97-Craig Kritzer of Frogtown Cellars in Georgia is still under the radar, for now. But this Georgia winery continually competes in wine competitions against California wines…and wins. Helping to place Georgia on the wine map for dry red and white wines, Kritzer takes this a step further and is one of the few Georgia wineries to not blend some percentage of California grapes, juice or concentrate, with his wine, a common practice in Georgia. This keeps his consumers drinking 100% Georgia wine, and keeps them coming back.
96-Abe Schroner used to teach college students ancient philosophy. But after an internship at Luna Vineyards in Napa he started The Scholium Project, a winery rooted in the philosophical belief that only by experimenting with wine at the precipice of disaster can one challenge our understanding of what wine should be. Part Nutty Professor, part wine renegade (in the truest sense) Schroner is not constrained by orthodoxy nor a “bottom line,” rather Schoener, explores the furthest reaches of wine's microbiological potential, and comes up with both successes and failures. But he attempts the new, and in that he affects change. (He's making wine at Red Hook Winery as well)
89-Tony Kooyumjian of Augusta Winery in Georgia understands the history of his region– the people, the places, the wineries that preceded his. He had a major role in having Augusta declared the very first AVA in 1980. He has won the Governor’s Cup and he operates Montelle Winery as well. As a champion of Norton, hybrids and other unique mid-west wines he has pushed the acceptability for these wines to a broader American public
88-Kris Kane of 21 Brix is working with dozens of varieties including, Cayuga, Blaufrankish and virtually unknown Noiret and his wines are available nationally through Olde Chautauqua Farms. Kris makes stylish, dry, Vinifera wines in the Lake Erie region where winemakers have historically left aggressive residual sugar in the wines for their regional consumers, which also made them unappealing to the wine trade and general public. That tide had turned. If and when Lake Erie is on the map, it will be because of him.
71-Stephen Bernard is the winemaker for Keswick Vineyards in Virginia, helping to shape the full potential of the Virginia wine culture. He started working in the wine industry at the oldest winery in South Africa and joined Keswick Vineyards as an intern and held that position until 2004 when he took the position of Winemaker at Rappahannock Cellars, but two years later returned to Keswick Vineyards as the Winemaker and General Manager. Keswick is one of the few wineries that ferments most of its wines without the addition of yeast and does not fine or filter any of their reds.
52-Fred Frank manages Dr. Konstantin Frank in the Finger Lakes region in New York. As Konstantin's grandson, Fred Frank, has expanded the business tenfold and Dr. Frank wines are now distributed in 36 states and internationally. Earning 79 gold medals in 2012, their wines, specifically Riesling, have earned the reputation as world class. Wine Enthusiast nominated the winery American Winery of the Year, and the winery is one of the Finger Lakes’ Most Award-Winning Wineries raising the bar for American Riesling.