Like his father before him, Steve Lohr has become a visionary leader and tireless advocate for the Central Coast wine industry.
Now the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance is recognizing him as Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year for 2017 at its annual gala Jan. 19.
CEO of J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines since 2013, Lohr has followed in father Jerry’s footsteps in introducing the wines of Paso Robles to a global audience. The younger Lohr has also championed sustainable farming practices, with the winery’s early adoption of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance certification program and use of solar energy, featuring the industry’s largest photovoltaic tracking array.
He’s also the first person to serve simultaneously as chair of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and the Wine Institute, which brings together the resources of 1,000 wineries for research, education and advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues.
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A three-time past chairman of the Paso wine alliance, Lohr worked with 57 vintners and growers on establishing 11 distinct growing areas as American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs.
During his tenure, J. Lohr also built one of the most acclaimed estate programs in California, with 3,700 sustainably farmed acres, including 2,300 in Paso Robles.
Lohr said he was honored by the award but called the wine region’s success a collective effort.
“We are a community of independently spirited individuals who have come together to realize the potential of this remarkable place,” he said. “Working side by side, we have achieved levels of quality that would have been undreamed of just a few decades ago and established Paso Robles as one of the world’s great wine regions.”
Sally Buffalo writes about wine, beer and spirits. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.