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paul wagner

Paul Wagner

Submitted photo

Napa Valley College instructor Paul Wagner will be honored this year by the American Wine Society as the winner of its annual Award of Merit for 2018.

“Paul has been a great friend not only to our organization, but also to the wine industry,” said David Falcheck, executive director of the American Wine Society (AWS). “Working in the background as a marketing professional and an educator, Paul has influenced the way the public drinks wine and thinks about wine. His passion and work has aligned with the AWS mission to promote wine appreciation through education.”

Other recipients of the award include Robert Mondavi, Gina Gallo, Warren Winiarski, and UC Davis professor Maynard Amerine.

“It’s really lovely that they have done this,” said Wagner, who will attend the organization’s national conference in November to accept the award.

“I have great respect for John Hames, who recently retired as the executive director of the AWS, and I am delighted that he is being honored with the Member of the Year Award at this same conference. And I have loved the many sessions at that national conferences that I have taught. The members are so appreciative and energized. I think I get more from them than they ever get from me.”

Wagner recently retired from running Balzac Communications of Napa, but continues to teach about wine – in Barcelona at the WinTour Wine Tourism MBA program in July and October, leading a wine cruise and tour through Bordeaux this spring, and teaching at NVC.

His schedule this year has included joining the U.S. tour of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, giving the keynote address at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, judging the California State Fair Wine Competition, and giving lectures at Fresno State University and for the Cambridge University Executive MBA program.

Wagner will teach the Wines of Germany class this spring at NVC, and in the fall he will return to teach Wine Marketing and Sales, and A Cultural Appreciation of Wine.

In addition, Wagner said he will publish two new books this year: "Artisan Public Relations" from Board and Bench Publishing, and "Wine Sales and Distribution" from Rowman and Littlefield. The latter was written with co-authors John Crotts of the College of Charleston, and Byron Marlowe of Washington State University. And the third edition of Wagner’s "Wine Marketing & Sales" will also be published this year by Board and Bench.

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