Our very own Lodi Wine Blog author and wine educator Randy Caparoso was recently recognized by an internationally-acclaimed group called The Old Vine Conference as one of six individuals/organizations in the world making the greatest contribution towards the movement to recognize, nurture and value old vines and their wines. Congratulations to Randy on this well-deserved accomplishment!

The Old Vine Hero Award covers five categories: Viticulture, Winemaking, Research, Communication and Commercial Impact. 105 nominations from 17 countries were submitted for this prestigious award.

Randy is the winner of the The Old Vine Hero Award in Communication for his extensive, passionate written and photographic documentation of old vines. The award was presented to Randy by Tamyln Currin, Senior Editor at Thanks to everyone who casted votes!

Randy has helped keep thousands of pre-prohibition grapevines in the ground, serving the farming families and regions that treasure them, by telling their stories in a compelling way to consumers, trade and media. In the world of wine, nothing is quite as venerable as an old vine. As living pieces of agricultural history, deep-rooted vines 50 years of age or older produce perfectly ripe, concentrated grapes. This makes for elegant wines with a distinct sense of place. The trouble with old vines is that they are expensive to maintain. The older a vine becomes, the less fruit it yields.

The Lodi AVA is indisputably home to California’s highest concentration of own-rooted, gnarly old vineyards. There are many reasons Lodi’s old vine vineyards have such longevity. One, is place. Lodi’s deep and well-draining, fine sandy loam soils are unfavorable toward damaging pests like phylloxera and allow its old vines to slowly draw water down throughout the season. The result is consistent and balanced growth of the vine and increased aromatic intensity in the fruit, factors which make for intensely flavored, bold, and complex wines. Equally as influential is Lodi’s growers who have cared for these vineyards generation after generation. In addition to reading through Randy’s many blog articles telling the stories behind our old vineyards, you can learn more about Lodi’s old vines at



Another US winner of this year’s Old Vine Hero Awards is Joel Peterson of Once and Future Wines, who won the Commercial Impact category for his work crafting hundreds of critically-acclaimed, vineyard-designated wines and competitively-priced blends from California’s oldest vineyards. Joel is part of the Historic Vineyard Society. along with Board Member Tegan Passalacqua, another old vine champion who like Randy has chosen Lodi as a home base. Established in 2011, the Historic Vineyard Society supports historic vineyards through education, research and vineyard-related events. As you drive through Lodi you will see several signs indicating that a vineyard is registered with the Historic Vineyard Society, as pictured below.

2024 Old Vine Hero Award Nominees & Winners

Jesus Jimenez & Alejandro Vicente Castro, Bodega Numanthia, Toro, Spain
Dylan Grigg, PhD, Australia and Spain
Derek Mossman-Knapp, Garage Wine Co, Chile
Professor Carlo Petrussi, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy | WINNER

Maria Jose Granier, Jardin Oculto, Bolivia
Viviana Malafarina, Basilisco, Basilicata, Italy | WINNER
Derek Mossman-Knapp, Garage Wine Co, Chile

Feudi di San Gregorio, Campania, Italy | WINNER
Plaimont Producteurs, Gascony, France
PORVID (Portuguese Association for the Conservation of Grapevine Diversity), Portugal

Randy Caparoso, Journalist/Photographer, California, USA | WINNER
Katie Jones, Domaine Jones, France
Robert Hill-Smith, Yalumba, Australia

Commercial Impact
Giles Cooke MW, Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Thistledown Wine, South Australia
Joel Peterson, Once and Future Wines, USA | WINNER
André Morgenthal, South Africa

A special award was also given in recognition of the outstanding work and overall impact on the old vine movement of Derek Mossmann Knapp of Garage Wine Co. in Chile and founding member of VIGNO. Derek was shortlisted in the Old Vine Hero Award categories for Viticulture and Winemaking, and the total number of nominations and votes Derek received across the categories prompted the presentation of an award for Overall Impact.

The Old Vine Hero Awards Judging Panel

The Old Vine Conference Global Team: Sarah Abbott MW, Alun Griffiths MW, Belinda Stone & Cynthia Chaplin
The Old Vine Conference Regional Ambassadors: Umay Çeviker, Michèle Shah, Amanda Barnes, Anna Harris-Noble, Yiannis Karakasis MW, and Lilla O’Connor
Independent specialists: Tamlyn Currin, Senior Editor at; Justin Howard-Sneyd MW, trustee of The Regenerative Viticulture Foundation; Laura Catena, PhD, Founder of the Catena Institute of Wine and Managing Director Catena Zapata; Luca Wines; Domaine Nico; Rosa Kruger, Founder & Chairperson of The Old Vine Project in South Africa; Michelle Bouffard, author, wine educator, journalist & founder of Tasting Climate Change.

The winners of The Old Vine Hero Awards will be invited to speak about their work with old vines on a panel at The Old Vine Conference 2024 taking place virtually on October 17th and 18th. Wines that express the work of the winners will be among those shown at a Masterclass hosted by co-founder of The Old Vine Conference, Sarah Abbott MW, at the London Wine Fair on May 22nd, 2024.

About The Old Vine Conference

The Old Vine Conference is a non-profit organization co-founded in 2021 by Sarah Abbott MW, Alun Griffiths MW and Leo Austin. It aims to bring together a global network and create a new category for wine from heritage vineyards. The Old Vine Conference is changing the path for old vines and their wines and in its first three years has contributed exponentially to the awareness, understanding, and support of the global old vine movement. The Old Vine Conference is funded by a combination of sponsorship, trade, winery, and individual membership.
Instagram: @ouroldvines


Featured image is of Randy Caparoso in Marian’s Vineyard, owned by Mohr-Fry Ranches and planted in 1901.

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