Richard Cartiere


I can not begin to explain how angry, upset and bitter I’m made by the news that Richard Cartiere has died. At 51, Rich was among the top true wine journalists in America, and a friend who never failed in always being honest, forthright, and filled with conviction.

I didn’t know of his condition. He never mentioned it in our regular and many conversations. I spoke with him only a few days ago about playing Golf and promising not to laugh at each other.

Rich was guy who never let me get away with anything. I’ll never forget calling him years ago to pitch a story idea for his Wine Market Report newsletter and his response: "Tom, for God sake please tell me you can do better than that. Now try again and get it right this time because the story you are trying to pitch is a great one, but you should really do it justice."

Rich made me think, smile, and laugh and made me better at what I do.

And I’m so pissed he’s gone I can barely control my anger. It’s beyond unfair and my reaction suggests I’m entirely unsuited to growing older because I have no patience for its consequences.

Rich was so good at breaking news and identifying substantial trends in the wine industry. By every measure he was outstanding at what he did. And to boot he had a rare integrity. At one point in our relationship Rich found himself in a position where he was forced to write a story in a trade publication that would end up making me look like shit in front of the entire industry. He was not in control of the situation but was nonetheless obligated to participate in it. He called me and told me, "Tom I’m about to screw you and there’s nothing I or you can do about it so be prepared!" The person who should have made that call had no intention of warning me. And Rich had no obligation to do so. But he did.

Rich made my participation in the wine industry much more satisfying and knowing him and spending time talking with him as we did regularly made my world far more interesting and satisfying.

This news of his death just wrong, in every way.  I’m terribly sorry for his partner Richard and all his friends. 

Posted In: Personal, Wine Media


17 Responses

  1. Smoke Wallin - June 4, 2008

    I share your sentiments. Rich was great at what he loved to do. He will be missed.

  2. Tom Wark - June 4, 2008

    Truly missed!!

  3. Marcel van Stuijvenberg - June 4, 2008

    Many in the wine business will have the same sentiment. Rich had an amazing memory. He did remember a minor detail on a conversation had 10 years earlier after some good wine. A very forthright person indeed. Missing him and his astute writing.

  4. Arthur Przebinda - June 4, 2008

    My condolences to Richard’s family and friends.

  5. Greg Walter - June 4, 2008

    Boy do I share your grief and shock. I worked with Rich for years, years ago and while we were not in close or frequent touch, I always followed his work in the Wine Market Report. I had no idea of the severity of his condition. He was unique in the sense that he was a true reporter in an industry of wine writers and his bedrock, journalistic approach is going to be missed.

  6. Steve Heimoff - June 4, 2008

    I didn’t know about Rich until reading your post. I worked alongside Rich for the first iteration of Wine Business Monthly, where he edited me. He was a great editor and reporter, and always an absolute gentleman. I’ll lift a glass to him this evening.

  7. Tom Ferrell - June 5, 2008

    I am so sorry to hear about Rich. Despite elaborate measures to ensure confidentiality, he sniffed out at least two acquisitions in which I have been involved. Annoying at first, I grew to admire and respect his diligence, tenacity and his sense of humor. Though most of our conversations involved denials over the phone on my part, I could sense goodwill, respect, and a smile on the other end of the telephone line. In our last conversation there was laughter at both ends. He stood alone as an independent and trusted reporter in wine journalism.

  8. Rusty Eddy - June 5, 2008

    When I last talked with Rich a couple of months ago our conversation ranged from winery acquisitions (a staple of a chat with Rich), to communicating with dogs, to gay marriage. He was always informed and passionate about every topic, not matter how obscure, the mark of a good journalist and reporter. I’ll remember him with a beer and a spicy tuna roll at our favorite sushi place.

  9. tom merle - June 5, 2008

    I wrote a brief appreciation of this fine human being who was Rich Cartiere over on the OWC site. But I’d like to mention here another skill he possessed: moderating group discussions. How many journalists posssess this ability which Rich had in spades. I marveled at this facility when I observed how Rich ran the Wine Vision meetings. Wine Vision petered out in spite of Rich’s contribution to the dialogue; or maybe because Rich couldn’t perform his duties in the last year or so…

  10. Liz Thach - June 5, 2008

    Thanks for your sentiments. Rich was one of the first people to welcome me to Sonoma when I arrived 8 years ago. He provided advice; he gave support; and I have enjoyed reading his Report for years. He will truly be missed! What an inspiring wine journalist. Liz

  11. St. Vini - June 6, 2008

    Sometimes, sadly, its only when someone is gone that you really recognize how amazing they were. I think I came to expect high-quality wine news in my inbox from Rich because, well, that’s what he did – week in and week out. Thinking now about how much we’ll miss him, I realize what a void he leaves….

  12. denise gansmann - November 10, 2008

    Rick was my brother if anyone needs to contact me..please do so…i dont think anyone in the family was notified of his death…i am devastated…[email protected]

  13. denise gansmann - November 10, 2008

    Im Rick Cartiere’s sister please someone contact me concerning which hospital rick passed away at so we can obtain the ashes.
    [email protected]

  14. Denise Gansmann/cartiere - November 12, 2008

    My brother was a wonderful strong motivated man…thankyou for all the beautiful comments on here..he came from a very dyfunctional family with many hardships and challenges. His Father was absent from his life since early youth and with no financial help from the family he was still able to go to state University and rise up into the great writter and business man that he was..Richard was a leader since elementary school and president of his classes..I remember my brother helping me get one of my first jobs.. and how he always seem to bring things and people together. Our relationship was distant and strained at times..I think from all the hurt and closing down emotionally that happened in the family. I did talk to him on the phone i believe it was a month before he died ..he make no mention of him being sick – rich never let anyone feel sorry for him “he was too busy on to the next story or adventure in life.”
    He just loved San Francisco and the bay area he invited us down at times..I never saw him so happy than there…I want to acknowledge and thank his lifelong partner rich gilmore for being there for him all those years..
    I was not notified of his death by his friends or my family- I hold no blame just an encouraging note…leaving my email for any of his friends who might want to to leave a word or talk…sometime…love to hear from ya
    [email protected]

  15. d.gansmann - September 12, 2009

    see some of rich’s early writings from 1980’s and see his online memorial at

  16. The Iconoclast, The Reporter, and The Crusader—Wine Folks We Miss - Fermentation - January 24, 2014

    […] Report”. He broke news, he doggedly covered stories and he was as conscientious as they get. I was shocked when I learned he died of cancer. He was 51 at the time. He never told me he had this […]

  17. Denise Gansmann - June 29, 2017

    Update. Loved and not forgotton link to Richard cartierre find a grave.

Leave a Reply