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The Center for Wine and Viticulture Named in Recognition of Two Key Donors

In recognition of the generosity and philanthropic support of two vital donors to the building of Cal Poly’s Center for Wine and Viticulture, the center will be named the JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture.

Lynda and Stewart Resnick, owners of JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, a family-run winery that focuses on Bordeaux varieties and Syrah in west Paso Robles, donated $2.5 million to Cal Poly’s campaign to build the Center for Wine and Viticulture. Jerry Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards, an industry icon also based in Paso Robles, also committed $2.5 million in funding.

“The local wine community has stepped forward in support of this project, solidifying a partnership with Cal Poly that will not only benefit students for years to come, but provide the rigorously trained talent that the wine industry depends on,” said Andrew Thulin, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. 

The JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture’s new winery is anticipated to open in late 2019. To date, more than $14.5 million has been raised.

“Cal Poly has demonstrated the university’s commitment to providing future generations of wine makers and vintners and its support of the wine industry at a national level,” said Stewart Resnick, co-owner of JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery. “Our investment in the Cal Poly Center for Wine and Viticulture signifies our commitment  to a partnership that will allow the industry to continue to prosper. We are not just giving back, we are investing  in the future.” 

The JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture will include both a 15,600-square-foot winery and a 12,000-square-foot grange hall. The buildings will include crush, fermentation, barrel, sensory, bottling, enology and viticulture rooms, as well as teaching and research labs, a bonded winery, offices, and community and industry meeting spaces. Professional partners in the project include TLCD Architecture as the executive architects, Von Raesfeld & Associates as the winery consulting architects, and JW Design & Construction as the contractor. 

“We would not be where we are today, ready to begin construction, without the countless volunteers who stepped forward and the leadership and persistence of our longtime supporters, including Jerry Lohr who has been with the project since its inception and led the charge in rallying the wine community to support our vision for the future,” Thulin said. “The symbiotic relationship that is shared by Cal Poly and the wine industry nationwide will now be commemorated brick by brick.”

The growth of Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture program – the largest of its kind in the U.S., is in response to the increased demand for wine industry professionals.

“I am elated to celebrate the start of construction of the Center for Wine and Viticulture – a vision that I have supported since the beginning,” Lohr said. “With the partnership of JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, years of planning will now emerge as the preeminent program for wine and viticulture students in the nation.”

The JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture is a donor-funded project that will enhance the Wine and Viticulture program at Cal Poly for years to come. The geographic locale of Cal Poly positions it at the heart of California’s Central Coast – providing students with hands-on access to vineyards and wineries to learn first-hand from some of the wine industry’s top leaders and some of the country’s best winemakers. Students, who benefit from Cal Poly’s philosophy of Learn by Doing, have access to thousands of award-winning wineries throughout the state, providing abundant internship and research opportunities.



Jerry Lohr

JUSTIN Vineyard and Winery

Mike and Suzy Leprino

Oreggia Family Foundation

The Wagner Foundation

Trinchero Family Estates

McManis Family Vineyards

Dana and Marsha Merrill

Bob and Marie Torkelson

The Ledbetter Family

Peter and Liz McKinley

Steven Carter

Martinez Orchards

Cecile and Richard Kruse

Paul and Charles Burkner

Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust

Gaylord McCool

Rodney and Gayla Schatz

Casity Farms

Hal Huffsmith

The Lauchland Trust

The Gallo Family


Scott Laboratories 


Burt and Virginia Polin Charitable Trust

Peszynski Family

ETS Laboratories 


Return to the Giving Report to read more.

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