Roger Dial and the Convergence of Wine & Substance
Appellation America's founder has left the on-line publication. And it doesn't really matter why.
What matters is that the North American wine industry's most committed and dedicated voice for wine diversity in this hemisphere will no longer set the tone for the only substantial publishing vehicle dedicated to wine diversity in this hemisphere. It feels a little wrong.
A few years ago I was asked to come on board and help with the company's communications and public relations efforts. I thought about it, cleared my throat, and said, "ok!!". The decision took that long.
I don't know if Appellation America is currently the most substance driven wine publication on the Internet. But I think it is. And this little gift of substance to wine lovers and the North American wine industry is due entirely to Dial's vision. Consider the expertise he brought to the publication's editorial side: Berger, Goldfarb, Aspler, Daniel, Ensrud, Heald, Smith, Thompson, Colman, Elkjer, Danehower, Greggut, Murphy, etc, etc. You don't create a staff of writers like this in order to guarantee a continuous flow of content. You create this kind of staff to guarantee substance and authority. And that's exactly what happened under Dial's tenure.
Not too long ago I point readers to a two part essay penned by Dial that at the time I called "Required Reading". It remains such for anyone who works in the wine industry and anyone with a substantial interest in the future of the North American Wine Culture.
My hope is that Appellation America makes a Gazillion Dollars by continuing the editorial direction set by Roger Dial.