Barboursville viticulturist named grower of the year
Fernando Franco, viticulturist at Barboursville Vineyards in Barboursville, has been named 2015 “Grower of the Year” by the Virginia Vineyards Association.
The president of the association, Tom Kelly, noted that since Franco joined Barboursville in 1998, the vineyards he manages have produced two Governor’s Cup winners and this year alone, have three gold medals in the Governor’s Cup competition.
Wines made from grapevines managed Franco also have taken platinum, double gold, or best of show medals in the San Francisco International, Monticello, and San Diego competitions. They also are one of two vineyards that have achieved the highest score of any Virginia wine in Wine Spectator magazine.
Franco has been involved in Virginia viticulture for more than three decades, starting in 1982 at Rapidan River Vineyards, which later became part of Prince Michel Vineyards. During the 1990s, he managed the vines at Leducq Vineyards in Napa Valley. In 1998, he joined Barboursville where he expanded the vineyard from 80 to 182 acres.