JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture

Last fall, the college held a topping-off ceremony as the last structural beam was placed on the winery building. Attendees first signed the beam, which will remain visible in the winery, honoring those who have been an integral part of the process to date.

By the end of February, the exterior walls and roof were in place, and the building was scheduled for completion by September 2020. Work began to place the structural steel for the Grange Hall in late December 2019; it will continue to be placed in coming weeks.

I can see no better way for us to honor him than to indelibly link his name to the Cal Poly program.

— Alex Ryan

To date, $19 million of the $22 million needed to completely fund the project has been raised. The latest donor, Westec Tank & Equipment, based in Healdsburg, California, will supply stainless steel tanks for the project. The Belli Family, owner of Westec Tank & Equipment, also donated $100,000 to support the center.

In addition, the college and the Wine and Viticulture Department recently unveiled a plan to honor the teaching legacy of now deceased wine and viticulture Professor Keith Patterson by naming the faculty offices in the Grange Hall of the JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture the Keith Patterson Learning Lab.

Known as a pioneer in the world of viticulture and one of the founding fathers of Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture Department, Patterson left an incredible mark on Cal Poly, its students, and the wine industry as a whole. During his 16-year career at Cal Poly, he taught wine and viticulture classes, carried out a variety of viticulture research projects, and shared his passion for wine grape growing and winemaking with thousands of students.

“My father was instrumental in developing the wine and viticulture program at Cal Poly but what he cared most about was his students. With his support and guidance, many of his students are now world-class viticulturists, winemakers and wine marketers,” Victoria Patterson said. “His love and dedication for helping students achieve their highest potential will now live on in memory through the naming of the faculty office suite in the new Grange Hall. We are grateful for everyone’s support.”

A fundraising goal of $250,000 has been set to name the Keith Patterson Learning Lab and construct a permanent display honoring his impact on Cal Poly. A group of donors have already contributed $155,000 toward the memorial fund to kick off the fundraising efforts.

“Many people have individually, personally and collectively tried to reconcile the loss of Keith and tried to find ways to remember him for who he was,” said Alex Ryan, president and CEO of Duckhorn Vineyards. “I can see no better way for us to honor him than to indelibly link his name to the Cal Poly program.”


If you are interested in learning more about these projects, contact Director of Development Allyson Dela Cruz at 805-756-3269.

You can see a live-stream video of the progress at cafesbuilds.calpoly.edu.



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