Recent Awards & Honors

Winter awards and honors


The UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology Broadening Horizons Program was recently selected as one of the Gérard Basset Foundation 2023 grantees. The Gérard Basset Foundation supports global diversity, equity, and inclusion for wine, spirits, and hospitality professionals by funding education, learning, and career-enhancing programmes. 
We are excited and honored to receive this grant funding, which will support the Broadening Horizons Program to launch the Diversity of Wine Academy. The Diversity of Wine Academy is the department’s next effort to build, expose, train, and inspire a more diverse pipeline of students into the wine industry workforce while providing educational equity to those facing barriers to entry into wine and viticulture-related careers. Twenty-five students and higher education professionals from various California community colleges will receive hands-on training and an educational experience at UC Davis. 
Read more here. 

Associate Professor and Vice-Chair Ben Montpetit accepted the 2023 Casa Ferreirinha Golden Vines® Innovation Award on behalf of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis on October 14, 2023, in Paris. The trophy made it safely back to California and was shared with our students during a wine production class in the days following the gala. 
The Golden Vines Awards recognize the star performers of the fine wine and spirits industries, voted upon by close to 1,000 fine wine professionals from 120 countries, and the Department is honored to have received this year’s Casa Ferreirinha Innovation Award. Another California organization,  Ridge Vineyards, won the award for best fine wine producer in the Americas. 
Congratulations to all the winners! For a complete list of 2023 Golden Vines awardees, click here.


Mason Earles, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Viticulture and Enology and Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC Davis testified at the US Senate’s Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry during their hearing on AI and Technology on Tuesday, November 14th.  As one of five experts on the topic, Mason gave testimony on AI’s growing role within agriculture and provided examples of how AI is quickly transforming how farmers do their work. 

Mason is featured during the following times: (23:00; 30:00; 55:00; 1:09:00; 1:32:00; and 1:56:00) and you can also download his testimony at the following link.

A big thank you to Mason for representing UC Davis at this important hearing! 

Congratulations to Viticulture & Enology and Food Science and Technology Professor David Mills, who joins twelve other UC Davis researchers (and a total of 7,125 researchers) on the 2023 Clarivate Web of Science Group annual Highly Cited Researchers list.  This is the 6th year that Mills has achieved this honor. The list identifies exceptional scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence by publishing multiple papers that rank in the top 1 percent by citations in a particular field and year, over a 10-year period.  Citation counts represent how often a particular paper has been cited in other scientific publications.   


We are pleased to welcome two new members to the Executive Leadership Board of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis: Maryam Ahmed, Owner, Maryam & Company, and John Sutton, CEO, The Wine Group. 

The Executive Leadership Board (ELB) is an important and influential advisory group for the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology. Composed of invited industry leaders, educators, wine appreciators and selected friends and colleagues, ELB members lend expert counsel and assistance to the Department in setting and accomplishing its long-range strategic goals. 

More information about Maryam and John can be found here.

Two Executive Leadership Board Members received Wine Star Awards from Wine Enthusiast for 2023! Winners will be honored at a black-tie gala in February 2024. 

John Sutton, CEO of The Wine Group, received the 2023 Person of the Year Wine Star Award. Each year, this award celebrates an individual who is making outstanding contributions to the wine and alcohol beverage world.  

Carolyn Wente, CEO, Wente Vineyards, received the 2023 American Wine Legend Wine Star Award. Carolyn is also the first woman to receive this award.  Congratulations, Carolyn! 

For more information about Carolyn and John, click here