William Deutsch - 2009
Since his early days selling New York state sparkling wine, Bill Deutsch has built W.J. Deutsch & Sons into the fifth-largest wine importer in America. At Christmastime in 1997, Deutsch made a declaration: "I think it's time we got into Australian wine." Deutsch teamed up with Casella Wines, a family business in New South Wales, and together they created a brand called Yellow Tail. In 2008, Yellow Tail alone sent 8.4 million cases to the United States, making it the leading imported wine in America. For his tireless work to connect family wineries with American consumers, for his nearly 50 years in the industry and for his philanthropic efforts to teach a new generation of entrepreneurs, Wine Spectator gives its 2009 Distinguished Service Award to William Deutsch.