Roundup of Tributes to Joe Dressner


When Joe Dressner first learned we were starting the Organic Wine Journal he came up to me at a wine event and told me what a horrible idea he thought it was. He was never shy about telling you what he thought. Here are some tributes by those who knew him well.

Lyle Fass – I\’ll Miss You Joe Dressner

Having worked at CSW twice, traveled to France with him, and drank more of his wines than I will ever remember, I can say Joe Dressner had one of the most positive impacts on my life of anybody in the world of wine or in the world, period . He was uncompromising, brilliant, one of the funniest people I will ever know, kind, sweet and took no prisoners.

Alice Feiring – Joe

For all of Joe\’s rants, at me included, for all of his humor, which doesn\’t seem like that, for all of his sticking his nose into a riesling tasting and shouting out, \”So does anyine here NOT deacidify?\” for all the people who won\’t speak to him, who have been attacked by him, me included, the other part of Joe was the man who provoked love, loyalty and devotion.

New York Times – Joe Dressner, an Importer With No Use For Pretense

But that was Joe, in part: blunt, acerbic, uncompromising and provocative, and not necessarily in control of his ridicule. Yet Joe was also principled, honest, articulate, outrageously funny, and man, did he know wine.

How did Joe know wine? To my knowledge, he never went to a class to learn how to deconstruct a wine into esoteric aromas and flavors. I never saw him try to identify a wine blind, as if that were ever a sign of useful knowledge. He had no formal training. He simply drank a lot of wine. With time he learned to distinguish between what he liked and what he didn’t, and he was sufficiently curious and resolute to work out the reasons for those differences.

SF Gate – A tribute to Joe Dressner, Wine Importer and Provocateur

To simply call Joe an importer misses the point, of course. He was a tireless defender of honest, simply made bottles — which made him a vicious critic of what he termed “spoofulated” wines, and those who trafficked in them.

Saigne̩ РThe Muscadet Merchant

Picking up a bottle of wine, turning it over and seeing a Louis/Dressner label is reassuring not because of the back label, but because once you turn the bottle back around you know there are real people behind that label because Joe, Kevin McKenna and Denyse Louis had met them, had talked to them, had seen the vineyards, had seen the work, had drank the wine.


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