2024 awaits, but before we turn the calendar, Wine Spectator‘s editors would like to remember the wine industry trailblazers, innovators and history makers we lost this year.
In 2023, we said goodbye to longtime California wine industry leaders Paul Dolan, Mike Grgich, Donald Hess and Michael Martini, as well as Oregon Pinot Noir legend Dick Erath. Star chef, restaurateur and vintner Michael Chiarello passed suddenly at age 61. From France, charismatic Château Lynch Bages winemaker Jean-Michel Cazes, d’Yquem owner Alexandre de Lur Saluces and Alsace’s Hubert Trimbach were all lost this year after long and distinguished careers. We’ll remember them all as we celebrate the new year to come.
The longtime winemaker at Domaine des Baumard brought new acclaim to Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley.
Founder of his family’s winery on the slopes of Sicily’s famed volcano helped spark Mount Etna’s wine renaissance
Co-founder of Sanford & Benedict helped pave the way for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara’s Sta. Rita Hills
Considered one of the Loire’s most talented winemakers, Blot set a new standard
The Bordeaux icon and revered winemaker behind Château Lynch Bages revitalized his family’s winery and then helped rejuvenate the entire region
Napa Valley culinary star and Bottega restaurateur made his name at Tra Vigne before venturing into cookbooks, winemaking, olive oil and TV shows
The enterprising Barolo and Barbera maker learned the best way to produce great wine was to use the right grapegrowing techniques
As a longtime leader at Fetzer and other projects, he pushed wineries and growers to adopt organic, biodynamic and regenerative farming
Oregon Pinot Noir pioneer helped lay the groundwork for Willamette Valley’s success
The longtime Napa Valley winemaker was best known for crafting the famed 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the Paris Tasting of 1976
The Swiss businessman and art collector built a wine corporation starting in Napa Valley before moving to the Andes to focus on Malbec
The aristocrat and Château d’Yquem proprietor was a global ambassador for the Sauternes icon
A “larger-than-life” character, the third-generation winemaker made his family’s Napa wines for more than 40 years
A newcomer to wine, Sandrone managed to combine innovative winemaking with traditional grapegrowing to produce gorgeous wines, becoming a Barolo icon in the process
While his brother made Trimbach’s gorgeous Alsatian Riesling, Pinot Gris and more, Hubert traveled the world to build a market for them, courting chefs and sommeliers