Earlier this week, I posted a blog reminiscing about some newsmakers from 1979. I hope some of them triggered memories for you, as they did for me. In some ways, 1979 was a long time ago—a lot has happened in the world of wine since then. But in many ways, it feels like yesterday to me. And many of the things these men and women did back then still resonate today.
Here are snapshots of some of the reasons these wine pioneers appeared in the pages of Wine Spectator 28 years ago.
Leon D. Adams: Adams was awarded “wine writer of the year” by Wines & Vines in recognition of the second edition of his book, The Wines of America.
Professor Maynard Amerine: In a speech to wine writers, Amerine, professor emeritus of the enology dept at UC Davis, cautioned wine judges to use strict tasting methodology to achieve the best and most honest results.
Robert Lawrence Balzer: Balzer, one of the era’s leading wine writers, offered to send a free copy of his newsletter, Private Guide to Food & Wine, to interested readers in celebration of Wine Spectator’s third birthday.
Terry Clancy: The former vice-president for marketing at Seagram Wines told a conference of industry leaders that “California is producing first-class wines, and in the next 10 years … is only going to get better.”
Nathan Chroman: Chroman, a weekly wine columnist for the Los Angeles Times, served as the chairman for the 1979 Los Angeles County Fair Commercial Wine competition event.
Narsai David: A Berkeley-based restaurateur, David represented his restaurant Narsai’s on a panel of restaurateurs at the California Wine Festival.
Legh Knowles: The president of Beaulieu Vineyards decided to enter BV in the “generic” jug wine market with two wines, a Chablis and a Burgundy.
Alexis Lichine: The proprietor of Château Prieure-Lichine in Bordeaux, a noted wine writer, published a new version of his Guide to the Wines and Vineyards of France.
Zelma Long: Long left her position as the head enologist and assistant winemaker at Robert Mondavi Winery when she was appointed winemaker at Simi winery in Healdsburg in Sonoma.
Charles Mara: A proprietor of Green Hills Liquor Supermarket in Syracuse, N.Y., Mara bid $28,000—the highest price ever paid for a bottle to that date—to win an 1806 Château Lafite at the Heublein rare wine auction in Chicago on May 24.
Louis M. Martini: President of Louis M. Martini Vineyards, Martini was honored as FOJAC Wine Man of the Year by the Friends of the Junior Arts Center, the largest children’s art center in Los Angeles.
Fred McCrea: A memorial to McCrea, who died in 1977, noted that he was a winner of the FOJAC Wine Man of the Year in 1976, along with his wife, Eleanor McCrea, for their management of Stony Hill Vineyard.
August Sebastiani: Proprietor of Sebastiani Vineyards in Sonoma, Sebastiani had of one of the largest collections of birdlife in the western United States and he released 1,000 pheasants in Sonoma Valley to help with repopulation.
André Tchelistcheff: An enologist at Beaulieu Vineyards for 30 years, he had served as a consultant since 1970 at many wineries, including Buena Vista, Ste. Michelle and Firestone; in 1979, Tchelistcheff ended his six-year tenure as a consultant at Simi winery.
Brother Timothy: The widely beloved cellarmaster for the Christian Brothers rated the 1979 Napa Valley vintage a “jewel.”
And that’s the way it was in 1979.
Thomas A Mobley Iii — Tallahassee, FL — December 17, 2006 8:14am ET
James Buckley — ny — February 16, 2007 9:17pm ET
Bernard Kruithof — San Antonio, Texas — February 20, 2007 8:18pm ET
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