2016: In Memoriam

Honoring noteworthy wine and food industry leaders and friends who died this year
2016: In Memoriam
Paul Pontallier, Margrit Mondavi and Sam Beall were just three of the wine- and food-industry stars we lost in 2016. (Deepix/Robert Mondavi Winery/Beall and Thomas)
Dec 30, 2016

Before we turn the page and start 2017, Wine Spectator's editors would like to pause and remember all our wine and food industry leaders, heroes and friends that passed this year.

This year we lost some true titans, in both the Old World and New, from Château Margaux's longtime managing director Paul Pontallier to Napa Valley icon Margrit Biever Mondavi. We also said goodbye to some vintners who opened our eyes to new regions and new ways of doing things, like Languedoc champion Aimé Guibert and Italian orange- and natural-wine proponent Stanko Radikon. Morley Safer told the world of the potential health benefits of wine, and Sam Beall and Michel Richard changed the way we looked at French and American cuisine. Now we we remember these great contributors to the wine world and more who will be missed in 2017, and we ask our readers to share their memories in the comments, and to add memorials for any other wine-industry friends we weren’t able to include.

Gus Andrew Anderson
San Francisco orthodontist found a piece of land he loved near Napa's Howell Mountain and established Anderson's Conn Valley in the 1980s.

Sam Beall
The Blackberry Farm proprietor turned a small Tennessee inn into a renowned dining destination with a Wine Spectator Grand Award–winning wine program.

Beall and Thomas
Sam Beall loved great food and wine, and turned his family's country resort into a culinary destination.

Henri Bonneau
The iconoclastic French vigneron’s wines, defined by richness, power and depth, were considered paradigmatic of classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Jon Wyand
Henri Bonneau was always at home in his 17th-century cellar.

Ann Fitzpatrick Brown
The owner of Grand Award–winning restaurant Blantyre in Lenox, Mass., purchased an abandoned Elizabethan estate in 1980 and restored it to its former elegance.

Donn Chappellet
The pioneering vintner founded Chappellet Vineyards, part of Napa’s quality revolution and the winery that put Pritchard Hill on the map.

Elvio Cogno
Talented Italian vintner made benchmark Barolos at Marcarini before starting his own Piedmont estate.

Jay Corley
Napa Valley pioneer founded Monticello Vineyards and was a leading proponent of land-use laws in Napa Valley.

Denis Dubourdieu
A noted academic and trusted winemaking consultant, he brought improved quality and new techniques to Bordeaux’s white wines.

Denis Dubourdieu made his name in winemaking and academia, but vines were his passion.

Livio Felluga
'Patriarch' of northeastern Italy's Friuli brought his region’s wines back to life after World War II, buying and restoring abandoned vineyards and focusing on gorgeous white wines.

Aimé Guibert
Founder of Mas de Daumas Gassac was an outspoken champion of southern France's Languedoc region.

Fritz Hasselbach
Leading German vintner made three 100-point wines as winemaker at his family's Weingut Gunderloch in Rheinhessen.

Etienne Hugel
The commercial director and public face of Famille Hugel was a charismatic ambassador for the wines of Alsace.

Louis Latour
The 10th-generation president of his family’s wine firm guided the domaine and négociant through difficult years.

Orville Magoon
Founder of California's Guenoc Estate Vineyards was a Lake County pioneer.

Denis Malbec
Born into a winemaking family at Château Latour, the enologist embraced California wine, working in Sonoma and Napa and helping launch Captûre Wines.

Harry Mariani
The former president of Banfi Vintners helped bring Italian wines to new heights of popularity and quality.

Margrit Biever Mondavi
One of America's leading wine ambassadors, she helped promote California wine alongside her husband, Robert Mondavi.

Courtesy Robert Mondavi Winery
Margrit Mondavi was Robert's partner and a force for wine culture in Napa.

Peter Mondavi
The Napa Valley pioneer steered Charles Krug Winery through more than half a century of revolutionary change in the industry.

Mary Weber Novak
Founder of Napa's Spottswoode Estate built one of the region's top sources for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Robert Oatley
Rosemount Founder helped spark America's Australian wine boom in the 1990s.

Ben Pearson
Sonoma fixture was beloved wine guru at Santa Rosa retailer Bottle Barn for 20 years.

Susan Pey
Marin County winemaking pioneer forged uncharted wine paths in a cool, damp region of California.

Paul Pontallier
He oversaw production at Château Margaux for 33 years, helping lead the Bordeaux first-growth through a renaissance in quality.

Château Margaux's Paul Pontallier was a humble man who made extraordinary wines.

Stanko Radikon
Italian winemaker and leader among natural and orange wine movements was unafraid to experiment in Italy's Friuli region.

Annegret Reh-Gartner
The owner and manager of Germany's Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt improved one of the Mosel’s best wineries.

Annegret Reh-Gartner made Rieslings of refinement and complexity.

Michel Richard
Chef brought fun to French cuisine in America at New York's Château France and L.A.'s Citrus.

Michel Richard presented his playful dishes with a twinkle in his eye.

Barbara Richards
Cofounder of Napa’s Paloma Vineyard; her Spring Mountain Merlot 2001 was Wine Spectator's 2003 Wine of the Year.

Don Ross
NASA engineer turned vintner founded Shibumi Knoll and found success in Napa Valley with Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Morley Safer
With his 60 Minutes segment on the French Paradox, this former Vietnam war reporter brought the idea of wine’s health benefits to the public.

Jean-Henri Schÿler
Owner of Bordeaux's Château Kirwan was head of a merchant house and oversaw the Margaux third-growth.

William Seavey
After a career in law and politics, he brought enthusiasm and curiosity to his family winery in Napa.

Vernon Singleton
A professor at the University of California at Davis, he laid the groundwork for the study of phenolics.

Giacomo Tachis
Widely credited with modernizing Tuscan winemaking, the Italian enologist created Tignanello and Solaia alongside Piero Antinori.

Greg Walter
His career in wine and publishing spanned 36 years, including roles as president of Wine Spectator and founder of the newsletter The Pinot Report.

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