A scientists responsible for discovering the family ties of several varieties of wine grapes and a vineyard responsible for the rediscovery of the Sierra foothills as prime viticulture territory are receiving the California State Fair’s top wine and viticulture honors.

Carole Meredith, professor emerita of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis, is receiving the State Fair’s Wine Lifetime Achievement Award. She was among early researchers to develop DNA markers for grapes, then used them to identify the genetic and geographic origins of numerous varieties.

And the State Fair’s 2013 Vineyard of the Year is being awarded to the Deaver Vineyard located in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley outside Plymouth. Fifty years ago this coming harvest, a Sacramento home winemaker bought some of the vineyard’s zinfandel and made a wine that caught the attention of key players on California’s wine scene, setting in motion a revival of the region’s wine trade, largely dormant since the end of the Gold Rush about a century earlier.

These awards will be formally presented at the California State Fair Gala on June 28.

For more information, visit www.bigfun.org.

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