Meet Craig Kritzer

July 24th, 2018 By Michael Cervin

There is currently a raging debate as to the validity of what an “influencer” is. Who are the most influential wine people in the United States, and how exactly do you define ‘influential?’ Does an influential mean a person who moves markets, impacts consumers, inspires winemakers, forms policy, creates debate and helps change the industry itself?

Yes. We are not trying to suggest who is “good” or “bad” within America’s wine industry, merely the Top 100 people, from winemakers to law makers, bankers to bloggers, and sommeliers to celebrities who influence wine; how it is made, marketed, perceived, sold, shipped, purchased, shared and consumed.

A 2017 Nielsen report found that 42% of millennials use social media to post photos of what they’re drinking, and 45% are influenced by social media when choosing what they drink – therefore “influence” is a moving target.

We sought help to assemble this list from a diverse group of people in the wine community and we are grateful for their input. This list is meant to honor winemakers, wine drinkers and wine lovers of every conceivable demographic.

89-Craig Kritzer of Frogtown Cellars in the state of Georgia continues to advance that states’ recognition by winning medals at major wine Competitions for his 100% grown, produced and bottled wines from Georgia. Going against the grain Kritzer utilizes only Georgia fruit, while other producers allow more California grapes in their wines, therefore Frogtown truly showcases its terroir. Additionally, Kritzer has expanded his influence by purchasing substantial plots of acreage in Paso Robles in California, making him unique among American winemakers by having multiple AVAs and state designated wines.

July 19th, 2013 By Michael Cervin

Ah the ubiquitous list. Everywhere you turn these days there is a top 10, the best 50, or some iteration of a who’s who list.

So we can’t resist, besides, our Top 100 Most Influential Wine Industry list scored a lot of buzz, created a lot of chatter and even made a few enemies. This list is all about winemakers, those currently making wine here in America – not the great ones who have come before, but folks who make wines you can find now.

There are some 7,000 bonded wineries in the U.S., and there’s a lot of forgettable wine being made. And in a world of homogenization of wine styles and a sense that our domestic wine industry is not legitimate without a French or Italian flare, we desire to promote regional flavor profiles of all American wine craftspeople.

There are names here you’ll know and recognize, and names you never heard of, but everyone on this list is influencing the public, fellow winemakers and the media in large and small ways.

97-Craig Kritzer of Frogtown Cellars in Georgia is still under the radar, for now. But this Georgia winery continually competes in wine competitions against California wines…and wins. Helping to place Georgia on the wine map for dry red and white wines, Kritzer takes this a step further and is one of the few Georgia wineries to not blend some percentage of California grapes, juice or concentrate, with his wine, a common practice in Georgia. This keeps his consumers drinking 100% Georgia wine, and keeps them coming back.