San Francisco Chronicle wine critic Esther Mobley was named feature wine writer of the year Thursday in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards, a prestigious international competition.
Mobley was recognized for her body of work in 2018, which included “Battle for Napa Valley’s future,” an insightful look at the 50th anniversary of the Napa Valley Agricultural Preserve and the controversial 2018 ballot measure, Measure C, that sought to limit new vineyard plantings.
In reporting the story, Mobley found Napa Valley bitterly divided over the measure. She went on to detail in the article how “Measure C, and the oak trees it aims to protect, epitomize a battle over what Napa Valley has become and what it should be.”
“The great wine country of California has met its match in Esther Mobley, who has in a few short years become not only the go-to expert on the region’s industry and its world-renowned wines. She’s also the chronicler of a way of life, found in the stories of the winemakers, and the histories of the vineyards and their future under climate change,” said Kitty Morgan, deputy managing editor of The Chronicle. “It’s her amazing range — whether she takes up pop culture trends or the serious business of cult wines — that sets her apart.”
The Roederer awards — named after famed French wine producer Louis Roederer — is arguably the most prestigious writing award for wine journalists outside of an award from the James Beard Foundation.
“This award doesn’t just recognize my individual work — it also reflects The Chronicle’s amazing, ongoing commitment to wine coverage,” Mobley said. “I’m lucky to be the only wine critic at a daily newspaper on the West Coast, and we’re uniquely positioned to tell the story of California wine.”
Mobley joined The Chronicle in 2015 to cover the state’s wine, beer and spirits. She previously was an assistant editor at Wine Spectator magazine in New York.
Justin Phillips is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @JustMrPhillips
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