On Saturday, Oct. 8, three hundred members and guests at BRIT’s annual fundraiser, Fête du Vin Wine Dinner and Auction toasted Parducci Wine Cellars, the winner of the 2011 International Award of Excellence for Sustainable Winegrowing, in fitting fashion, raising glasses of the winemaker’s sustainably grown Petite Sirah, True Grit, in a special salute. Accepting the annual award on Parducci’s behalf was Texas-native and Managing Partner Tim Thornhill, a nationally recognized arborist, horticulturist, environmentalist and leader in the sustainable wine-growing movement. “Tim Thornhill and Parducci Wine Cellars are prestigious ambassadors for the sustainability movement,” said Dwight H. Cumming, President, The Cumming Company, Inc. and Chairman of BRIT’s Fête du Vin Wine Dinner and Auction, who presented the award to Thornhill. “Parducci’s focus on nurturing local, environmentally friendly operations and developing new, greener winemaking methods is an example for the industry.” Under Thornhill’s direction, Parducci Wine Cellars became the first vineyard in the United States to be certified carbon neutral. Parducci follows a strict sustainability standard of certified winegrowing practices including using 100 percent green power and recycling 100 percent of its waste water. BRIT judged Parducci and other award applicants on 18 separate sustainability measures. Parducci's True Grit petite sirah is one of several organic and sustainable wines produced by the vineyard.