Staff Changes at The Wine Advocate

Pierre-Antoine Rovani leaving Parker in amicable split.

Pierre-Antoine Rovani, a colleague of Robert M. Parker, Jr. at The Wine Advocate, is leaving the influential newsletter. Founded in 1978, the newsletter is published bi-monthly and rates wines worldwide.

American-born Pierre-Antoine Rovani, who joined Parker in 1996, has been responsible for the tasting and criticism of France outside Burgundy, the Loire, Alsace, Languedoc-Roussillon, Champagne, the Pacific Northwest, South Africa, Germany, Austria and New Zealand. He also contributed to The Wine Buyer's Guide.

Rovani gained particular notice for writing about the wines of Burgundy, countering criticism that Parker favors the wines of Bordeaux. He also passionately refuted criticism of Parker in Elin McCoy's biography of Parker, The Emperor of Wine.

The parting with Rovani at least appears amicable. He was expected to take over the newsletter and says he received an offer from Parker to make that apparent earlier this year, but decided not to proceed.

In an effusive posting to Parker's Internet forum, Rovani praises the controversial wine critic, but says he's leaving "what most would consider the dream job" to return to his first love, the wine business. "I terribly missed the rush I had in previous jobs when I made the right call in a business deal," he said.

Rovani also missed contact with people and the fact that his relationships with people in the wine trade was affected by his judging their products.

Daniel Thomases is also said to be leaving The Wine Advocate. Thomases, who lives in Florence, has written about Italian wines for Parker since 2003.

David Schildknecht, the Advocate's German and Austrian wine specialist, is reportedly staying, and Parker has not yet named replacements for Rovani or Thomases.


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