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Beloved California Winemaker Seth Kunin Dies at 50

Beloved California Winemaker Seth Kunin Dies at 50


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Renowned California winemaker Seth Kunin passed away in his sleep on October 28. On Facebook, she wrote: “It is with great sadness that I let all of you know that Seth suffered a heart attack last night in his sleep. We will share information of a memorial service in celebration of his life soon.”

Kunin founded two wine labels of his own, served as winemaker at Westerly Vineyards for nearly a decade, and was very active in the Santa Barbara wine community. Friends, family, and admirers mourned Kunin’s loss in comments beneath the post, remembering him as a “wonderful man” with “great talent” and a “sweet person.”

“Seth was larger than life and still is in so many ways. I have so many good memories of him and the good life he grabbed firmly with both hands,” Rob Robinson wrote. “We have all learned from him. He has always been and will continue to be a bright light in my life.”

On Instagram, Wander & Wine’s Hana-Lee shared a heartfelt message: “What a dedicated advocate for CA wine, talented winemaker, incredible chef, loving husband and father, and generous friend. My heart breaks that only a couple of nights ago we were sharing food, wine and laughs and now he’s gone. I’m so so so grateful for all the fun memories. May we all have the same zest for life, incredible joy, and love for family that Seth had.”

Kunin was born in New York and attended UCLA, where he studied kinesiology, according to the Los Angeles Times. In 1991, at the age of 24, he became manager of Wine Cask — a fine dining restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. In 1994, the eatery won Wine Spectator’s Grand Award.

In 1998, Kunin founded namesake Kunin Wines, known for its Rhône-style blend of syrah and zinfandel. He was also a winemaker at Westerly Vineyards from 1999 to 2008, and in 2013, he founded AVA Santa Barbara — a beachside wine-tasting room at the heart of the city’s quirky Funk Zone neighborhood.

Wine Spectator reports that outside of his own work, Kunin was heavily involved in the local wine community. He held positions on the boards of the Santa Barbara County Vintner’s Foundation, Santa Barbara County Vintners Association, and the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail (off of which Kunin Wines is located). He was also on the committee for the Central Coast Wine Classic and was a consultant for the Masters of Food & Wine, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, and Los Angeles Food & Wine ceremonies.

He leaves behind his wife Magan and their 8-year-old daughter Phoebe.

For more acclaimed wines, check out the 101 best wineries in America.


2017: In Memoriam

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.

Henri-Louis Barruol
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.

Mark Bixler
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.

Davis Bynum
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.

Don Carano
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.

Domenico Clerico
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.

Patricia Green
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.

Seth Kunin
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.

Debbie Lewis
Together with her husband, Randy, she found a second career in wine and produced a landmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year.

Patrick Maroteaux
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.

Dennis Martin
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.

Tom May
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.

Jon Rowley
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.

Chris Silva
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.

Georges Vernay
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.

Richard Ward
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.

Bob Wilmers
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.


2017: In Memoriam

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.

Henri-Louis Barruol
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.

Mark Bixler
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.

Davis Bynum
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.

Don Carano
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.

Domenico Clerico
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.

Patricia Green
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.

Seth Kunin
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.

Debbie Lewis
Together with her husband, Randy, she found a second career in wine and produced a landmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year.

Patrick Maroteaux
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.

Dennis Martin
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.

Tom May
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.

Jon Rowley
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.

Chris Silva
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.

Georges Vernay
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.

Richard Ward
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.

Bob Wilmers
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.


2017: In Memoriam

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.

Henri-Louis Barruol
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.

Mark Bixler
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.

Davis Bynum
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.

Don Carano
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.

Domenico Clerico
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.

Patricia Green
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.

Seth Kunin
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.

Debbie Lewis
Together with her husband, Randy, she found a second career in wine and produced a landmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year.

Patrick Maroteaux
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.

Dennis Martin
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.

Tom May
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.

Jon Rowley
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.

Chris Silva
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.

Georges Vernay
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.

Richard Ward
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.

Bob Wilmers
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.


2017: In Memoriam

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.

Henri-Louis Barruol
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.

Mark Bixler
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.

Davis Bynum
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.

Don Carano
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.

Domenico Clerico
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.

Patricia Green
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.

Seth Kunin
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.

Debbie Lewis
Together with her husband, Randy, she found a second career in wine and produced a landmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year.

Patrick Maroteaux
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.

Dennis Martin
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.

Tom May
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.

Jon Rowley
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.

Chris Silva
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.

Georges Vernay
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.

Richard Ward
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.

Bob Wilmers
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.


2017: In Memoriam

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.

Henri-Louis Barruol
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.

Mark Bixler
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.

Davis Bynum
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.

Don Carano
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.

Domenico Clerico
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.

Patricia Green
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.

Seth Kunin
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.

Debbie Lewis
Together with her husband, Randy, she found a second career in wine and produced a landmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year.

Patrick Maroteaux
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.

Dennis Martin
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.

Tom May
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.

Jon Rowley
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.

Chris Silva
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.

Georges Vernay
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.

Richard Ward
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.

Bob Wilmers
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.


2017: In Memoriam

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.

Henri-Louis Barruol
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.

Mark Bixler
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.

Davis Bynum
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.

Don Carano
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.

Domenico Clerico
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.

Patricia Green
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.

Seth Kunin
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.

Debbie Lewis
Together with her husband, Randy, she found a second career in wine and produced a landmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year.

Patrick Maroteaux
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.

Dennis Martin
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.

Tom May
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.

Jon Rowley
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.

Chris Silva
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.

Georges Vernay
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.

Richard Ward
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.

Bob Wilmers
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.


2017: In Memoriam

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.

Henri-Louis Barruol
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.

Mark Bixler
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.

Davis Bynum
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.

Don Carano
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.

Domenico Clerico
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.

Patricia Green
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.

Seth Kunin
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.

Debbie Lewis
Together with her husband, Randy, she found a second career in wine and produced a landmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year.

Patrick Maroteaux
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.

Dennis Martin
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.

Tom May
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.

Jon Rowley
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.

Chris Silva
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.

Georges Vernay
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.

Richard Ward
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.

Bob Wilmers
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.


2017: In Memoriam

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.

Henri-Louis Barruol
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.

Mark Bixler
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.

Davis Bynum
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.

Don Carano
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.

Domenico Clerico
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.

Patricia Green
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.

Seth Kunin
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.

Debbie Lewis
Together with her husband, Randy, she found a second career in wine and produced a landmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year.

Patrick Maroteaux
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.

Dennis Martin
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.

Tom May
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.

Jon Rowley
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.

Chris Silva
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.

Georges Vernay
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.

Richard Ward
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.

Bob Wilmers
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.


2017: In Memoriam

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.

Henri-Louis Barruol
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.

Mark Bixler
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.

Davis Bynum
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.

Don Carano
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.

Domenico Clerico
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.

Patricia Green
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.

Seth Kunin
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.

Debbie Lewis
Together with her husband, Randy, she found a second career in wine and produced a landmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year.

Patrick Maroteaux
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.

Dennis Martin
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.

Tom May
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.

Jon Rowley
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.

Chris Silva
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.

Georges Vernay
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.

Richard Ward
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.

Bob Wilmers
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.


2017: In Memoriam

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.

Henri-Louis Barruol
The father of Rhône star Louis Barruol showed what Gigondas could be at Château de St.-Cosme.

Mark Bixler
The Kistler winery cofounder was a business manager, chemist and salesman—and provided the business foundation for his Sonoma winery’s success.

Davis Bynum
The visionary newspaper reporter–turned-vintner made Russian River Valley's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir.

Don Carano
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.

Domenico Clerico
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.

Patricia Green
The cofounder of Patricia Green Cellars and former Torii Mor winemaker passed unexpectedly in an apparent accident.

Seth Kunin
Kunin founded two Santa Barbara wine brands and was a leading member of the growing vintner community there.

Debbie Lewis
Together with her husband, Randy, she found a second career in wine and produced a landmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Spectator's 2016 Wine of the Year.

Patrick Maroteaux
Over three decades, the Bordeaux leader revitalized fourth-growth Château Branaire-Ducru.

Dennis Martin
A laid-back California native with a formidable palate, the longtime Fetzer winemaker mentored numerous winemakers and other industry members.

Tom May
The owner of Napa's famed Martha's Vineyard grew grapes exclusively for Heitz Cellar's game-changing Napa Cabernets.

Jon Rowley
The oyster guru brought us Copper River salmon, sweeter fruit and Olympia oysters on the half shell.

Chris Silva
St. Francis' charismatic president guided the Sonoma winery for two decades, establishing its sustainability program and promoting the region's wines.

Georges Vernay
The Rhône vintner brought Viognier back from the brink of obscurity in Condrieu.

Richard Ward
Saintsbury's cofounder was a leader in California's pursuit of Burgundian grape greatness.

Bob Wilmers
Charming and intelligent, the New York banker and owner of Bordeaux's Château Haut-Bailly was an unabashed lover of France and its wines.



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