The Trustee Medal of Honor

Established in 2023, the Trustee Medal of Honor is bestowed by the Foundation’s Trustees to recognize the lifetime contributions of those who have made an enduring impact in the field of gastronomy, which includes food, wine and the arts of the table.

In contrast to the Julia Child Award, which is an annual honor determined by its jury, the Trustee Medal of Honor will only be awarded from time to time when the Foundation’s Trustees determine someone’s lifetime contributions are significant enough to warrant public recognition.

In 2023, the Foundation’s Trustees selected Warren Winiarski as the first-ever recipient of the honor for decades dedicated to transformative change in the wine industry; for being a mentor and role model in viticulture, winemaking, and land preservation; for his philanthropy within the Napa Valley and beyond, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, St. Johns College, and the University of California, especially at Davis; and for elevating and embracing the joys of sharing food, wine, and conversation around the table – as did Julia Child.

Photo: Staci Valentine


2023: Warren Winiarski

Founder and Former Owner, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

A Napa Valley winemaking icon, Warren Winiarski planted his first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in 1970. In 1976, his 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon won the Judgment of Paris, helping put Napa Valley on the global wine map. A longtime advocate of Napa Valley land preservation, Winiarski has backed legislation to protect agricultural and open space for future generations and donated six conservation easements to the Land Trust of Napa County, protecting almost 200 acres of wild land and vineyards in perpetuity. His was the first producing vineyard ever donated, protecting the site of the Paris Tasting grapes. Winiarksi is an avid supporter of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s American wine programs and has established funds to support the UC Davis Library’s collections of prominent wine writers’ manuscripts and papers. He also funds research at UC Davis to update the Winkler Index in support of future winegrowers making the best planting decisions in the face of climate change.

Photo: Napa Films & Shae Lynn Defty