2017: In Memoriam

In remembrance of the wine and food industry leaders, friends and loved ones who died this year
2017: In Memoriam
From left: Don Carano, Domenico Clerico, Debbie Lewis (Ian Shive / Sandro Michahelles / Colin Price)
Dec 28, 2017

On the eve of 2018, Wine Spectator takes a moment to remember the wine and food industry pioneers, leaders, friends and loved ones that passed this year.

Napa winery owner Debbie Lewis lost her battle with cancer earlier this year, but not before her Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 was named Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year. She was remembered fondly and often at this year's New York Wine Experience. We also lost renowned Barolo vintner Domenico Clerico this year, as well as California legends Davis Bynum, Don Carano and the grapegrower behind Martha's Vineyard. Now we remember these great contributors to the wine world and more who will be missed in 2018, 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.

Henri-Louis Barruol
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.

Mark Bixler
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.

Davis Bynum
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.

Don Carano
Ferrari-Carano founder, casino owner and hotelier built a temple to wine in Sonoma and helped elevate the region’s Chardonnay and hospitality.

L. Pierce Carson
His 50-year career at a Napa newspaper helped chronicle the wine industry's rise.

Domenico Clerico
One of the Barolo's so-called "modernists," the renowned vintner helped reshape expectations with his vineyard-designated wines.

Sandro Michahelles
Domenico Clerico was known for his kind, happy personality and his dedication to his wines.

Jean-Luc Le Dû
The sommelier, wine retailer, mentor and much more was a cherished part of the New York wine scene.

Patricia Green
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.

Moment of Thyme
Patricia Green in one of her vineyards in Oregon's Ribbon Ridge appellation.

Seth Kunin
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.

Debbie Lewis
Together with her husband, Randy, she found a second career in wine and produced a landmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year.

Colin Price
Debbie Lewis with her husband, Randy, in Napa Valley.

Patrick Maroteaux
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.

Dennis Martin
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.

Tom May
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.

Courtesy of Heitz Cellar
Grapegrower Tom May with his wife, Martha, and their daughter, Laura May Everett, and son Richard May.

Jon Rowley
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.

Chris Silva
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.

Courtesy of St. Francis Winery
Chris Silva brought a spirit of innovation to Sonoma's St. Francis Winery.

Georges Vernay
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.

Richard Ward
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.

Bob Wilmers
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.

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