2003: A Meeting of the Minds
On August 28 – 29 2003, twenty leaders and key stakeholders from the California grape and wine industry and the University of California at Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology met to address a growing crisis in research funding, and to develop a process for establishing research priorities that would mutually benefit the wine industry and academic and research organizations.
As a result of this first meeting, the participants agreed to develop the Winegrower’s Critical Research Investment Initiative (WCRII)
The meeting participants also identified their vision for the future of grape and wine research and funding. In addition, they identified how they saw the industry/university research process and collaborative relationship working together.
They recognized the current state of industry funded research would change through a collaborative initiative between the grape and wine industry, university research institutions, USDA and other institutions, to assure that the US industry would be the worldwide leader in wine science, innovation, economic issues and environmental and business practices.
A New Name – National Grape & Wine Initiative
In 2005, the WCRII changed its name to the National Grape and Wine Initiative (NGWI). The name of the organization changed, but the vision and goals remained the same.
NGWI also developed a website to facilitate communication about NGWI and its goals. In 2008, NGWI hired a seasoned industry leader, Jean-Mari Peltier, as its first full-time president.
NGWI’s role will be to take a look at the larger-scale topics that affect the entire industry, that are of a scope that can only be addressed by working together on a national level. The focus will be on the larger goals that benefit the whole grape industry and its sustainability in the future.
Each year NGWI collaborates to prioritize research for the grape and grape product industries and works to secure increased government, academic and private sector funding to accomplish these important research needs. NGWI then works to ensure research findings are made available to industry members.
The Future of NGWI
In April of 2011, the NGWI Board evaluated its successes and vulnerabilities in the current climate of government fiscal austerity. The result was a revised vision, mission and strategic plan to carry the organization through the next 5 years.
NGWI will work towards the Vision that the U.S. grape and grape product industries lead the world in sustainability, value and quality. To achieve the vision, NGWI’s Mission will be to drive research to maximize the productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of the U.S. grape industries.
Join NGWI in Achieving Our Vision
We welcome your participation and encourage you to contact us to find out how you can become involved in this important organization.