Joel Butler MW

Decanter World Wine Awards, The DWWA Judges Specials Specials

Joel Butler MW, judge on the DWWA Canada, Italy and Portugal panels in 2010

Joel Butler MW is a graduate of Stanford, Joel came back to Europe in 1972, beginning his 38-year career in the wine industry by visiting wine-producing regions and doing a harvest in Burgundy. In 1973, he entered the wine trade by working for a San Francisco retailer, before moving to a distributor/importer in the Bay area of the city. In the early 1990s, he worked as wine buyer for a restaurant/retail store. Butler started writing about wine professionally in 1977, for Vintage magazine. He has also written for Friends Of Wine, Los Angeles Times, The Sunday Times, The International Wine Cellar, and other publications. He began making wine (non-commercially) in 1980, producing award-winning wines at the California State Fair and Orange County Fair, and in 1990, became one of the first two Americans to pass the MW exam. He is now president of the Institute of Masters of Wine, North America, coordinates the annual North American seminar program and also is an instructor for the WSET. Most recently, he was director of education at Ste Michelle Wine Estates in Washington, and continues to consult.

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