The American Vineyard Foundation, an organization whose mission is to raise funds that address grape and wine industry research priorities, has named Jim Frisinger as chairman for the 2010 term.
Frisinger believes that the American Vineyard Foundation is one of the keys to the future of the wine business in the U.S.
“What we’ve done over the past 15 years,” he notes, “has been the difference between night and day, success and failure. And as we move forward against an increasingly international competitive market, our research, and the incremental improvements we have made, will be a vital advantage to us all.”
After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in horticulture, Frisinger first visited California in 1973 to look at the University of California at Davis and visit Napa Valley, where he met Myron Nightingale, the winemaker at Beringer Vineyards. It would be another seven years before he returned to Napa – but the seed was planted.
Frisinger went on to receive a Master’s Degree in viticulture and enology at Davis. He continued his post-graduate work there as a staff researcher and teaching assistant for several years.
In April of 1980, Frisinger joined the vineyard team at Beringer, which then farmed approximately 1,800 acres of land. In 2003, Jim was promoted to Vice President of North Coast Vineyard Operations. He oversaw almost 4,000 acres of vineyards, handling all strategic development and viticulture operations – planting, pruning and cultivating through to harvest.
Frisinger is involved with numerous organizations, including the American Society of Enologists and Viticulturists, the Napa Valley Vineyard Technical Group and the Napa County Winegrape Pest and Disease Board. He is a graduate of the California Agriculture Leadership program and has been on the board of the American Vineyard Foundation for more than 10 years, five of them on the executive committee.
A true wine enthusiast, Frisinger personally owns 20 acres of vineyards around his home in Napa, where he grows Chardonnay.