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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
18 Oct 2011

We have exciting news. Ever mindful that our base is in Europe yet almost a third of our members and visitors are based in the US, and that our only American contributor, Linda Murphy, is extremely busy writing a book on American wine at the moment, we have recruited a very special new American columnist, 'the wine world's brightest cyberstar', no less, according to San Francisco magazine.

Alder Yarrow founded Vinography.com in 2004, wine blog pre-history, and has gone on to win more awards than any other wine blogger. I have long admired his work, which I find refreshing, thoughtful, objective and unusually literate. (Perhaps it helps that we both went to Oxford - Alder's stint being part of his Stanford degree.) As many of you know, Julia Harding MW, a Cambridge-educated refugee from the world of book editing, is particularly finicky about writing standards, and I was keenly aware that she would not tolerate sloppiness in any new recruit to Team Jancis, so Alder seemed ideal. I met him initially at the IPNC in Oregon in 2009. We then met at his office in San Francisco and have stayed in touch ever since. Having discussed and tasted wine with him, I have every reason to believe that our tastes in wine match pretty closely.

His brief is to write a provocative monthly column on what is currently preoccupying wine-loving Americans. His first article is a consideration of the effects of Robert Parker's ceding coverage of California wine to heir-apparent Antonio Galloni. This one is available free, but in future our new feature Alder on America will be for Purple pagers only.

Alder runs a design and strategy consulting firm in San Francisco by day and somehow finds the time to write about wine by night, even though he and his wife now have a young daughter. You can read more about Alder and Vinography here. Alder has been kind enough to have written, with American spelling, 'It's an honor to write for one of the world's most successful online wine publishing ventures and for Jancis, whom I deeply admire'. He is pictured here. I think it's a wine rack rather than a cupcake baking tray top right.

As someone who has been described as a media pioneer (actually shortlisted for a UK Media Pioneer of the Year award earlier this year), I see bloggers somewhat differently from some of my peers. I sincerely believe that the most important word in the term 'wine blogger' is the first one. I appreciate good writing and stimulating opinion wherever I find it and very much hope you will too.