Wine Enthusiast’s 18th Annual Wine Star Award Nominees

Monday, 11 September, 2017
Wine Enthusiast
Wine Enthusiast announces the exceptional individuals and companies across 16 categories nominated for its prestigious 2017 Wine Star Awards.

Each year, Wine Enthusiast honors the individuals and companies that made outstanding achievements over the past year in the wine and alcoholic beverage world. Below are the nominees in 16 categories for the 18th Annual Wine Star Awards. The winners will be announced in the Wine Enthusiast’s special “Best of Year” issue, and they will be honored at a black-tie gala in Miami on Monday, January 29, 2018.

Explore the 2017 Wine Star Award Nominees

Person of the Year | Lifetime Achievement

American Wine Pioneer | Winemaker Executive

Sommelier/Wine Director | Retailer | Innovator

American Winery | European Winery | New World Winery

Wine Region | Importer | Spirit Brand

Mixologist | Brewery

Innovator of the Year

Bruce Hunter

The tireless Hunter turned Shaw-Ross International Importers into a global force for world-class products with the launch of their premium wine division, The Lineage Collection. Among other triumphs, managing director Hunter expects blockbuster brand Whispering Angel Rosé to sell more than 300,000 cases this year, up 33 percent from last year.

Ed King

The CEO and co-founder of King Estates comes by his entrepreneurial spirit naturally. In the early 1980s, while he worked at his father’s King Radio, he developed a microprocessor-based tuning system that the U.S. Armed Services, FBI and police departments still use today. With a penchant for business development, real estate and investing, he currently manages the daily winery activities. He was also instrumental in the negotiation of King Estates’ Next wine deal with Amazon.

Jenny Lefcourt

One of the few female importers in the U.S., Lefcourt has managed to always stay at least one sip ahead. She founded and is now sole owner of Jenny & François Selections, one of the first importers of natural wines. Her unwavering promotion of those wines for the last 17 years, when natural wine was virtually unknown to consumers and of minimal interest to buyers, has helped put the category on the map.

Mike Ratcliffe

The managing director of Warwick Estates in Stellenbosch, Ratcliffe represents the third generation of the family operation. He has played an important role in the producer’s approach to innovation, including social media, and is also considered the marketing guru behind Vilafonté, the first American-South African joint winemaking venture. In 2014, Ratcliffe organized and launched South Africa’s annual Cape Wine Auction event, with all proceeds benefitting more than a dozen charities.

Paul-Charles Ricard

Legacy is a hallmark of the Ricard family. Grandson of Paul Ricard, the creator of the eponymous brand of French pastis which later became a beverage empire, Paul-Charles joined Pernod Ricard in 2008 as an internal auditor before rising through the ranks and being appointed marketing manager for such exquisite Champagnes as G.H. Mumm and Perrier-Jouët. A dedicated patron of the arts, Ricard remains the permanent representative of Société Paul Ricard on the board of directors of Pernod Ricard SA, France’s leading spirit company. Celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2017, Ricard continues to help carry his family’s company and storied legacy into the future.

To read more online, click here.

Thomas Davidson

Thomas joined in May 2019 after graduating from Stellenbosch University with a BA in History & Ancient Cultures and completing a certificate in Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School in Stellenbosch. He moonlights as a radio presenter at MFM - and has an incredible passion for wine. 
We are delighted to have him on the team.
Wine Enthusias Wine Star Awards
Wine Enthusias Wine Star Awards

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