Dave Stoneberg’s excellent column on Dec. 9, “Star/NVV tasting panel is a wonderful collaboration,” captured the early formation of the panel, and gave some insight into how it became the nationally-recognized newspaper feature it is today.
However, he downplayed one key ingredient that has made the panel so successful for so many years: Dave Stoneberg.
The panel could not have reached its current place in the history of wine journalism without Dave’s enthusiasm and dedication.
In the Star newsroom, I remember his elation whenever he landed a particularly prominent vintner or grower to attend and participate in the panel. And I remember how respectfully he treated all of the tasters – with gratitude and recognition for their donation of time.
His determination to make the tastings exciting to the panelists while also producing interesting articles for the wine-consuming public resulted in something unique in the media: News that teaches us all something new about the Napa Valley’s primary industry.
I commend Dave for bringing stature to the Star’s wine coverage, and I applaud Napa Valley’s wine community and Napa Valley Publishing for contributing to this decade-long adventure.
Editor’s note: Ernst was the editor and publisher of the St. Helena Star and The Weekly Calistogan for many years.