2018 Recipient – Professor Kenneth Fugelsang 1946-2017
Ken Fugelsang was a graduate of Fresno State (bachelor’s in 1969 and masters in 1972, both in biology). Mr. Fugelsang joined the enology faculty in 1971, serving in the department for 40 years. Under his leadership the Fresno State University Winery became the first in the nation on a college campus in 1997. In partnership with many Valley grower partners, he and his student winemakers, won state, national and international acclaim with more than 600 wine competition awards. His legacy extends even further with an estimated 500 students who learned their craft under his tutelage and went on to become winemakers in their own right. Professor Fugelsang was a fixture at the State Fair Wine Competition for decades, being a popular panel member for many judges who sought to improve their wine knowledge at his side.
2018 Recipient – Dennis Martin, Fetzer Vineyards Winemaker 1948-2017
Dennis Martin grew up in the Central Valley, studied agriculture, enology and food science at Fresno State, and held wine-industry jobs in the valley before wine master Paul Dolan made him his assistant in 1985. Martin’s career at Fetzer Winery ultimately spanned 30 years as wine master under ownership by the Brown-Forman Company, and later after its acquisition by Chile’s Concha Y Toro in 2011. While Martin directed the making of large-volume wines such as Sundial Chardonnay, where the grapes were sourced from all over California, he also was a trail blazer with the creation of Fetzer’s Bonterra organic wines, as well as smaller production labels including Sanctuary Estates and Jekel Vineyards.