Warren and Barbara Winiarski received the Land Trust of Napa County’s 2017 Acre by Acre Award presented at the Cornerstone Society Gathering on Sept. 16.
The Acre by Acre award honors individuals whose conservation accomplishments embody the Land Trust of Napa County’s mission to preserve the character of Napa by permanently protecting land. Nominations are made by members of the Land Trust and recipients are chosen by a committee of past chairs of the Land Trust’s board.
In 1990, as owners of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Warren and Barbara placed 46 acres of cabernet sauvignon vineyard into a conservation easement. This easement was a landmark, becoming the Land Trust’s first pure agricultural easement. The easement also protected a renowned vineyard — the vineyard that produced the grapes used by Warren to make the wine that won the historic Paris Tasting of 1976.
“Barbara and I are much honored by this award, and we thank the Land Trust for the recognition. We were hoping the donation of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars land that grew the award-winning Paris Tasting cabernet would spur others to protect their land,” said Warren Winiarski. “It would be wonderful if more people would think of it this way – that by protecting their land, they would be making a contribution to a natural and national treasure, the Napa Valley.”
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In 2008, as the owners of Arcadia Vineyards, Warren and Barbara Winiarski placed another 60 acres into a conservation easement. The vineyards and natural lands in these areas lie adjacent to the Land Trust’s Foote Botanical Preserve at Mt. George. The Foote Preserve protects most of Mount George, the most prominent peak east of the city of Napa. The preserve, combined with adjacent easements now protects more than 1,000 contiguous acres.
“Warren and Barbara are longtime supporters of conservation with significant land protection accomplishments,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the Land Trust. “In addition to all their other efforts to protect the beauty of Napa, in total, they have completed six conservation easements, permanently protecting almost 200 acres. And their example has motivated other landowners to protect priority sites across Napa Valley.”
Through the Winiarski Family Foundation formed in 2007, Warren and Barbara Winiarski have made generous donations to many conservation efforts, including those of the Land Trust of Napa County, the Napa County Open Space District and the Jack L. Davies Napa Valley Agricultural Preservation Fund.
The Winiarskis are also among those who campaigned in support of the historic 1968 Napa Valley Agricultural Preserve, the first land protection ordinance of its kind in the nation, which continues to protect the scenic beauty of Napa and maintain it as one of the most rural places in the Bay Area.