Determining the Wine Blog Awards is no small task and the 2014 Wine Blog Awards have unearthed some fantastic, innovative, and wonderful blogs for everyone to explore. We owe this effort in no small part to the distinguished panel of volunteer judges. They were announced at the award ceremony and here is their complete introduction. Thanks to you all for your time and dedication!
FOUNDER, PUBLISHER, CRITIC – pdwr.co
In 2011, Doug Wilder founded purely domestic wine report, as the natural evolution of his wine review blog, creating the only independent subscription magazine exclusively reviewing western US producers. During a career that began in 1990 focused on domestic wine procurement and marketing, Doug built best-in-class selections while the Founding Director at both Dean & Deluca Wine E-Commerce, and Vinfolio, Inc. Domestic Acquisitions, disruptively innovating the retail model, writing first to market reviews on emerging wines. Continuing to innovate, pdwr is the millennium’s first wine opinion publication, designed from inception to look like nothing else, combining concise reviews and original imagery available in online and print. Doug lives in San Francisco, and Sonoma Valley where he is researching his first book on California Wine.
WILLIAM “RUSTY” GAFFNEY, MD
PRINCE OF PINOT
Rusty is a retired ophthalmologist who has had a love affair with Pinot Noir for over 40 years. When he retired at the start of 2002, he decided to devote his energies to writing the PinotFile, an online newsletter at princeofpinot.com that was the first wine publication exclusively devoted to Pinot Noir.
Rusty’s numerous accomplishments include presentations at the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, participation as an invited moderator at the World of Pinot Noir, and a James Beard Award for a video project on the Russian River Valley produced at Grape Radio. He currently writes a blog on wine called The Wine Dudes for Orange County’s lifestyle magazine, Orange Coast Magazine.
Over the years, upon his urgings, wine enthusiasts have developed a preference for Pinot Noir. They would remark, “Rusty you’re such a ‘prince’ for introducing me to Pinot Noir.” The moniker stuck, and he has taken on the proud title of “Prince of Pinot.”
Mike Dunne is a freelance wine writer dividing his time between Sacramento, California, and San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur. He contributes a weekly wine column to The Sacramento Bee, writes for various other publications, and tends two blogs, A Year In Wine and Finding Los Cabos. A frequent judge on the wine-competition circuit, he also is one of two chief judges for the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.
FOUNDER and GENERAL MGR, ZESTER DAILY
Corie Brown is the founder and general manager of Zester Daily. A former editor and writer with the Los Angeles Times, she received the 2008 University of Missouri Lifestyle Award for her article about climate change and wine, “A Scorching Future,” and currently is researching a book on that subject. In 2006, she won both first and second prize for news reporting from the Association of Food Journalists. Corie was awarded a fellowship by the Foreign Press Center of Japan and worked in Japan in June 2010, during which she wrote a story on Koshu wine for the New York Times later republished in “The New York Times Book of Wine.” Previously, Corie was West Coast entertainment correspondent with Newsweek and a columnist for Premiere Magazine. On staff with BusinessWeek in Boston and other McGraw-Hill publications in New York City and Washington, D.C., she has written about energy, the environment and healthcare. She is a frequent contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, recently authoring a cover story on Internet marketing guru Seth Godin.
Corie is a member of the board of overseers of Chefs Collaborative, a leading nonprofit network of chefs changing the sustainable food landscape using the power of connections, education and responsible buying.
LYNN KRIELOW CHAMBERLAIN
HOST AND PRODUCER: iWINERADIO AND VINVILLAGERADIO
Lynn Krielow Chamberlain started out as a pre-vet major. Along the way, a glass of Cold Duck, exposure to a wide variety of foods and nutrition, microbiology and chemistry classes collided to change the trajectory of her life. Her wine career began with a graduate degree in Food Processing and Technology (enology) from The Ohio State University. Her career experience includes wine on-premise, retail, wholesale, production, travel, journalism, radio hosting and production, television guest appearances, public relations, marketing, judging in the US and abroad, academia, html website maintenance, social media and networking across many platforms. She has sat the international Master of Wine exam twice, with dissertation pass. Connect @iWineRadio.
MANAGING EDITOR, WINES & VINES
Kate Lavin joined Wines & Vines in 2008 and was named managing editor in 2011. She oversees print and online content for Wines & Vines, where she guides daily news dispatches and feature-length articles from rough draft through publication. Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and completed the UC Davis Wine Executive Program and the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood. In 2009 and 2010, she and the Wines & Vines staff harvested, crushed and bottled their own wine; the team’s 2013 Cabernet Franc is aging in oak.
Co-founder and Chief Strategist at VinTank, of the wine industry’s most innovative consultancies, Paul Mabray is a familiar and influential member of the American wine industry. Prior to founding VinTank in 2009, Paul worked in the wine industry in a variety of capacities including founding Inertia Beverage Group, where he created and founded one of the largest and most popular e-commerce platforms for the wine industry. At VinTank, Paul has been a champion of digital innovation in the wine industry working with numerous clients across the globe to help them develop effective tools to brand and market their goods and services. Mabray is regularly sought out as a speaker and panelist at industry conferences and seminars across the world where he speaks to the promise and possibilities of new tools for wine education and marketing.
Mary Orlin is the WineFashionista, blending wine and fragrance with style. She is the James Beard Award and Emmy Award-winning co-founder of Orlin Media, specializing in video story telling for wineries. Mary writes about wine and perfume on The Huffington Post where she is a featured blogger. Her writing has been featured in Gastronomique En Vogue and Uncorked. She also produces for the AOL “You’ve Got” video series about interesting and inspirational stories. Most recently Mary was the Executive Producer of the NBC show In Wine Country, which she launched in 2001. The show ran for an nine seasons, and is now in syndication. Prior to NBC, she was a producer on CNN Travel Now, a travel, food and wine show. She was also an editor for Zagat Survey, food and wine editor for the Palo Alto Weekly and a contributor to Travelocity Magazine.
David Vogels is Editor of Sommelier Journal, the professional wine magazine based in Boulder, Colo., and its new online Digital Edition. With more than 30 years’ experience in magazine publishing, he is also Executive Editor of the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. A Certified Wine Professional from the Culinary Institute of America, he holds degrees in journalism from the University of Missouri and in music literature from the University of Colorado.
JESSUP CELLARS, HANDWRITTEN WINES, HUMANITAS
Judd Wallenbrock is a seasoned veteran of the wine business and has the scars to prove it. Yet after over 34 years in the business, his excitement for the industry couldn’t be stronger, nor his passion for wine more intense.
Since 1980, Judd has walked a mile in just about every shoe in the industry which has led to positions as Vice President with Robert Mondavi, COO of De Loach Vineyards and President of Michel-Schlumberger Estate (winning the ‘Best Winery Blog’ award in 2009!).
In 2001 he experienced the thrill of the entrepreneurial world starting his own winery, Humanitas, which is now part of a trio of dynamic consumer direct wineries he has run since 2012 including Jessup Cellars, Handwritten Wines, and his own Humanitas.
EDITOR AND PUBLISHER, PINOTREPORT
Greg Walter has been creating compelling content in wine, food and beyond for more than 30 years as a publishing executive, writer, editor, publisher, ghost writer and content consultant. Following 15 years with Wine Spectator as senior editor and later president of the magazine, he formed The Carneros Group in Sonoma in 1994 as an umbrella for his various activities including PinotReport, his James Beard Foundation award winning newsletter on Western Pinot Noir and his book projects through his Carneros Press imprint.