Jerry Lohr launched his vineyard in 1974 with 280 acres of grapes. It now covers almost 3,700 acres, where it grows well-respected wines. This week, Wine Enthusiast named it the “American Winery of the Year.” The winery that has shipped out over 900,000 cases of California wines over the past three decades.

Wine Enthusiast recognized the quality of Lohr’s wine, and also recognized the winemaker’s social awareness. Last year the company launched its successful Touching 500 Lives program, which set aside money from every bottle of its J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc to fund mammograms for women in need. Among the recent beneficiaries is Loretta Lopez-Carrillo, whose brother manages J. Lohr’s Paso Robles Wine Center.  The program was launched in memory of Jerry Lohr’s wife Carol who succumbed to breast cancer.

The vineyards have also gone green, with the addition of a three-acre photovoltaic solar tracking system at its Paso Robles Wine Center. The solar installation provides 85 percent of the center’s electricity.
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