"For love of everything that is wine"


These days, it seems that there are countless numbers of prominent people involved in wine activities around the world, from writers and critics to winegrowers and owners. The following lists are meant to provide wine enthusiasts with basic about the people whose influence can be most particularly felt in the 'institution of wine.' If I've omitted anyone of serious consequence, please let me know!


  • Allen, Max --- humorous, down-to-earth Australian wine writer, with an undisputed gift of making wine fun for enthusiasts; author of such works as: (1) Red and White; (2) New World of Wine; and (3) Crush: The New Australian Wine Book.
  • Evans OBE, Len --- originally from the UK, Evans (1930-2006) is considered one of the most important proponents of Aussie wines the world has probably ever seen (and probably will ever see again); with a Churchill-like demeanor (and physical presentation), Evans, during his lifetime, came to be regarded by his peers (both in Australia and around the world) as an elder statesman of all that is magical about appreciating wine.
  • Halliday, James --- famous Australian wine writer, critic (known for his unusually high scores), and winemaker; former owner of Coldstream Hills in Victoria; author of such works as: (1) Australian Wine Companion; (2) Classic Wines of Australia and New Zealand; (3) An Introduction to Australian Wine; and (4) Wine Atlas of Australia and New Zealand.
  • Oliver, Jeremy --- highly-respected expert and critic of Australian wine (along with James Halliday); author of such works as: (1) The Australian Wine Annual; (2) Thirst for Knowledge; and (3) Evans on Earth.
  • Aspler, Tony --- one of the most respected, and classiest, wine experts in Canada, specializing not only in Canadian wines, but also wine regions throughout the world; a veteran of over thirty years; author of such wine-related mystery novels as: (1) The Beast of Barbaresco; (2) Death on the Douro; and (3) Blood is Thicker than Beaujolais; also author of such works as: (1) Tony Aspler's Guide to New World Wines; and (2) Wine Lover's Companion; latest publication entitled The Wine Atlas of Canada --- website: http://www.tonyaspler.com/
  • Gismondi, Anthony--- prominent Vancouver-based wine writer, speaker, judge, and critic; retains quite a large following of wine enthusiasts; editor-and-chief for Wine Access magazine; possesses an excellent website that features all sorts of useful information --- website: http://www.gismondionwine.com/
  • Lawrason, David --- Toronto-based wine writer, instructor, and critic; currently writes for Toronto Life magazine; founder of the Canadian Wine Awards, as well as Wine Access magazine; also writes for WineAlign
  • MacLean, Natalie --- wine writer, speaker, and judge; publisher of Nat Decants newsletter; author of Red, White, and Drunk All Over --- website: http://www.natdecants.com/
  • Phillips, Roderick (Rod) --- academic on the history of wine, originally from New Zealand but now instructing as a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada; author of A Short History of Wine; also publisher of Worlds of Wine newsletter; also publishes his own recommendations --- website: http://www.worldsofwine.com/
  • Vaughan, Michael --- Toronto-based writer, speaker, critic, and judge; publisher of bi-weekly Vintage Assessments newsletter, as well as Dreamscapes: Travel and Lifestyle Magazine; website remains horribly outdated --- website: http://www.vintageassessments.com/
  • Derenoncourt, Stéphane --- highly-accomplished wine consultant (and occasional winemaker) for several of Bordeaux's most up-and-coming wine estates; entirely self-taught and self-made (somewhat of a rarity in the world of wine), Derenoncourt is purported to bring a sort-of 'Burgundian charm' to his wines; particularly noted for his attentiveness to detail in the vineyard.
  • Duboeuf, Georges --- gigantic producer of Beaujolais (sometimes nicknamed 'the king of Beaujolais'); often credited for making Beaujolais Nouveau so popular in modern times, specifically through mastering the practice of 'carbonic maceration,' a fermentation process that results in straightforward, fruity wine.
  • Dubourdieu (Professor), Denis --- veteran, exceptionally-knowledgeable Bordeaux oenologist, consultant, and winemaker; recognized for his important research in (among other things) white wine-making and maceration techniques; Dubourdieu is said to favour earlier grape-picking and, associatively, retaining freshness in the wine.
  • Jayer, Henri --- esteemed Burgundian winemaker and consultant (1922-2006); specialist in Pinot Noir; best remembered for his devotion to the idea (one to which most quality-minded winegrowers subscribe) that great wine can only come from great vineyards; Jayer argued, most famously, for minimal use of chemicals in the vineyard and 'cold soak' maceration, both of which have become two of the most important aspects of Burgundian winegrowing in the twenty-first century.
  • Moueix, Christian --- owner of Château Pétrus in Pomerol, Bordeaux (producer of one of the most expensive wines in the world), along with a handful of other exceptional properties; noted among his peers for being (at least arguably) more dedicated to quality than practically any other person involved in winegrowing on the planet.
  • Peynaud (Professor), Émile --- legendary Bordeaux oenologist (1912-2004) and consultant, often referred to as 'the forefather of modern oenology,' and (arguably) one of the most respected experts in his field to have ever existed; a fierce proponent of scientific research, Peynaud introduced many modern methods today's winemakers now take for granted (such as softer grape-crushing techniques, shorter maceration times, and controlled malolactic fermentation); author of such works as: (1) Knowing and Making Wine; (2) The Taste of Wine: The Art and Science of Wine Appreciation; and nearly 300 scientific articles.
  • Rolland, Michel --- world-famous oenological consultant and winemaker, based in Pomerol, Bordeaux; often referred to as a 'flying winemaker,' because he assists in the making of wine at hundreds of estates around the world; he is (arguably) currently the most famous French 'wine face' in the world; both lauded and criticized for his winemaking principles, most publically in the 'wine-style' documentary MONDOVINO (2004).
  • Rothschild (Baron), Philippe --- one of the most famous personalities to ever exist in 'the institution of wine,' Rothschild (1902-1988) was the renowned owner of Château Mouton Rothschild from 1922 to 1988; best known for two things: (1) introducing compulsory chateau-bottling from 1924 onwards (something which practically every single other chateau would eventually copy); and (2) from 1945 onwards, commissioning a different artist each year to design the bottle label; through his tireless efforts, Mouton was promoted to 'First Growth' in the 1855 Classification in 1973 (the only chateau to ever have its ranking altered).
  • Anderson, Burton --- American-born, yet one of the world's most respected experts of Italian wine, who has been writing on the subject for over twenty years; author of such works as: (1) Vino: The Wine and Winemakers of Italy; (2) Treasures of the Italian Table: Italy's Celebrated Foods and the Artisans Who Make Them; (3) Wine Atlas of Italy; and (4) Wines of Italy.
  • Antinori (Marchese), Piero --- owner and patriarch of the legendary Tuscan-based estate, Marchesi Antinori, and (along with Vittorio Frescobaldi) one of the most prominent individuals in the Italian winemaking scene in this (and the last) century; one of the main persons responsible for the creation of 'Super Tuscans' in the early-1970s (including the famous 'Tignanello' and 'Solaia' labels) and the subsequent revolutionary changes in the quality of premium Italian wines; Piero Antinori's family has been in the winemaking business since the fourteenth century, and have a square in Florence named after them - the 'Piazza Antinori.'
  • Frescobaldi (Marchese), Vittorio --- patriarch and president of the highly-prestigious Tuscan-based estate, Marchesi de' Frescobaldi, and (along with Piero Antinori) one of the most significant wine-related individuals in Italy; in terms of the amount of wine produced, the wines of Frescobaldi are remarkable for their overall quality; like Antinori, Frescobaldi has also had excellent success in developing various Super Tuscan brands; Vittorio Frescobaldi's family has been in the winemaking business since the Late Middle Ages.
  • Gaja, Angelo --- fourth-generation owner of one of the most prestigious wine estates in Italy (and the world) of the same name, Angelo Gaja is arguably the most significant figure to be reckoned with in northwestern Italian wine affairs; focusing his efforts on the glorious Nebbiolo red grape varietal, Gaja is best known for his single-vineyard wines out of the Barbaresco D.O.C.G. winegrowing region (though he also has wine operations in other parts of Italy); his commitment to undisputed quality can only be matched (but never surpassed) by other persons mentioned on my website.
  • Cooper, Michael --- leading authority on New Zealand wine; author of such works as: (1) Wine Atlas of New Zealand; (2) Michael Cooper's Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines; (3) Michael Cooper's Pocket Guide to New Zealand Wines; and (4) The Wines and Vineyards of New Zealand --- website: http://www.wineoftheweek.com/
  • Broadbent MW, Michael --- veteran English wine critic, writer, and auctioneer at Christie's Auction House in London, England; holder of prestigious title 'Master of Wine' (MW); author of such works as: (1) Vintage Wine; (2) Michael Broadbent's Wine Tasting - Pocket Guide: How to Approach and Appreciate Wine; and (3) Wine tasting, enjoying, and understanding; served recently as a judge in the thirty-year anniversary rematch of the 'Judgement of Paris' wine tasting of 1976.
  • Brook, Stephen --- successful wine writer and critic; author of such works as: (1) A Century of Wine; (2) Wines of California; (3) Bordeaux: Medoc & Graves; (4) Sauternes and Other Sweet Wines of Bordeaux; and (5) Wine People.
  • Clarke, Oz --- leading wine expert and writer; has appeared several times on television; author of such works as: (1) Oz Clarke's Wine Buying Guide; (2) Pocket Wine Book; (3) Oz Clarke's Encyclopedia of Wine; and (4) Oz Clarke's New Essential Wine Book; latest publication entitled Oz Clarke's Bordeaux.
  • Coates MW, Clive --- one of the world's veteran and leading (but now-retired) wine authorities; holder of prestigious title 'Master of Wine' (MW); one of Coates' greatest specialties is his almost unparalled knowledge of the winegrowing landscape of Burgundy; author of such works as: (1) The Wines of France; (2) Côte D'or; (3) Grand Vins; (4) Wines of Bordeaux;and (5) The Great Wines of France: France's Top Domains and Their Wines.
  • Jefford, Andrew --- well-regarded wine writer and critic (based in London); author of such works as: (1) The New France; and (2) Peat Smoke, and Spirit: a Portrait of Islay and its Whiskies; regular contributor to Decanter wine magazine.
  • Johnson, Hugh --- world-renowned expert (along with Jancis Robinson MW) of almost all things pertaining to wine; for over forty years, Johnson has been one of the best-selling writers of all things pertaining to wine; he is known for his excellent literary style, and almost-singular ability to make wine comfortable and highly informative for his readers; author of such works as: (1) Wine Companion: The Encyclopedia of Wines, Vineyards, & Winemakers; (2) The World Atlas of Wine: A Complete Guide to the Wines & Spirits of the World; (3) Vintage: The Story of Wine (also in video format); and (4) Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book; latest publication entitled Wine: A Life Uncorked.
  • Jones, Andrew --- accomplished wine writer and broadcaster; best known for his light, fun style of composition; author of such works as: (1) The Stories Behind the Labels; (2) Wine Talk: A Vintage Collection of Facts and Legends for Wine Lovers; (3) Whiskey Talk: A Spirited Collection of Facts and Essential Information for Whiskies of the World; and (4) Wine Fact & Fiction: Facts and Legends and Helpful Advice for Wine Consumers.
  • Peppercorn MW, David --- veteran wine writer and critic, specializing in Bordeaux; holder of prestigious title 'Master of Wine' (MW); author of such works as: (1) Wines of Bordeaux; (2) Drinking Wine, a Complete Guide with Ratings; and (3) The Simon and Schuster Pocket Guide to the Wines of Bordeaux.
  • Robinson MW, Jancis --- world-renowned expert (along with Hugh Johnson) of almost all things pertaining to wine (also a famous wine critic); considered by many to be "The First Lady of Wine," though such a title might (at least initially) suggest a predisposition for gender-biasness; holder of prestigious title 'Master of Wine' (MW); author of the highly successful The Oxford Companion to Wine.
  • Spurrier, Steven --- highly-regarded wine expert and critic; presider of the 'Judgement of Paris' wine tasting in 1976 (repeated in 2006), which pitted the best wines of California against the best wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy; consultant editor for Decanter wine magazine.
  • Sutcliffe MW, Serina --- greatly-respected expert, writer, and critic of wine; holder of prestigious title 'Master of Wine' (MW); head of Sotheby's International Wine Department (which is an extremely important auction house); author of such works as: (1) Champagne: The History and Character of the World's Most Celebrated Wine; (2) Great Vineyards and Winemakers; (3) The Wine Handbook; and (4) Wines of Burgundy.
  • Draper, Paul --- enormously-respected winemaker at Ridge Vineyards, which is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains (just south of San Francisco); in the 2006 rematch of the 'Judgement of Paris' tasting, his 'Monte Bello' Bordeaux-blend took first place.
  • Laube, James --- one of the principle writers for The Wine Spectator magazine, specializing in the wines of California; retains quite a large following.
  • Meadows, Allen --- devoted follower and writer on the wines of Burgundy; has written on Burgundian wines for over twenty-five years --- website: www.burghound.com
  • Mondavi, Robert --- one of the most important figures in the history of California winemaking and marketing; Mondavi (1913-2008) founded his wine company of the same name in 1965, and subsequently created some of California's most famous brands, from Mondavi Woodbridge to Opus One; in 2004, his company was acquired by Constellation Brands.
  • Parker, Robert --- influential and often highly controversial wine critic; often lauded and criticized for his 100-point scale and large-scale influence; retains an exceptionally large, worldwide following of wine enthusiasts, producers and sellers, and collectors; author of such works as: (1) Wine Advocate newsletter; (2) Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide; (3) The Wines of the Rhône Valley and Provence; and (4) Bordeaux --- website: http://www.erobertparker.com/
  • Rovani, Pierre-Antoine --- accomplished wine writer and critic, making a name for himself when he collaborated with Robert Parker in 1996; he has worked with Parker on several wine-related books; in late-2006, he announced that he was no longer working with Parker.
  • Suckling, James --- Formerly one of the principle writers for The Wine Spectator magazine, specializing in the wines of Bordeaux and Italy; retains a very large following of wine enthusiasts, speculators, and producers and sellers, Suckling currently resides in Italy.
  • Tanzer, Stephen --- world-famous wine critic; retains a very large following; publisher of the very successful bi-monthly newsletter Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.
  • Turley, Helen --- one of the most renowned winemakers and consultants in California; over the years, Turley has served as a winemaker and consultant for some of California's most prestigious estates, including: (1) Peter Michael; (2) Bryant Family Vineyard; and (3) Colgin.

To my utter amazement, there are an astonishing number of capable (and accomplished) 'Toronto wine people,' most of which not only have their own website, but also their own line of 'wine followers.' However, it is only on my website where you will find all of their names put together --- keep an eye on this list, for it's going to grow pretty quickly!
  • Aiello, Angela --- operator (formerly with Paxton Allewell) of the Toronto-based iYellow Wine Club, garnering an ever-increasing following of young wine enthusiasts --- website: http://www.iyellowwineclub.com/
  • Best, Richard --- Oakville-based wine writer, tour guide, instructor, and critic; operator of The Frugal Oenophile website, which contains a very large, useful database --- website: http://www.frugal-wine.com/
  • Crosariol, Beppi --- wine columnist, enthusiast, and critic for The Globe and Mail; writes for a large, devoted Toronto following, bi-weekly reviews on the latest wines released by the L.C.B.O.
  • Edwards, Jason --- local wine blogger and amateur critic; recipient of a Certificate of Merit from the Wine Council of Ontario; his nickname: 'The Vino Boy' --- website: http://www.thevinoboy.com/
  • Finstein, Edward --- veteran local (and international) wine consultant, tasting judge, tour guide, speaker, and writer; currently serves as an instructor at George Brown College in downtown Toronto --- website: http://www.winedoctor.ca/
  • Goddard, Sarah --- local wine sommelier, consultant, blogger, and general enthusiast --- website: http://www.sommelierscribbler.com/
  • Hunter, Andrew --- local wine and general enthusiast --- website: http://www.torontowineguy.blogspot.com/
  • Janek, Monika --- local wine blogger, student, and general enthusiast --- website: http://www.theyummygrape.com/
  • Kozlowski, Steve & Diana --- for-hire wine consultants, based out of Thornhill (located just north of the city of Toronto), who specialize in a variety of wine-related services --- website: http://www.thewinebutler.ca/
  • Martin, Anne --- Toronto-based sommelier, consultant, and chef; website remains (perpetually) under construction --- http://www.annemartinwine.com/
  • Menzies, David --- Richmond Hill-based freelance writer; staunch critic of the L.C.B.O. --- website: http://www.davidmenzies.ca/
  • Munnelly, Billy --- wine writer and critic, best known for his folksy style; publisher of Billy's Best Bottles newsletter; regular presider of wine lectures and seminars throughout Toronto --- website: http://www.billysbestbottles.com/
  • Palmer, Elizabeth --- Toronto-based international wine writer, critic, and general enthusiast; currently writing a book on Champagne; one of the nicest people in the business --- website: http://lizpalmer.wordpress.com/
  • Paterson, Larry --- Peterborough-based wine writer, critic, and general enthusiast; operator of the eccentric Little Fat Wine website --- website: http://www.littlefatwino.com/
  • Philp, Tyler --- based north of Toronto, general wine enthusiast and blogger; presider of monthly group tastings; contributor to WineAlign --- website: http://www.northof9finewine.blogspot.com/
  • Pinkus, Michael --- local wine blogger, columnist, critic, judge, and consultant; reviewer of Toronto wine events --- websites: ontheroadwithgrapeguy.blogspot.com and http://www.ontariowinereview.com/
  • Plackett, Adam --- Toronto wine enthusiast and accountant, who operates a website featuring information about the 'Toronto Wine Scene' --- website: http://www.torontowine.com/
  • Ponzo, Marlise --- up-and-coming wine writer and commentator; gifted taster; currently an instructor at George Brown College --- website: http://www.crushingonwine.com/
  • Rasiulis, Edward --- local sommelier, consultant, wine blogger, and amateur critic --- website: http://www.twilightwines.net/
  • Saviolidis, Evan --- Niagara-based wine instructor and critic; winner of the seventh annual Wine Tasting Challenge  --- website: http://www.evanwinesavvy.com/
  • Stimmell, Gordon --- wine writer, critic, and speaker; columnist for The Toronto Star; regular tasting judge; retains quite a large following; commonly recommends wines from the L.C.B.O. that are good value for one's money.
  • Swaine, Margaret --- Toronto-based wine writer, and a founding member of the Wine Writers Circle of Canada; a regular contributor to many different newspapers and magazines --- website: http://www.margaretswaine.com/
  • Szabo, John --- Toronto-based Master Sommelier; regular contributor to various wine-related magazines; formerly operated a small instructional program for people interested in wine, located in downtown Toronto; also writes for Wine Align --- website (no longer in use, it seems): http://www.thecva.ca/
  • Szabo, Zoltan --- acclaimed sommelier, whose recommendations appear in some of Toronto's hottest restaurants; provider of various wine related services --- website: http://www.zoltanszabo.ca/
  • Thurlow, Steve --- wine writer, tour operator, taster, judge, organizer, and instructor; regular contributor to various Toronto-based wine magazines --- website: http://www.stevethurlow.com/
  • Trcka, Dan --- amateur wine critic and general enthusiast; postings can be found on WineAlign --- website: http://www.winealign.com/
  • Tudor, Dean --- wine writer, blogger, consultant, and judge; member of the Wine Writers Circle of Canada; publisher of World Wine Watch Newsletter --- website: http://www.deantudor.com/

Click here for a link to the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada


Email me at julianhitner@hitnerwine.com


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