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Zelma Long, UCD V&E Alum, chosen as ASEV's 2009 Merit Award Recipient

The ASEV Merit Award is presented annually to an individual who has significantly contributed in an outstanding distinguished manner to the progress and advancement of enology and viticulture or to the Society itself. This award acknowledges excellence in the fields of education, technology, research, management, public relations or any discipline related to enology and viticulture.This year that prestigious award went to UCD V&E alumna Zelma Long. The photo at right is ASEV President Michael Silacci awarding the plaque to Zelma  at ASEV's Annual Meeting in Napa on Thursday, June 25th, 2009.

Zelma Long is a world renowned winemaster whose copious accomplishments are impressive and revered throughout the industry. After completing her Masters' research at UC Davis in 1970, she was recruited by Robert Mondavi to be his Chief Enologist.  She was with Robert Mondavi Winery from 1970 to 1979, when she was recruited by Simi Winery to be their winemaker.  At Simi, she became the first woman in the industry to run both the winemaking and business side of a major winery and led Simi to prominence serving as its winemaker/vice president, president and finally CEO in the 1980s and 1990s.  Today, she is the owner and winemaking partner with her husband, Philip Freese, of Vilafonte (Wine Estate) in South Africa as well as owner and winemaker of Long Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. Zelma Long has received national and international awards throughout her career for her leadership positions in wine industry organizations, which have included: founding president of the American Vineyard Foundation, chair of the American Viticultural and Enology Research Network (AVERN), founding president of the Alexander Valley Winegrowers, founding member of the North Coast Viticultural Research Group, ASEV Board director and member of the local Board of the International Women’s Forum.