The 2004 Wine Literary Award Tasting — Friday, April 30.

  • Toast Of The 2004 Wine Literary Award Tasting
  • The 2004 Wine Literary Award Press Tasting Winery Winners
  • Press Tasting Photo Gallery
  • Speeches Of The 2004 Wine Literary Award Tasting
  • General Information
  • Previous Wine Literary Award Winners
  • Previous Press Tasting Winery Winners
  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • The 2007 Wine Literary Award Tasting
  • The 2006 Wine Literary Award Tasting
  • The 2005 Wine Literary Award Tasting
  • The 2003 Wine Literary Award Tasting

  • Toast Of The 2004 Wine Literary Award Tasting

    On Friday, April 30 at The Culinary Academy of San Francisco, with 150 winemakers, winery owners and wine writers looking on, Robert Lawrence Balzer received The Wine Literary Award for an exceptional contribution to the literature of wine in the English language.

    Mr. Balzer has spent Sixty-five of his ninety-one years writing about wine. He made his debut as a wine writer in 1937 in the Beverly Hills Citizen and since then has written extensively for The Los Angeles Times, Sunset Magazine, Wine Enthusiast and the Wine Spectator. Wearing his journalist’s hat, he is perhaps best known for his 32 years as the weekly wine columnist for the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine. As an author he has written over 12 books including the seminal 1948 publication, California’s Best Wines and the award winning The Los Angeles Times Book of California Wines published in 1985.

    Keynote speaker Daniel J. Solomon said, “Robert Lawrence Blazer was the first serious wine writer in America. In the 1960s and ’70s, Balzer was arguably the most powerful wine writer in America…(he) helped bring fine wine and food to America.”

    In his address, Robert Mondavi said, “I have nothing but great respect for Bob. He hasn’t been given enough credit for the important part he has played and continues to play in our industry. Thank you for all that you have done for us.”

    Previous WLA winners include Hugh Johnson, Robert Parker, Dan Berger, Harry Waugh, Robert Thompson, Leon Adams, Jancis Robinson, Tom Stevenson, Gerald Asher, Gene Ford and James Halliday and Michael Broadbent.

    The Wine Literary Award is a two-part event: a daytime press-only tasting of over 1,000 American wines, followed by the evening grand tasting and award banquet. The Wine Literary Award is a rare opportunity for American vintners to present their premier wines to the members of the international press without paying a penny for entry fees. The event is entirely subsidized by The Wine Appreciation Guild in recognition of wine authors and their importance to the wine industry.

    At the press tasting over 80 international journalist and writers voted for “Best New Winery”, “Best New Discovery”, “Best Label”, and “Best of Show”.

    Next year’s Wine Literary Award Press Tasting and Banquet is scheduled for April 29, 2005, again at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco (the event is traditionally held on the last Friday of April each year).

    Reserve your seats for next year’s Wine Literary Award Tasting and Banquet. Or for more information email, phone (800) 231-9463, ext 22 or FAX (650) 866-3513.

    The 2004 Wine Literary Award Press Tasting Winners

    Best New Winery

    Obscurity Cellars, Sierra Foothills

    Léal Estate Vineyards, San Benito
    RagApple Lassie Vineyards, North Carolina

    Best Wine Discovery

    Acorn Winery, Sangiovese, Alegria Vineyards, Russian River Valley

    Kathryn Kennedy Winery, 1999 Syrah, Maridon Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Curran, 2001 Sangiovese, Santa Barbara

    Best Of Show

    Murrieta’s Well, 2001 “Zarzuela” Livermore Valley

    Miner Family Winery, 2002 Sangiovese Gibson Ranch
    Robert Craig Wine Cellars, 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder

    Best Label

    Heron Hill Winery, 2001 “Eclipse”

    Cloud 9 Winery 2001 “Seity”
    Tom Eddy Wines 1999 Petit Verdot

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