Over the years, Wine Enthusiast Magazine has honored individuals from every corner of the globe, representing varied mindsets, ethnicities, origins and generations during our Wine Star Awards ceremony. The honorees live and breathe the culture of wine, and their passion is what drives the positive growth of our industry.
This year we are proud to present to you the 2011 Wine Star Award Winners. The people and companies named below will be honored at the Wine Star Awards Dinner on Monday, January 30th in New York City. Today, raise a glass to these award winners—the excellence of what you’ll be drinking is due to their creativity, drive and courage.
The dinner will also pay tribute to the legendary Jess Stonestreet Jackson, who was the recipient of 2000’s Man of the Year and 2007’s Lifetime Achievement Wine Star Awards.
David S. Taub, Palm Bay International
For more than five decades, the C.E.O. of Palm Bay International has been at the forefront of both distributor and importer industries and has had an enormous impact on the proliferation of wine consumption in America. The company’s portfolio exceeds five million cases annually, represents over 40 producers from ten countries around the world and includes both volume brands like Cavit, and luxury brands like Planeta in Sicily, Bertani in Verona and Columbo in the Rhône as well as diverse wines from hotspots like Argentina, Chile and beyond.
American Man of the Year
Chris Indelicato, DFV Wines
Chris Indelicato is the president and CEO of DFV Wines, producer of Bota Box [the 3 liter bag-in-a-box], Gnarly Head, Clay Station, 337 and several others, not to mention the DFV wine brand itself. Last year, under Indelicato’s guidance, DVF further expanded by purchasing Black Stallion Winery, in Napa Valley. The latest data shows DFV Wines doubling this year in packaged shipments, fueled by astonishing growth in Bota Box and Gnarly Head. The winery now ranks seventh in U.S. wine shipments, and is fourth in exports.
International Man of the Year
Don St. Pierre, Jr., ASC Fine Wines, China
Born in Ontario, Canada, St. Pierre is the CEO of ASC Fine Wines, China’s largest importer and distributor of quality international wines. Shanghai-based ASC, founded by St. Pierre’s father in 1996, is expanding its stable of big-name labels from around the world, importing wines from 14 countries into one of the fastest-growing consumer wine markets.
American Winery of the Year
Wente Family Estates, Carolyn Wente, CEO
Livermore Valley’s Wente, founded in 1883, is America’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery. Known for making quality wines at every price point, Wente was the first winery in the state to introduce Chardonnay. In 2011, Wente released Entwine, the first line of Food Network wines.
European Winery of the Year
Gérard Bertrand, Gérard Bertrand
Both landowner and partner of the best winegrowers in the South of France, Gérard Bertrand manages over 325 hectares of vineyards across varying Languedoc terroirs. He fully understands the movement toward expressive, well-balanced and elegant wines that remain accessible and affordable.
New World Winery of the Year
Viña San Pedro, Javier Bitar
The anchor of the Viña San Pedro Tarapacá Wine Group, San Pedro offers a wine for everyone. From its value-priced Gato Negro line to high-end bottlings like Cabo de Hornos, San Pedro, under the guidance of CEO Javier Bitar and head winemaker Marco Puyo, is one of Chile’s undisputed innovators.
Winemaker of the Year
Bob Cabral, Williams Selyem
With about 35 different bottlings each vintage, up to and including the dramatic, ageworthy vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs, Williams Selyems’s wines have excelled over the last few years. With Cabral, who’s been at the helm since 1998, the wines have risen above a quality level that was already impressive.
Wine Region of the Year
Prosecco demonstrates that some categories do flourish despite hard times. This perky, no-fuss Italian bubbly has reached such popularity that production is predicted to outpace Champagne. Producers have reprioritized their vineyard sites and quality standards to pave the road for a new era.
Importer of the Year
Mionetto USA, Enore Ceola
Mionetto USA is a growing force in Italian wine. It bridges the gap between value and volume, thanks to meticulous brand selection, broad distribution and shrewd marketing. Its portfolio includes powerhouses such as Cantina di Soave, as well as an eclectic repertoire of boutique brands.
Retailer of the Year
Stew Leonard’s Wines, Stew Leonard, Jr., CEO
With nine locations across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and aspirations of many more to come, Stew Leonard’s offers a wide selection of wines, beers and spirits at superb values. Staff wine education is a priority, and it shows: In just over a decade, Stew’s wine shops have grown to boast annual sales of $100 million.
Restaurateur of the Year
Michael Mina, Mina Group LLC
Cairo-born Michael Mina’s portfolio of eateries in eight states includes Bourbon Steak, RN74, Michael Mina and Seablue. Two of Chef Mina’s restaurants have earned Michelin stars and one earned Wine Enthusiast’s Best 100 Wine Restaurants of 2011 award. He is the author of Michael Mina: The Cookbook.
Generations of Innovation
Georg & Maximilian Riedel, Riedel Glass Company
They may not produce a single bottle of wine, but the Riedel family has made an enormous, essential contribution to the promotion of wine appreciation on a global, historic scale. Their fine glassware and decanters, through scientific design and exquisite aesthetics, are specifically designed to enhance the experience of wine, from eye to nose to palate.
The Riedel family traces its origins to the 17th century. Johann Christoph Riedel, born in 1678, traveled all over 17th century Europe, trading glass. The family has expanded on this expertise into manufacturing and has maintained its control, unbroken, to this day—with the 10th and 11th generations.
Georg Josef Riedel joined the company in 1973 and truly took it global, opening company-owned subsidiaries in the USA and four other countries, while also acquiring Nachtmann and Spiegelau.
Georg passed that passion and creativity onto his son, Maximilian, who became active in the company in 1997. Maximilian has served as CEO of Riedel Crystal since 2004, and is the creator of the wildly successful “O” line of stemless glasses and two innovative decanter designs.
The Riedels, father and son, will accept their award at a gala awards dinner in New York City in January, 2102.
Distiller of the Year
The Glenmorangie Company, Dr. Bill Lumsden
The innovation shown by this maker of single-malt Highland Scotches is impressive, ranging from polished classics and elegant cask-finished whiskies to its 2011 release of the luxurious Glenmorangie Pride 1981 bottling. Founded in 1843, this brand is now under the stewardship of Louis Vuitton Moët-Hennessy.
Mixologist of the Year
Currently the company mixologist with William Grant & Sons USA, Charlotte Voisey has run bars in Barcelona, Buenos Aires and London. She manages the cocktail programs at venues such as the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas; Cienfuegos and the Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan.
Wine Star Awards Dinner
The New York Public Library, The Celeste Bartos Forum
Monday, January 30th 2012
Fifth Avenue at 41st Street, New York City
Master of Ceremonies: Adam Strum
Reception: 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Dinner & Awards: 7:30 – 11:00 pm
$1,000 per person • Table of 10 – $9,000
Table of 12 available. Please inquire.
Wine Enthusiast Companies donates the net proceeds from this event to benefit research in the wine and spirits industry with The Wine Market Council, a non-profit organization.
Space is very limited
For information on how to attend the Wine Star Awards dinner contact Joyce White at email@example.com or by phone at 914.345.9463 x5126.
For press inquiries please contact Jacqueline Strum at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 914.593.4406.