The Wine Writers’ Hall of Fame of the Wine Media Guild is pleased to announce the class of inductees for 2011. They will be celebrated at a dinner at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City in June. They are: Gerald D. Boyd, Steven Spurrier, Tom Stevenson and Leon Adams (posthumous). Their biographies are listed below.
Gerald D. Boyd
Gerald D. Boyd is a free lance writer specializing in wine and spirits, fine food and travel. Boyd is based in Sonoma County, California.
An avid wine collector since the 1960s, Boyd began writing about wine in 1971 for the Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Magazine and Wine World magazine, while serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Upon retirement from the U.S. Air Force In 1979, Boyd joined The Wine Spectator as Managing Editor and one year later he was promoted to Editor. Boyd resigned from The Wine Spectator in 1983 to return to free-lance writing, a career he has followed successfully since then, with a one-year break as Editor of Wine & Spirits Buying Guide, now Wine & Spirits magazine.
Boyd served as the staff wine and spirits writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, September 1993 to June 2002. His writing on wine and spirits appears regularly on the Internet at Wine Review Online and in Quarterly Review of Wines and Winestate of Australia. He has contributed to The Wine News, Decanter and to trade magazines Vineyard & Winery Management, Hotel Food & Beverage Management, Restaurant Hospitality, Sante and numerous other magazines.
Since 1978, Boyd has served as a wine judge at international, national and regional wine competitions and is presently Director of the Commercial Wine Department, Best of the Bay & Zin Challenge at the Alameda County Fair. He is Co-Founder and Chief Judge, The Gold Challenge wine competition. Boyd judges often on national panels in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington and international wine competitions.
Boyd is a frequent lecturer and seminar panel member and is an adjunct instructor on wine education at Santa Rosa Junior College. He has been honored with induction into numerous wine and spirits associations, including Le Grand Counseil l’Academie du Vin de Bordeaux, Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, Chevalerie de Vere Galant de Cognac and the Keepers of the Quaich, an international single malt Scotch whisky society.
British-born Steven Spurrier joined the wine trade in London in 1964. He moved to Paris in 1970 where he purchased Les Caves de la Madeleine, a small wine shop in the centre of the city and in early 1973 created L’Academie du Vin, the first independent wine school in France. For the next fifteen years he was deeply involved in all aspects of the French wine business and in 1988 he was named “La Personnalite de l’Annee (Oenology) for his contributions to French wines. That year he returned to the UK to become an international wine consultant and wine writer.
Author of several books on wine and winner of numerous awards, he is Consultant Editor for Decanter Magazine and President of the Circle of Wine Writers. A renowned international palate, he is Chairman of the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Tom Stevenson has been writing about wine for more than 35 years. He is the author of 23 critically acclaimed books and winner of 32 literary awards, including Wine Writer of the Year three times and The Wine Literary Award, America’s only lifetime achievement award for wine writers. Tom’s books have been published internationally by more than 50 publishers and in total have been translated into over 25 languages. He has specialized in Champagne since embarking on a six-year research project that culminated in the publication of Champagne (Sotheby’s Publications, 1986). In 1998, his Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine (Absolute Press) was the first book to publish a 17th-century document proving that the English invented the so-called méthode champenoise six years before Dom Pérignon even set foot in Hautvillers. This revelation ensured the book made history as the only wine book to warrant a leader in any UK national newspaper (The Guardian, 14 October 1998). Tom’s other consuming passion is Alsace, and in 1993 The Wines of Alsace (Faber & Faber) duly appeared to universal plaudits, winning two awards, including the Veuve Clicquot Best Wine Book of the Year in the USA. He has a regular column in The World of Fine Wine and has judged at wine competitions in the US, France, Germany, Greece, Australia and the UK, where he chairs the panels for Champagne and Alsace at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Tom is best known, however, as the author of The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia, which Dorling Kindersley has published continuously since 1988. It is used as a standard reference for Master of Wine and Master Sommelier examinations all over the world and has sold more than 600,000 copies in 14 major languages.
(1905-1995; posthumous award; no photo available)
Called the “Dean of American Wine Writers,” Leon Adams is considered by many to have been the seminal wine historian in the United States in the 20th century.Adams went to Europe for a year, and there rekindled an interest in wine that began during a brief childhood stay in the Valley of the Moon where his mother made wine. When he returned to the Bay Area, he was assigned by the News to cover the “Prohibition beat,” since the Eighteenth Amendment, barring consumption of alcohol throughout the United States, was still in effect. Four years later, with Prohibition about to be repealed, he founded the California Grape Growers League with the objective of introducing table wine to Americans. In 1934, a year after repeal, the group became the Wine Institute. He also established the Wine Advisory Board and developed a training course that educating thousands of restaurateurs, retailers and consumers.
A prolific author of books, articles and pamphlets about wine, he was a founder of the Wine Institute, the trade organization that represents California’s wine industry. Mr. Adams was a tireless advocate of the farm winery bills passed by many states in the 1970’s and 1980’s, which eased the way for grape growers to open wineries and to sell their wines at retail and wholesale. For Mr. Adams, wine was more than a beverage, it was a cause. In his writing and speeches wine lovers found him inspiring and usually crusty. He said that wine was a civilizing force. Major works: Wines in America 1973, the Commonsense Book of Wine and The Commonsense Book of Drinking.
Said Warren Winiarski, the owner of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, in California’s Napa Valley, “Leon gave the wine industry a hard-as-nails, unsentimental look at what was happening nationwide. We were in the dark about wine growing in the U.S. He organized our sense of who was growing what and where.”