Lenn Thompson, Dr. Bruce Zoecklein Honored at Annual VVA Meeting
During the annual meeting of the Virginia Vineyards Association Friday 2/1 at the Charlottesville Omni, the Grower of the Year award was announced and presented to Lenn Thompson of Amhert Vineyards by VVA Secretary Tom Kelly. Kelly cited Thompson’s service over the years to the VVA, with two terms each as Secretary, Vice President, Treasurer and being “one of the most visible, active members of VVA.” Thompson owns and farms Amherst Vineyards with his wife Kay, another highly active and visible member of the VVA. Amherst Vineyards has grown grapes whose wines have won many awards, noted Kelly.
Thompson received the award to a standing ovation, giving credit to Kay for her part in the operation. Saying he was quoting member Andrew Hodson, he quipped that “For every man that gets an award here, there’s a woman rolling here eyes,” to audience laughter.
Due to his upcoming retirement in June, the VVA made a point of giving a Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Bruce Zoecklein, enologist at Virginia Tech since 1985. Tributes were given by long-time industry grower and consutant Chris Hill and Veritas winemaker and former student of Zoecklein’s, Emily Pelton. “He has a reputation as a hard worker, and if you’re one of his students, you’ll find he expects the same of you,” she said.
Zoecklein received a standing ovation following his acceptance of the award.