On the eve of 2018, Wine Spectator takes a moment to remember the wine and food industry pioneers, leaders, friends and loved ones that passed this year.
Napa winery owner Debbie Lewis lost her battle with cancer earlier this year, but not before her Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 was named Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year. She was remembered fondly and often at this year's New York Wine Experience. We also lost renowned Barolo vintner Domenico Clerico this year, as well as California legends Davis Bynum, Don Carano and the grapegrower behind Martha's Vineyard. Now we remember these great contributors to the wine world and more who will be missed in 2018, and we ask our readers to share their memories in the comments, and to add memorials for any other wine-industry friends we weren’t able to include.
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.
Ferrari-Carano founder, casino owner and hotelier built a temple to wine in Sonoma and helped elevate the region’s Chardonnay and hospitality.
L. Pierce Carson
His 50-year career at a Napa newspaper helped chronicle the wine industry's rise.
One of the Barolo's so-called "modernists," the renowned vintner helped reshape expectations with his vineyard-designated wines.
Jean-Luc Le Dû
The sommelier, wine retailer, mentor and much more was a cherished part of the New York wine scene.
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.