Rebecca Robinson, Executive Director of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) has been short-listed as a nominee by the international Old Vine Conference to receive the organization’s Old Vine Hero Award.
The Old Vine Conference is a U.K. based non-profit organization that was co-founded in 2021 by noted wine professionals Leo Austin, Sarah Abbott MW, and Alun Griffiths MW to garner appreciation and support for old vine vineyards and preservation projects around the world. Old vines have qualitative value and historical importance that is generally underappreciated, according to the The Old Vine Conference.
One of only eight nominees globally, Ms. Robinson is the lone representative from the United States. Other nominees represent old vine projects from France, Spain, Chile, Italy, Armenia, Portugal, and Argentina.
As Executive Director of the educational non-profit ZAP for nearly 30 years, Ms. Robinson has led this diverse association of hundreds of producers, growers, trade, media, and consumers whose mission is the preservation and advancement of California’s Zinfandel tradition and old vineyards, many of which date back to the 1800’s and are among the oldest vineyards in the world.
In addition to leading ZAP’s board of directors, ongoing educational events, fundraisers, auctions, travel experiences, and communications programs, Ms. Robinson was instrumental in driving and funding the U.C. Davis Heritage Vineyard clonal research project which resulted in the identification and certification of Zinfandel heritage selections that are now commercially available for planting from the university’s Foundation Plant Services (FPS).
For the past several years Ms. Robinson and ZAP have also been the driving force in partnering with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to direct state grant funding toward consumer and trade education regarding California’s Zinfandel vineyards – many of which are historic in nature and are widely considered to be significant living examples of California’s and the United States’ agricultural heritage. The ZAP-produced ZinfandelTrail.com is a widely-utilized travel planning platform that assists consumers and trade in visiting and learning about Zinfandel producers and vineyards across California. The Legendary Vineyards video series serves to educate consumers and trade about California’s most notable old vineyards.
The winner of the First Annual Old Vines Hero Award will be determined by an open vote among old vine advocates and the global wine community at oldvines.org. Old vine enthusiasts are invited to become members. Voting closes on Monday, March 13th, and the winner will be announced at the Old Vine Conference Community Dinner in London on Wednesday, March 15th.
Cast your Votes HERE