The Culinary Institute of America Announces 2011 Vintners Hall of Fame Inductees

ST. HELENA, CA--(Marketwire - November 9, 2010) -  The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) today announced that its 2011 Vintners Hall of Fame inductees will be Ravenswood founder Joel Peterson, UC Davis Professor of Enology, Emeritus Vernon Singleton, and Bob Trinchero, owner of Sutter Home Winery and Trinchero Napa Valley. Chalone Vineyards winemaker, Richard Graff, and August Sebastiani, the father of the eponymous Sonoma winery, will be inducted as Pioneers. The "Pioneer" category recognizes those who made significant contributions to the California wine industry and passed away more than 10 years ago.

In addition to the 2011 inductees, Congressman Mike Thompson, chair of the Vintners Hall of Fame Board of Stewards introduced the new Board members: John Aguirre, Andy Beckstoffer, Agustin Huneeus, Paula Kornell, Archie McLaren, Ed Matovcik, Margrit Mondavi, Gavin Newsom, Garen Staglin, Dede Wilsey, and Richard Wollack.

"The Vintners Hall of Fame is a place to recognize the hard work of the men and women who have made the California wine industry the success it is today," says Dr. Tim Ryan, President of the CIA. "The inductees have each made a significant contribution in their own way, and the world of wine is grateful for their efforts."

The official induction of the 2011 Vintners Hall of Fame honorees will take place on Presidents Day, February 21st, 2011 at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena, CA, as part of the CIA's 5th annual Celebration of California Wine & Food.

In celebration of the presidential holiday theme, a dozen California wineries will host a reception featuring wine and food pairings from White House State Dinner menus. The members of the Class of 2011 will be inducted in the Vintners Hall of Fame Barrel Room, preceded by the unveiling of the sculpted bronze plaques honoring those inducted in 2010. The induction ceremony will be followed by a celebrity chef walk-around dinner in the school's Teaching Kitchen headlined by former White House Executive Chef and CIA graduate, Walter Scheib, and perennial favorite, Congressman Mike Thompson.

This year's nominating committee, chaired by noted wine journalist W. Blake Gray, included Charles Sullivan, wine historian and author; John Olney, The Wine Country Club; Jim Gordon, Wines and Vines; Sara Schneider, Sunset Magazine; Alder Yarrow,; Mike Dunne, Sacramento Bee; Paul Wagner, Balzac Communications & Marketing; Andy Beckstoffer, founder of Beckstoffer Vineyards, who was inducted in 2010; Gerald Asher, long-time journalist inducted in 2009; Randall Grahm, Bonny Doon Vineyard, who was inducted in 2010; Darrell Corti, Corti Brothers, who was inducted in 2008; and Carole Meredith, UC Davis Professor Emerita and co-founder of Lagier-Meredith Winery, who was inducted in 2009. The Class of 2011 Inductees were elected by 74 members of the Vintners Hall of Fame Electoral College, which consists of past inductees and members of the wine media.

Tickets for the program are $175 ($100 tax-deductible). For more information on the 2011 Vintners Hall of Fame Induction celebration, please contact Reuben Katz, 707-967-2305 or

About The Culinary Institute of America
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering bachelor's and associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA has a network of more than 40,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Michael Chiarello, Cat Cora, Steve Ells, Todd English, Duff Goldman, Sara Moulton, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore. In addition to its degree programs, the CIA offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services for the foodservice and hospitality industry. For more information, visit the CIA online at

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Michael Wangbickler