Antonio Galloni, lead critic of the Wine Advocate, is leaving the Robert Parker publication to start his own web venture, citing ‘a strong desire to return to my entrepreneurial roots’.
‘Steadfast’: Antonio Galloni
The wine reviewer, once touted as the ‘heir apparent’ to the Parker empire, told the New York Times that the move was also partly prompted by the sale of the Wine Advocate to a group of Asian investors, which resulted in Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW being appointed editor-in-chief.
With the launch of antoniogalloni.com, Galloni said he would continue to report on the wines of Italy, Champagne, California and Burgundy, while expanding to cover other regions.
Describing the site as a ‘multimedia, technology-driven platform’, Galloni highlighted his introduction of video coverage and public tastings at the Wine Advocate.
But he added: ‘At the same time, I felt a strong desire to return to my entrepreneurial roots, first established with Piedmont Report in 2004.’
He went on to say, in a scarcely-veiled dig at the new regime at the Wine Advocate: ‘www.antoniogalloni.com represents the values and standards that I have demanded of myself for my entire career, namely genuine independence and the steadfast belief in the importance of representing the interests of my readers.’
Galloni told the New York Times that the new site would be aimed at younger wine consumers, and would aim to provide a ‘continuous flow’ of information, rather than focusing on long articles and big tastings.
When he was recruited to the Advocate by Parker in 2006, he added, it was with an understanding that he would operate independently within the editorial team – but with the change of ownership and editorship, ‘it’s obviously clear that was going to change’.
Robert Parker sold a controlling stake in the Wine Advocate late last year to a group led by Soo Hoo Khoon Peng, a former director of local wine business Hermitage Wine, for a reported US$15m.
In December, Decanter.com reported that Soo Hoo still has close ties with Hermitage.
Although Parker insists that the headquarters of the business remains in Maryland, US, the magazine will in the future be run by Perrotti-Brown from offices in Singapore.
Decanter.com was unable to contact the Wine Advocate’s Maryland headquarters for comment.
Written by Richard Woodard