ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – It took years for the gurus at Robert Parker to discover Swiss wines, but when they did, in the form of David Schildknecht, the result was gratifying, with several wines noted very highly. Schildknecht’s departure, announced today, could worry those who fear that the higher Swiss profile in the Parker universe will now evaporate.
He’s been replaced by Stephan Reinhardt, who at least has some Swiss ties, even if his specialty is German wine. Reinhardt was, for 1.5 years until this February, the German editor of Zurich-based Vinum European wine magazine. The Swiss edition is edited by Thomas Vaterlaus, with the French version edited by Alexandre Truffer.
Reinhardt is 47, young by Parker team standards, and he has a strong wine writing and editorial background, mainly covering German wines, which is Schildknecht’s area of expertise. He started as a wine writer by translating Oz Clarke’s Encyclopedia of Wine into German.
The Parker press release notes that:
“Most recently, he penned The Finest Wines of Germany, which was quickly shortlisted as “Best International Wine Book of Year” by the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Award. He also co-authored Wein spricht deutsch, a 720-page monster book on the wines of Germany, Austria, Alsace, Alto Adige and Switzerland. Reinhardt was editor-in-chief of Vinum, a 10-issue magazine distributed in Zurich/Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, and Weinwisser, a Swiss/German wine newsletter.”
It sounds like there are passions shared by many in Switzerland that could tempt him to amplify on Schildknecht’s work: “Reinhardt is passionate about Riesling, Port and Pinot Noir, loves music (especially jazz), travel and soccer. He lives with his family near Hamburg, Germany.”
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