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Award Honorees

Phil LaRocca, LaRocca Vineyards

2017 : Organic Farmer of the Year

Phil LaRocca of LaRocca Vineyards will receive the 2017 Organic Farmer of the Year Leadership Award. A tireless organic farming advocate and farmer for over 40 years, Phil LaRocca has deep organic convictions that he puts into practice on his farm, in his winery, and in the wider community, particularly in California.

Phil became the first certified organic apple grower in the United States in 1975 and created the first certified non-sulfite wine back when most people said it was not possible to do either. Over the years, LaRocca Vineyards has sold over a million bottles of non-sulfite organic wine, and created an industry space for others to follow. He was active in creating the California Food and Production Act, and participated in formulating the national organic rule on organic wine. 

As an organic wine grape grower and winemaker, Phil understands the challenges faced by small and mid-scale growers and processors. What sets him apart is his unwavering commitment to organic advocacy and community. He is chair of the CCOF Board of Directors, has been appointed to the California Organic Products Advisory Committee, and has been member of the Organic Trade Association for nearly twenty years. He currently serves on the Organic Trade Association’s Farmers Advisory Council.