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Short and simple: I have a new job



At 6:30 a.m. Pacific time today, this announcement went out from Jackson Family Wines:


 Veteran wine writer, blogger and critic will specialize in communications and education for family’s expanding portfolio

 Sonoma County, CA (MARCH 10, 2014) – Jackson Family Wines is pleased to announce the hiring of Steve Heimoff as Director, Wine Communications & Education.

 Heimoff’s responsibilities will include working with the company’s communications, PR, digital/social media and brand marketing teams in all aspects of content generation, consumer engagement and trade support.

 “I’m truly honored that Jackson Family Wines has entrusted me with this unique position,” Heimoff said. “I was a huge admirer of Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke, not only professionally for their tremendous accomplishments, but personally. Jackson Family Wines is, simply put, the most superb portfolio of high-end wineries in America and I’m thrilled to now work for the family business.”

Heimoff joins Jackson Family Wines after 22 years at Wine Enthusiast Magazine, most of them as California Editor. Previously, Heimoff wrote for Wine Spectator Magazine. Born in New York City, Heimoff moved to San Francisco in 1979 to attend graduate school and it was there that he discovered and nurtured his passion for wine.

 Heimoff has written two books for University of California Press: A Wine Journey along the Russian River, and New Classic Winemakers of California: Conversations with Steve Heimoff. In addition, his daily wine blog,, is one of the most widely read in the country.

* * *

After twenty-five years as a wine critic, I’m onto my next big adventure.

I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say in the coming days and weeks. Right now, the reality of my new tasks hasn’t really set in. One thing I do want to do is reassure my readers that I intend to keep this blog going five days a week, just as I have for nearly six years.

I fully understand the challenges inherent in this goal I set myself. And I expect my readers to say to me: Prove it. I’ll try and give it my level best. I love this blog–I love the interaction I have with so many of you who faithfully read it everyday, and occasionally take the time to comment–I have no intention of squandering the trust you invest in me. I will endeavor to keep an independent, interesting voice, just as I did all those years with Wine Enthusiast. I’m simply (and happily) changing employers; this blog abides.

Thank you.

  1. Dear Steve,

    It’s been an outstanding pleasure to have you on our Wine Enthusiast team for these past 22 years and I am thrilled that you have found such a wonderful new home at Jackson Family!

    You are without a doubt one of the most brilliant, knowledgeable and authoritative writers in the history of wine journalism and it have been an extreme pleasure to be associated with you.

    Your historical perspective for the wine business is one of a kind and your inquisitive mind always seems to get to the heart of every matter. I personally enjoyed reading your blog every day and now that you are a totally independent voice from Wine Enthusiast I feel even more comfortable commenting on the rich never ending prose from your prolific mind that appears almost daily at

    Steve, I hope you know we all really love you at Wine Enthusiast and wish you all the greatest happiness and fulfillment with your new exciting gig!

    Warmest Personal Regards,


  2. Gary Eberle says:

    WOW!!!! Lots of changes going on. Congrats, and I will continue to follow your Blog.


  3. Congrats Steve! Best of Luck and I hope to keep reading fun stuff here as well!

  4. Well done Steve. So many wonderful adventures await you at Jackson Family Wines. Enjoy and congratulations. I greatly look forward to reading about all the cutting edge work being done In their vineyards and wineries throughout the world.

  5. Congratulations Steve, and best of luck in your next chapter of life!

  6. Bob Henry says:

    Did April Fools Day come early? (I was looking for the subtle wink somewhere between the lines.)

    More seriously, Barbara Banke and Jackson Family Wines should be thrilled to have your services.

    Any “banked” columns in the pipeline waiting to be released?

  7. A hearty congratulations Steve. Wishing you much success.

  8. Regina M. Lutz says:

    You sly dog, you! What a wonderful opportunity for you….hope to see you wandering around over here in NV occasionally. I’m happy for you…and Gus!Congratulations!

  9. Janet Trefethen says:

    Steve –

    We will miss you at the Wine Enthusiast. On the other hand, what a great way to start a new chapter. We wish you enjoyment and success.

    Janet T.

  10. @visitawinery says:

    Well done my friend. You’ll be a great addition and will be missed on the “wino for hire” market.
    Don H

  11. Congrats, Steve! It sounds very exciting. Will you stay in Oakland or actually move to wine country?

    Glad the blog will continue. You will leave big shoes to fill at WE. Hope they are filled with someone as balanced and able to appreciate diverse styles and varieties of wine as you.

  12. Congratulations!
    So many fun changes for you and The Jackson Family Wines. Oregon is definitely part of that picture and we are hoping to get Barbara’s attention over here on the sunny side of the state!
    We have a fantastic vineyard, winery, vineyard estate home, and guest ranch development north of Bend that is getting alot of attention.

  13. Steve,
    Congratulations! That is a wonderful opportunity.
    Best of luck,

  14. Bill Smart says:

    Wow Adam – what a kind and gracious thing to say. That speaks volumes about not only the quality of Steve’s work but also what kind of employer WE is.

  15. All my best to you, Steve. I hope that our paths cross again soon. Cheers!

  16. Arianna Gilbert says:

    Congratulations Steve!

  17. Good move. Maybe sometime we can work on something together Women & Wine and Jackson Family Vineyards?


  18. I will be looking forward to your writing and communications, wherever they might appear. Congratulations! (And, say hello to John Maxwell for me.)

    Best wishes,

  19. Good luck Steve and best wishes!

  20. Change is good and exciting. Congratulations Steve!

  21. Congratulations, Steve. I’m guessing you wore a long-sleeve shirt for the interview …

  22. Congrats Mr. Heimoff! Best of luck in your new role. Thank you very much for being so kind and considerate to me when I’d reach out to sample you for WE!


  23. James Rego says:

    Sorry you are leaving WINE ENTHUSIAST! I just renewed my subscription for another two years, primarily, because you rate California wines. I find my palate very much in concert with your ratings. Good luck and God Bless!

  24. Congratulations . . . on your move to beautiful Sonoma County as Wine Communications & Education at Jackson Family Wines . . . and thank you for your endorsement of our Syrah.
    Gerry and Diane Pasterick

  25. Dear James Rego, thank you very much.

  26. Steve there is generally a 4-5 day lag from you posting to me reading, so sorry for the delay, but congrats all the same. Keep up the good work, for KJ, and your loyal readers.

  27. Mary Burnham says:

    Steve, I am late to this news, but wanted to pass along my sincere congratulations! So glad that you will keep blogging, too. Good luck at JFW. Your incredible knowledge and experience will be a huge asset to them, and is a big loss for WE. Adam’s gracious tribute was lovely to read.

  28. Congrats! Rick Tigner and the gang are lucky to have you! Cheers!

  29. Congratulations, Steve. Good luck!

  30. Steve, I don’t have your email address but maybe this will find you. There is a story that needs to be told about Tantara Winery that Jeff Fink and I started in 1997. Tantara Winery’s last vintage was 2011 (and I appreciate your kind comments). A Hungarian company (with connections in Panama and Switzerland), HVP USA is making wines under the name, Tantara Wines as the Tantara name could not be trademarked because of its closeness to two other similarly named wineries. I filed a lawsuit in March of 2014 but the legal process is moving at glacial speed. If you are interested in the story or can suggest someone who may be interested, I can be reached at


    Bill Cates


  1. Terroirist: A Daily Wine Blog » Daily Wine News: A Typical Story - […] Heimoff has left Wine Enthusiast to take a job with Jackson Family […]
  2. Rites of Spring « notes from the winemaker - […] Heimhoff suddenly announced that he is leaving Wine Enthusiast to go to work in PR for Jackson Family Wines.…

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