Local wine industry leaders honored at California Mid-State Fair

Vicki Carroll
Vicki Carroll Courtesy photo

Three local wine leaders have been honored by the San Luis Obispo County wine industry for their passion, dedication, stewardship, innovation and vision.

Vicki Carroll, president and executive director of Hospice du Rhône, was named Wine Industry Person of the Year. Marc Goldberg, owner of Windward Vineyard with wife Maggie D’Ambrosia, was named Winemaker of the Year. And Jerry Reaugh, chairman of the Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions and owner of Sereno Vista Vineyards with his wife, Marcia Reaugh, was named Winegrape Grower of the Year.

The three were selected by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance in partnership with the San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association, the Independent Grape Growers of Paso Robles Area, Vineyard Team and past award recipients.

“These three individuals have devoted themselves to the promotion and protection of San Luis Obispo County’s thriving wine industry, and we owe them an enormous amount of respect and appreciation,” said Jennifer Porter, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, a nonprofit trade association.

Carroll was the first director of the Edna Valley Arroyo Grande Valley Vintners Association in 1991, now known as the San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association. After eight years she became director of Hospice du Rhône. As current president and executive director, she promotes Rhône wines to winemakers, wine trade and wine consumers worldwide.

Carroll also consults for wineries and organizations within the wine industry, sits on Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture Advisory Council and is on the current board of directors for The Monday Club of San Luis Obispo. The Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Advisory Council named her a 2015 Industry Leader.

Goldberg is dedicated to producing Burgundian-style pinot noir. Goldberg and D’Ambrosia purchased and planted their vineyard in 1989, and a combination of dramatic temperature change, breeze and soil made the location ideal for producing pinot noir.

Goldberg has increased recognition of Paso Robles pinot noir; there are currently more than 20 Paso Robles pinot noir producers.

Informally known as “Paso Pinot Producers,” Goldberg and other winemakers meet to discuss growing, winemaking and marketing strategies. In 2003, Goldberg organized the first Pinot and Paella Festival, an annual event that has gained popularity and raised more than $350,000 for the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation and other local youth charities.

Reaugh and his wife, who planted their Sereno Vista vineyard in 1999, farm 70 acres of cabernet sauvignon, petite sirah and petit verdot. The grapes are sold to wineries in the Paso area.

Reaugh is an active member of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and the Central Coast Vineyard Team. He was treasurer of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Board of Directors for six years and has served on numerous committees with the group.

He is also a founding member and current chairman of the Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions, a group advocating for the establishment of a water management district for the Paso Robles groundwater basin, one of the largest basins in the state. Decades of overpumping by farmers and residents have caused aquifers to drop by 70 feet or more in some areas.

The three individuals were recognized Friday at the California Mid-State Fair.