Below are profiles of winners of North Bay Business Journal's sixth annual Wine, Beer + Spirits Industry Awards.
Special this year will be a Lifetime Achievement Award to Derek Benham, CEO and president of Purple Wine + Sprits. Behnam has a three decades career in wine, and lately, spirits. He started the wine brands Avalon and later Mark West, selling the latter to Constellation Brands.
In 2014, Benham introduced Rayburn, Calista and Flint & Steel as well as broke ground on a distillery at the Graton Winery. Purple Wine + Spirits has been successful and also has made strides in sustainability.
Being honored by the Business Journal with a special award will be Ron Rubin, owner and president for Ron Rubin Winery. In 2017, Rubin began the Trained for Saving Lives program in collaboration with the American Red Cross and Zoll Medical Corporation. Rubin has covered the cost of placing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in wineries in the North Bay. To date, 176 units have been provided to qualifying wineries.
Wine Industry Network also awards five of its annual WINnovation Awards.
The Wine Industry + Beer & Spirits Awards and WINnovation Awards were presented on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rohnert Park.
Wine Industry + Beer & Spirits Awards winners
Lifetime Achievement Award: Derek Benham, owner and CEO, Purple Wines + Spirits, Graton
Special Award: Ron Rubin, owner and president, Ron Rubin Winery, Sebastopol
Winery Owner – Napa: Chris Hall, co-owner, chief operating officer and executive vice president, Long Meadow Ranch, St. Helena
Winery Owner – Sonoma: Mike Sullivan, co-owner, winemaker, Benovia Winery, Santa Rosa
Winemaker – Napa: Linda Trotta, winemaker, Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, American Canyon
Winemaker – Sonoma: Kevin Hall, winemaker, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg
Vineyard Manger: David Bejar, vineyard manager, V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena and Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga
Winery Sales and Marketing Officer: Eric Guerra, chief sales and marketing officer, Vineyard 29, St. Helena
Winery Managing Director: Taylr Behnam Cuneo, managing director, Ram’s Gate Winery, Sonoma
Distillery CEO: Adam Spiegel, founder CEO and whiskey maker, Sonoma Distilling Company, Rohnert Park
Brewmaster – Small Brewery: Andy Hooper, brewmaster and director of operations, Seismic Brewing Company, Santa Rosa
Brewmaster – Large Brewery: Jeremy Marshall, brewmaster, Lagunitas Brewery, Santa Rosa
Brewery Owner: Ricardo G. Norgrove, owner, brewmaster and chief operating officer, Bear Republic Brewing Company, Cloverdale
Spirits - Startup: Sipsong Spirits, Windsor
Wine - Wine Technology: Enartis USA, Windsor
Wine - Labels: Paragon Label Company and Out the Bottle, Petaluma
Wine - Environmental Stewardship: Truett-Hurst, Healdsburg
Wine - Fintech: Vinasset dba Fortera (Strength in Numbers), Mill Valley
Vineyard Technology: VineView (Scientific Aerial Imaging Inc.), St. Helena
Wine Technology: Winesecrets, Sebastopol
WINnovation Awards winners
Presented by the Wine Industry Network. Read profiles of the winners.
BevStrat (Brian Rosen, president)
DIAM Bouchage, partnered with G3 Enterprises (Francois Margot, director of Sales, DIAM North America)
Emetry (Paul Mabray, CEO)
Prosurix (Steve Glamuzina, CEO)
VA Filtration USA (Bryan Tudhope, president)