Grower of the Year

© Sarah Anne Risk

2020 Napa Valley Grower of the Year Announced:

Larry Hyde of Hyde Vineyards

NAPA, CA (July 2, 2020) – The Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) is proud to announce that Larry Hyde of Hyde Vineyards is the recipient of the 2020 Napa Valley Grower of the Year award.

Hyde began his influential and innovative career in Napa Valley nearly fifty years ago working for a variety of prestigious vineyards, gaining experience in both farming and winemaking before purchasing his own property in Carneros in 1979.  Just as his vineyard started to produce its first harvest in 1982, Hyde suffered a stroke that paralyzed his left side, making his career achievements even more extraordinary.  Since then, his original 72 acres has grown to over 200.  There are currently more than 15 vineyard designated wines produced from Hyde Vineyards.

Hyde’s passion for farming is demonstrated through his early experiments with vine spacing, row orientation, and planting of clones that remained untested in Carneros.  His pioneering work with clonal material is one of his greatest legacies with over ten legendary varieties planted at Hyde Vineyards.  He has worked extensively with UC Davis’s Foundation Plant Services (FPS), mapped plant material gathered from historic vineyards all over California and provided material from his own vineyard to be available for the ages.  His desire to better his industry is exemplified by his generous donation to FPS of 45 different clones of grapes from 10 varieties, many of which would have been lost without him.

Hyde has held prominent leadership roles in the Napa Valley.  He was a founding member of the group that petitioned for the Los Carneros AVA and was the founding director of the Carneros Quality Alliance.  He has been a Director on the Napa County Farm Bureau.  More recently, he served on the board of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers in 2011 and represented the NVG on the Napa County Pest and Disease District Board for nearly a decade.

Hyde is known for his passion for farming and his innovative farming techniques. His enthusiasm for each year’s crop is as if it were his first, and this trait of his perennially inspires and influences Napa Valley growers and winemakers alike.

Nominations for the Grower of the Year come from the NVG membership and the recipient is chosen by a special Selection Committee made up of Past Presidents, current leadership, and active committee members.  The award criteria are: a strong commitment to sustainable practices; recognized leadership in agricultural preservation; dedicated community focus, contributions to the Napa Valley community; and someone who actively promotes Napa’s reputation for the highest quality vineyards.

Each year, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers bestows the Grower of the Year award, one of the most prestigious awards in the industry, to a Napa Valley vineyard owner or manager who exemplifies leadership and innovation in our field. Nominations come from the membership, are reviewed by the Board of Directors, and the recipient is chosen by a select committee. Nominations must demonstrate excellence in the following areas:

Agricultural Best Practice & Innovation

  • Commitment to environmental, social, and economically sustainable viticulture in Napa Valley
  • Adoption of innovative viticultural techniques
  • Leadership in the preservation of Napa Valley agriculture
  • Known for farming high quality Napa wine grapes

Industry Advocacy

  • Has shown leadership and advocacy for the principles of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and is an outspoken advocate of Napa Valley winegrowing
  • Involvement in efforts that raise the awareness of quality wine grapes from Napa Valley
  • Actively promotes the concepts of how Napa is unique and extraordinary
  • Promotes a collaborative working relationship between growers and wineries

Community Focus

  • Contributes to the Napa Valley community-at-large through the dedication of their time, resources, and personal commitments