The 2007 Wine Literary Award Tasting and Banquet — Friday, April 27.

  • Karen MacNeil Wins the 2007 Wine Literary Award
  • 2007 Vinum Cum Laude Awards

  • General Information
  • Purchase tickets for WLA banquet April 25, 2008
  • Winery Information & Registration for WLA banquet April 25, 2008
  • Request Press Pass for WLA banquet April 25, 2008
  • Sponsorship Opportunities for WLA banquet April 25, 2008
  • Previous Wine Literary Award Winners
  • Previous Press Tasting Winery Winners
  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • The 2006 Wine Literary Award Tasting
  • The 2005 Wine Literary Award Tasting
  • The 2004 Wine Literary Award Tasting
  • The 2003 Wine Literary Award Tasting

  • Bestselling Author Karen MacNeil Becomes the 17th Wine Literary Award Laureate --
    America’s “Missionary of the Vine” gets Wine Writing’s Big Prize

    On Friday April 27, Karen MacNeil received the seventeenth Wine Literary Award in front of a sold-out audience at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. MacNeil joins the ranks of WLA laureates Hugh Johnson, Robert M. Parker, Jr., Harry Waugh, Leon D. Adams, Dan Berger, Jancis Robinson, Gerald Asher, Tom Stevenson, Gene Ford, Michael Broadbent, Robert Lawrence Balzer, Andrea Robinson and Kevin Zraly.

    “To open the double doors to a fun wine education,” said Dan Berger in his keynote address “is really best done by reading about it from someone who really loves ALL wine.”

    “And that, more than anything else, is why Karen MacNeil is our honoree this evening. She has always delivered the message of wine’s greatness with an even-handedness that is so disarming in a field so filled with egotism.”

    In her acceptance speech, MacNeil spoke of the principal motive at work in her writing: “I’ve always wanted to make wine seem easy and yet not demystify it. It should always possess that bit of mystery that carries us as wine lovers forward.”

    Ms. MacNeil’s twenty-five year career has marked her as one of the best known, and most respected American wine writers, with one of the bestselling wine books in print, The Wine Bible, published in 2001 by Workman. The critically acclaimed, ten-year, 900-page-plus effort, is in its twelfth printing and has sold over 350,000 copies. Her most recent book, Wine, Food and Friends, was published in September 2006 by Oxmoor House and has sold 80,000 copies. As a journalist, her articles have appeared in over 50 newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, Cooking Light and Town and Country.

    When Ms. MacNeil isn’t writing, being the wine consultant to Singapore Airlines and Sunset Magazine, or increasing the vinous knowledge of corporate clients like Oracle, American Express, Merrill Lynch, and Time Warner, she hosts the Emmy-winning PBS series, Wine, Food and Friends with Karen MacNeil, and is preparing, as co-creator, for the spring debut of WineTaste TV, the first internet “channel” on wine and food.

    She is also the founder and Chairwoman of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America, the leading wine school for professionals in the United States.

    Among her other honors are the James Beard award for “2004 Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year,” and the European Wine Council's “2005 Wine Educator of the Year.”

    The 2007 Vinum Cum Laude Awards

    On Friday members of the wine press crowded the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco for the Seventeenth Annual Wine Literary Award press tasting, sampling wines from across the U.S., and awarding several wineries with top honors.

    The results of the balloting are as follows:

    Best Wine Discovery (Red)

    H. Coturri & Son Winery 2005 Barbera, Testa Vineyards, Mendocino, California

    Cum Laude:
    Glacial Lake Missoula Wine Co. 2003 “Deluge,” Yakima Valley, Washington
    Frey Vineyards 2006 Pinot Noir, Mendocino

    Best Wine Discovery (White)

    Peconic Bay Winery Chardonnay, North Folk of Long Island

    Cum Laude:
    Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard, Chardonnay, Wisconsin
    McNab Ridge Winery 2006 Colombard, Niemi Vineyard, Mendocino

    Best New Winery

    Thumbprint Cellars, Healdsburg, California

    Cum Laude:
    VJB Vineyard & Winery, Sonoma, California
    Krupp Brothers Estates, Napa, California

    Best Package/Label

    Belle Glos 2005 Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, California

    Cum Laude:
    Artevino 2005 Pinot Noir, Yorkville Highlands, California
    Rideau Vineyards 2004 Chateau Duplantier, Santa Barbara County

    Best Rosé

    Toad Hollow 2006, Sonoma

    Cum Laude:
    Hendry 2006, Napa Valley
    Bruticao Cellars 2006, Mendocino

    Best Sparkling Wine

    Roederer Estate 2000 “L’Ermitage,” Anderson Valley

    Cum Laude:
    Domaine Carneros 2000 “Le Reve,” Napa Valley
    Shady Lane Winery 2005 Riesling, Leelanua Peninsula, Michigan

    Best Of Show (Red)

    De La Montanya Winery 2005 Pinot Noir, Christine’s Vineyard, Russian River Valley

    Cum Laude:
    Justin Vineyards & Winery 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon “Isosceles,” Paso Robles
    Navarro Vineyards 2004 Pinot Noir “Deep-End Blend,” Anderson Valley

    Best Of Show (White)

    Sanford Winery 2005 Chardonnay, Santa Barbara, California

    Cum Laude:
    Dry Creek Vineyards 2005 “DCV3,”
    Tablas Creek 2005 “Espirt de Beaucastel Blanc,” Paso Robles

    The winners were chosen by secret ballot from among 1,000 American wines.

    According to event Chairperson Elliott Mackey, The Wine Literary Award is a standout in the industry for the regional breadth of its showcased wines. “Wine tastings tend to organize themselves by district, for obvious marketing-related reasons. The Wine Literary Award tasting isn’t restricted by the same motives. Here you will find a Riesling from Lake Michigan Shore sitting side by side one from Paso Robles. Here you see the extent of what the country has to offer.”

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  • General Information

    The Wine Literary Award is one of the most unique and exciting events in the wine industry. It is designed to provide wine journalists with a comprehensive tasting of American wines, give winery personnel an opportunity to show support for wine writers and to recognize one of the world’s best wine authors for his or her contribution to the literature of wine.

    The Wine Literary Award is presented in two parts. The daytime Press Wine Tasting is open only to wine journalists. Wine writers from around the world come to this event to experience a professional, comprehensive tasting of 1000 American wines. The buzz with wine writers is that the WLA is the most enjoyable and productive tasting of the year (if you know one, ask them. If you are one, you probably already know). The participants of the Press Tasting are also treated to a “Tour Through the Kitchen” lunch buffet, prepared by the students at the California Culinary Academy.

    Wineries: to make sure your wines are included in the press tasting, click on the following link to Winery Information and Registration.
    Journalists: click the following link to Request Press Pass.

    The black-tie Evening Award Banquet begins with a Grand Tasting of 1000 American wines. The price of one ticket, $195.00, includes unlimited tasting of these wines, an hors d’oeuvres buffet and a multi-course dinner prepared by the students and chefs at the CCA. Participation in this gala also witness one of the world's most esteemed wine book authors receive recognition for his or her literary contribution. Click on the following link to purchase banquet tickets for WLA Grand Tasting & Banquet.

    For additional information please contact Bryan Imelli at (800) 231-9463 ext. 22, or e-mail

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