The Annual “Top 100 Most Influential People in the U.S. Wine Industry" – 2012

30-Erle Martin: is CEO of Crimson Wine Group, a wine business with five brands, over 700 planted acres in five growing regions and 11 AVAs across California, Oregon and Washington and representing over 250,000 cases. Their holdings include, Archery Summit in Oregon, Pine Ridge in Napa, Chamisal in the Edna Valley, Dry Creek Valley’s Seghesio Vineyards, and the company also owns a vineyard in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills. All this proves that consolidation in the wine business need not mean sacrificing quality or individual brand identity.

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29-Andy Beckstoffer: in 2006, the Napa Grapegrowers Association awarded its first Grower of the Year Award to Beckstoffer. The Napa County Farm Bureau acknowledged him as Agriculturist of the Year, and he also received the first ever U.S. Congressional Wine Caucus Commendation. In March 2010 he was inducted into the CIA Vintners Hall of Fame, being the first grape grower to receive this honor. As a grower, with some of the most valued land in Napa, and some of the most sought after fruit, wines made with Beckstoffer grapes routinely score very highly in the national wine press.

28-Lettie Teague: Before joining The Wall Street Journal as a wine columnist in 2010, Lettie Teague was the executive wine editor at Food & Wine magazine, where she wrote the monthly column Wine Matters. She received the James Beard Foundation's M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award in 2003 and won a 2005 James Beard Award for magazine columns. Her writing at both the Wall Street Journal and Food & Wine reach a massive market, and that translates to sales

27- Doug Cook: is the proprietor of the Able Grape, a wine search engine with a database of over 26 million pages and over 41,000 websites, all related to wine. This self professed “computer geek turned wine geek” has amassed a social media empire with over a quarter of a million Twitter followers. Able Grape has become the largest wine search engine on the Internet. If you need to find something related to wine, you will find it here.

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26-Andrea (Immer) Robinson: continues as one of the country’s’ leading wine educators, and is one of only 16 women in the world appointed Master Sommelier by the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers. Her company JGR Productions produces informative food, wine and travel video content for Delta Air Lines and broadcast media and she has worked with the Food Channel and PBS. She is the author of eight wine and food books and her articles have appeared in publications such as Health, Eating Well, Esquire, Real Simple, Money, and Bon Appétit, She has received a James Beard Award for Broadcast Journalism.

25-Tyler Colman: is better known to most people as Dr. Vino, an award winning wine blogger and author of two wine books including, Wine Politics: How Governments, Environmentalists, Mobsters, and Critics Influence the Wines We Drink. He is also among the contributors to The Oxford Companion to Wine. His blog is one of the most consistently highly rated wine blogs, no small feat in today’s over saturated wine blog market. In addition to being nominated for a James Beard Foundation award, his articles have appeared in The New York Times, Food & Wine,, Wine & Spirits and a host of others. 

24-Leslie Sbrocco: is an award-winning author, speaker, wine consultant, and the author of two national wine books. As host of the PBS series Check Please!, she has won a coveted James Beard award, two Tasty Awards, and three Emmy awards. Sbrocco was also a featured judge on the PBS national series, The Winemakers, and she is a regular guest on NBC’s Today Show. She is also a wine educator for Crystal Cruises, and Holland America Cruise Lines, and actively promotes a website, Thirsty Girl, which aims to empower women in their wine and food choices.

23-Alyssa Rapp: is the founder and CEO of Bottlenotes, Inc., the leading resource for new to intermediate wine enthusiasts interested in learning about wine, sharing tasting notes, and tasting wine. Alyssa is also the author of “Bottlenotes Guide to Wine: Around the World in 80 Sips.” Her daily newsletter reaches over 140,000 subscribers. Additionally, this on-line forum brings together wine lovers of all stripes, allowing everyone to share their tasting notes via every from of social media including I-phone. Bottlenotes sponsors wine events in major cities across the U.S. 

22-Eric Levine: a former Microsoft program manager, created CellarTracker after he had made the program for himself, in order to track his own wine. The concept was launched online in a public format and CellarTracker proved immensely popular and over the years it has out-paced other similar sites. CellarTracker has more than 185,000 user entries for 30 million individual bottles, and nearly 2.5 million wine reviews from across the globe. It has become a social media whirlwind, connecting wine lovers from all points of the globe.

21-Jon Kapon: is the president of Acker, Merrall & Condit, which bills itself as America's oldest wine store and has, under his watch, become the world’s leading vendor of fine wine at auction, including on-line auctions. In addition to auctions, they are a retail wine store, wine club serving the ultra rich. Kapon has made Acker the leading vendor of fine wines in America, with auctions from New York to Hong Kong. Revenue for 2011 was $110 million, which makes Acker the first wine auctioneer to cross the $100 million mark. Should we care that the wealthy buy wine? Yes. They can move markets and Kapon directs them.