The Culinary Institute of America just announced their 2013 inductees for the Vintners Hall of Fame, always an exciting day for wine makers, wine writers and wine lovers. This year, along with remarkable winemaker Meredith “Merry” Edwards and wine writer Frank Schoonmaker, two of the most discussed and argued about candidates finally get their due recognition, Robert Parker and Cesar Chavez.
Love his palate or completely disagree, Wine Advocate founder Robert Parker transformed the way people think about wine. One of the most influential critics in the business he boldly put small obscure wineries on the map, and unapologetically criticised a wine that he thought deserving.
The nomination of Cesar Chavez comes at an interesting time in the valley, when Napa is experiencing an abundant harvest but is lacking in workers to actually pick the grapes. Latino farm workers have been an integral part of California viticulture for the past 40 years, but were often not recognized for their skills or their efforts. As the recognized leader of Latino farmers Chavez worked to bring about the California Agricultural Labor Relations act, giving farm workers collective bargaining rights, giving value to their contribution to the winemaking process.
The induction ceremony is February 16 with proceeds going to help with scholarships for students attending the Professional Wine Studies program at CIA Greystone, and to support the Vintners Hall of Fame.