The Land Trust of Napa County presented its third annual Acre by Acre Awards, honoring the significant land conservation achievements of individuals and organizations, to Andy and Betty Beckstoffer at the inaugural dinner for the Land Trust’s new Cornerstone Society on June 14.
Award nominees are selected through a process open to members. The recipient is selected from the list of nominees by a committee of past board chairs of the Land Trust.
This annual award honors an individual’s career or organization’s philanthropic work or volunteerism that embodies the Land Trust’s mission to preserve the character of Napa by permanently protecting land. “The Beckstoffers have donated more conservation easements than any other landowner in Napa County,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the Land Trust.
Following the award, the Beckstoffers were presented with a Congressional Resolution by U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson. “There are no two people more deserving of the Napa County Land Trust’s Acre by Acre Award than Andy and Betty Beckstoffer,” Thompson said. “Because of their generosity and their commitment to Napa County, more than 400 acres of land will be protected forever. Congratulations to both Betty and Andy on this much deserved recognition.”
Beckstoffer is founder and owner of Beckstoffer Vineyards and its subsidiaries, Winegrowers Farming Company in the Napa Valley; Mendocino Vineyard Company in Ukiah; and Red Hills Vineyard Company in Kelseyville. Beckstoffer Vineyards owns approximately 1,000 acres of vineyard land in Napa County, 1,000 acres in Mendocino County, and 1,000 acres in Lake County.
“We started as farmers, then became grape growers, and now are stewards of the land,” Beckstoffer has said. The Beckstoffers’ easements include: The Missouri Hopper Vineyard (formerly Vineyard X) along Highway 29 south of Oakville; the Carneros Creek and Las Amigas conservation easements protecting rural viewshed and watershed areas in the Carneros; three easements in Georges III Vineyard, spanning Silverado Trail to Conn Creek Road and Skellenger Lane; and two conservation easements in historic To Kalon I and II that were originally planted to grapes in the 19th century.
“These nine conservation easements are an excellent example of the use of conservation easements to preserve the agricultural and natural values of land while eliminating future development for residential and commercial purposes,” Parker added.
Beckstoffer served on the Land Trust board of trustees from 2005 to 2011. He worked with Thompson on legislation to conserve agricultural lands, as a result of which he received the Wine Award from Copia, and Grower of the Year from Napa Valley Grapegrowers, both in 2006. In 2007, he was named Agriculturist of the Year by the Napa County Farm Bureau, and given the award for Wine Industry Leadership by the U.S. Congressional Wine Caucus.
The Beckstoffers hosted a Poker for the Preserves event in April that raised money to further the Land Trust’s mission.
In addition to the Land Trust, Beckstoffer has also been a member of the Napa County Planning Commission; president and founder of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers; president and founder of the Rutherford Dust Society, and a board member of the California Association of Winegrape Growers.
He was born in Richmond, Virginia. He earned a bachelor of science degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and an MBA, Amos Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College. He and Betty have five children, and live in the Napa Valley.