NGWI Is Now National Grape Research Alliance

NGWI Changes Its Name to National Grape Research Alliance

New Name Emphasizes Mission of the Organization

SACRAMENTO, CA, March 30, 2018 – The National Grape & Wine Initiative (NGWI) has officially changed its name, becoming the National Grape Research Alliance (NGRA), effective immediately.

The National Grape & Wine Initiative began in 2003 as the Winegrower’s Critical Research Investment Initiative (WCRII). In 2005, the organization changed its name to the National Grape & Wine Initiative (NGWI), acknowledging the greater power in advancing the quality and competitiveness of the American grape industries collectively, including not only wine, but table grapes, juice and raisins. However, in the 15 years since that change, it became apparent that the name lacked an important element: research.

Tom Smith, Vice President, Winegrowing at E&J Gallo Winery, a founding member of the organization, led the effort to develop the new name. “As we worked on the rebranding, we sought to find a new name that would clearly communicate our research focus. We also felt it was important to be inclusive of all grape industry sectors, rather than calling out wine in particular.”

“Wine remains an important industry constituent and constitutes the majority of our membership,” says Jerry Lohr, Founder of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, also a founding member of the organization. “But we are stronger when we work together on common goals that span all industry sectors. We truly are an alliance of grape stakeholders representing growers, producers, university and government scientists, and extension specialists, all committed to advancing the future of the industry through research.”

“Research is at the heart of what we do as an organization,” says Kathleen Nave, President of the California Table Grape Commission. “And now, it’s the foundation of our name, too. The change also fits with the trajectory of the organization. We are beginning the next phase of our growth and development with a strong new name that says who we are and what we do.”

The name change was approved at a meeting of the Board of Directors on December 1, 2017, pending all official requirements and notifications.


In 2003, the National Grape Research Alliance was organized to drive research to strengthen the productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of America’s grape industries. The group brings together all grape sectors including raisins, juice, table grapes and wine plus non-profits, academic institutions and government agencies in a unique collaborative effort that seeks to organize and advance research. Now in its 15th year, NGRA unites the industry with researchers and grant funders on game-changing, national-level research. For more information, visit