Editor & Publisher, a national magazine covering the newspaper industry, has awarded an honorable mention to the St. Helena Star for the wine tasting panel it coordinates with the Napa Valley Vintners.
The award is part of the magazine’s annual competition titled, “10 Newspapers That Do It Right.” As part of that competition, 10 top winners and 10 honorable mention awards were handed out. In announcing the awards, Managing Editor Nu Yang wrote, “When we put out the call for nominations, we were essentially asking for newspapers to send us their biggest and brightest ideas. Ideas that increased revenue. Ideas that helped gain subscriptions. Ideas that helped bring communities together. Ideas that got people talking. And newspapers around the world delivered.”
She added, “A trend we noticed this year was the amount of papers submitting ideas centered on community engagement – whether it was talking and listening to your readers at city forums or hosting events focused on issues like race, economics and religion. The best part is that your readers were showing up, meaning they do want to meet you and they do want to engage with you.”
Yang said the competition has been held for at least 10 years and more than 70 newspapers submitted entries. The entries were judged by the E&P editorial staff.
Except for the St. Helena Star, all 20 newspapers honored, from the Akron Beacon Journal in Akron, Ohio to the Today’s News-Herald in Lake Havasu City, Arizona are daily newspapers.
The St. Helena Star/Napa Valley Vintners tasting panel is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, having been started by David Stoneberg of the Star and Terry Hall of the Napa Valley Vintners in October 2007. The tasting panel always has been held at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, located in St. Helena. The tasting panel is made up of 20 to 25 winemakers and other wine professionals, who meet monthly to taste and rank two dozen wines, all from the Napa Valley. All wines are tasted blind. Their rankings and a discussion of the wines afterward form the basis of the stories, written by Catherine Bugue, that appear in the Star, the Napa Valley Register and The Weekly Calistogan.
Currently coordinating the panel are David Stoneberg, editor of the St. Helena Star, Cate Conniff, communications manager for the Napa Valley Vintners, Patsy McGaughy, the Vintners’ marketing director, and Catherine Bugue, co-founder of the Napa Valley Wine Academy.
Sean Scully, director of news content for Napa Valley Publishing, said, “Dave and his team have done a great job on the tasting panel over the years. It has evolved into an unparalleled showcase for Napa County wines and the people who make it, drink it, and love it.” Scully is also editor of the Napa Valley Register.
McGaughy added, “We’re honored to be recognized for working with the St. Helena Star for nearly 10 years to create this unique forum. Winemakers and other wine professionals come together to taste and share their perspective on the individual wines, winemaking styles and the special attributes of Napa Valley. For the winemakers, it advances their commitment to wine quality to analyze and discuss what their peers are doing. For Star readers, the articles that follow each tasting give an insider’s perspective to the given topic.”