers and associated businesses.