Alfred “Al” Scheid of Scheid Family Wines passed away last month at the age of 91. Born in Bridgeport, Ohio, in 1932, Scheid came to wine late in his professional life, after successes in the biotech industry. He settled in Monterey County in 1972, where Scheid Family Wines quickly became one of that region’s most important growers—at the time of his death the family’s vineyards well exceeded 4,000 acres, one of the region’s largest growers.
Scheid Family established a winery in 2005, first as a custom-crush facility; Scheid went on to found several brands, including their eponymous label. Scheid, who knew little about grapegrowing when he entered the business, was a founding member of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) in 1974 and served on its board and as its chair during the organization’s early years.
He was also a founding member of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, as well as the first grower to join the Wine Institute in the mid-’70s, when growers’ voices were still very much in the background, and became a leading advocate for sustainable winegrowing. In fact, the California Grape Acreage Report, an invaluable resource for viticultural statistics for winemakers, grapegrowers, forecasters, not to mention historians and journalists, was started at the urging and under the guidance of Scheid in the early 1970s.
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