NAPA -- Napa Valley Grapegrowers today announced the selection of the Phillips family, longtime Oakville winegrape growers, as the 2011 recipient of the Napa Valley Grower of the Year award.

This is the first time that a family, rather than an individual, has been chosen for this distinction.

Each year, the past presidents of Napa Valley Grapegrowers meet to decide Grower of the Year from nominations submitted by association membership. 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.

From 1984--86, Bob Phillips was president of the association, which was founded in 1975. He participated in a significant way in many foundational industry successes, from the definition of the Napa Valley's winegrowing region, or appellation, structure to the protections afforded Napa County's rich agricultural resources.

His wife, Alex, served on the board of the Napa County Farm Bureau and was instrumental in the founding and fostering di Rosa Preserve.

Their son, Bruce Phillips, recently completed a two-year term as association president. During that time he led the group in the strategic development, marketing and industry partnerships that will carry the organization far into the future.

Bruce’s wife, Heather, is a Napa County Planning Commissioner and chaired the very successful 2009 NVG Harvest STOMP event.

Association President David Beckstoffer recognized the important role that the entire Phillips family has played.

"The Phillips family has quietly represented the best of what we as growers hope to be," Mr. Beckstoffer said. "Their love of the land and dedication to the industry and community is an inspiration to all of us."

The Phillips family will be honored for their broad contributions to both Napa Valley agriculture and the community on May 13 at the NVG Annual Event at Chimney Rock Winery.