We may never have looked forward to a new year as much as we do to 2021, but before we close the book on 2020, Wine Spectator‘s editors would like to remember the wine and restaurant industry pioneers, standard-bearers and loved ones we lost this year, some of them to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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We lost some true titans of the wine industry in 2020, including Beaujolais icon Georges Duboeuf and three Wine Spectator Distinguished Service Award winners: Oregon vintner Ken Evenstad, Christie’s auction house legend Michael Broadbent and international producer and distributor Tony Terlato. And the pandemic has taken beloved vintners and chefs too soon as well, including Anderson Valley winemaking pioneer Milla Handley, Spanish wine innovator Carlos Falcó and chef Floyd Cardoz. We’ll fondly remember these members of our community that we lost in 2020.
The father of modern wine auctions and longtime head of Christie’s wine department inspired a love for rare, old wines with his lifetime of tasting notes.
One of the original hosts of Napa Valley, the co-founder of Cakebread Cellars was known for her hospitality and food and wine pairings.
The 59-year-old chef, a victim of COVID-19, brought the Indian flavors of his childhood to fine dining at Tabla, Bombay Bread Bar and other restaurants.
The Beaujolais Nouveau legend first sold wine by bicycle; his discerning palate and knack for marketing built a wine empire that introduced millions to Beaujolais.
The owner of Pomerol’s Château L’Église Clinet revitalized his family’s estate with his dedication and intelligent attention to detail.
After building his fortune in pharmaceuticals, Evenstad and his wife, Grace, founded Domaine Serene, one of Willamette Valley’s most prominent wineries.
Aristocrat, engineer and entrepreneur, the Marqués de Griñón was a leader in Spanish wine and olive oil.
Anderson Valley pioneer and Handley Cellars founder was a leader for women in wine and a champion for her Mendocino home.
The pioneering chef and restaurateur forged a new path through his cuisine, with ripple effects still felt in dining rooms today.
Quiet, confident Volnay winemaker produced elegant Pinot Noirs from old vines.
Legendary restaurateur and ringmaster behind Le Cirque was a maître d’ to the stars.
Beloved 49-year-old Australian winemaker swam against the current, making low-intervention wines and becoming a cult icon to the natural wine movement.
Lucie ‘Lulu’ Peyraud
Matriarch of France’s Domaine Tempier helped put Bandol on the wine map; her Provençal cooking inspired Alice Waters.
As head of a vintners’ cooperative and later as founder of his family winery, Planeta brought new ideas and boundless energy to Sicilian wine.
The strikeout king known as Tom Terrific spent his retirement years farming Cabernet Sauvignon on Napa’s Diamond Mountain.
California sparkling wine pioneer founded Iron Horse Vineyards and positioned his winery among California’s top sparkling wine houses.
From working in his dad’s retail store to building a leading wine distribution and import firm to producing wines in four countries, the U.S. wine giant focused on bringing quality to consumers.
The 51-year-old Barbaresco native was driving force behind his family’s Cantina del Pino winery.
As a young farmer, Voge began bottling his own wines and cultivating his Cornas and St.-Péray vineyards at a time when development threatened the hillside vines.