The IntoWine.com Annual “Top 100 Most Influential People in the U.S. Wine Industry" – 2012
80-Carole Meredith: is a grape geneticist, a former professor at the Department of Viticulture and Enology of UC Davis. Meredith and her research group pioneered the use of DNA typing to differentiate Vitis vinifera grape varieties and for elucidating their parentage, which gives insight into the varieties' history and place of origin. She established the parentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, which was the first application of such techniques. Chardonnay, Syrah and Zinfandel followed. Lagier-Meredith is the winery she runs with her husband and of which Robert Parker calls consistently great syrah.
79-Jerry Lohr: was an early pioneer establishing a new outpost of winegrowing on the California Central Coast. He planted in Monterey County in 1972, and Paso Robles in 1987, giving Lohr an integral role in catapulting both regions onto the global winemaking stage. Today, in addition to over 1,300 acres in Monterey County, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines farms 2,300 acres in Paso Robles, and 35 acres in the Napa Valley, and has tasting rooms in Paso Robles and San Jose. J. Lohr wines are available throughout the U. S. and over 30 countries globally. U.C. Davis honored him with its Award of Distinction. (see also #65)
78-Richard Jennings: with over 25,000 tasting notes posted on CellarTracker, more than any other individual on the site, this prolific, knowledgeable wine blogger and finalist for the 2011 Wine Blog Awards for best overall blog and writing proves that you can still keep your day job as you expand your knowledge and reach in the wine world.
77-Mike Dunne: is the former wine columnist, restaurant critic and food editor for the Sacramento Bee and continues to contribute to the Food & Wine section, focusing on value wines. He contributes to a number of wine publications and his blog, A Year in Wine, is based on wine selections he discovers on tastings, judging at competitions, and visits to wine regions.
76-John Aguirre: is the executive director of Wine Grapegrowers of America, and the president of the California Association of Wine Grapegrowers, who lobby Congress and state governments about legal issues relating to wine, from inclusion in the Farm Bill to taxes to immigration reform which includes guest worker programs, they work behind the scenes to lake legislative actions equitable for the wine industry.
75-Chris Camarda: is winemaker at Andrew Will in Washington State, whose wines routinely score 90 points and over in the major wine magazines. You may think scores are meaningless, but the attention Camarda has achieved has helped to give new life to Washington wines. Wine & Spirits magazine called his winery, located on an island off the Seattle coast, America’s best Washington State producer, and named him one of the 50 most influential winemakers in the world. (see also #95, #42)
74-Mary Ewing-Mulligan: is an author, journalist and wine educator and Master of Wine, the first American woman to achieve this accreditation. She has been the director of the International Wine Center in New York since 1984, and is executive director of the U.S. programs for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. She is also a freelance journalist of wine articles to various publications, and the co-author of seven wine books including Wine For Dummies, selling nearly a million copies and making wine easy to understand for the masses.
73-Kermit Lynch: is a wine importer, author, winemaker and even musician, importing wines from France and Italy. He is the author of two highly regarded books on wine, and winner of the James Beard Foundation's Wine Professional of the Year, not to mention the Chevalier de l'Ordre de Mérite Agricole medal presented by the French government for his service to the wine industry, and the insignia of Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur by the French government. He continues to educate about wine via his retail store in Berkeley. (see also #87, #82, #63)
72-Peter Mondavi, Jr.: heads up the flourishing Charles Krug Winery and CK Mondavi Family Vineyards. Amidst corporate buyouts up and down the Napa Valley, Mondavi has been determined to keep Charles Krug in the family, and to preserve the 850 estate vineyards, farming them sustainably. Additionally he has helped preserve the historical legacy of wine in the Napa Valley by refurbishing the original buildings on the property, thus maintaining one of the oldest wineries in California.
71-George Taber: is a journalist and was a reporter and editor with Time magazine in the United States and Europe for 21 years. Stationed in Paris between 1973 and 1976, he reported on the Judgment of Paris where California wines were ranked alongside France’s best, an event that revolutionized the world of wine. His four-paragraph story about the tasting has been called “the most significant news story ever written about wine,” by the San Francisco Chronicle. He is the author of four wine books and continues to educate about wine. The film Bottle Shock was loosely based on his book.
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