Home Industry News Releases Paul Wagner Wins 2018 Award of Merit from The American Wine Society

Paul Wagner Wins 2018 Award of Merit from The American Wine Society


Founder of Balzac Communications & Marketing Recognized as a Leader in the Wine Industry

April 16, 2018 (Napa, CA) – Paul Wagner, Founder of Balzac Communications & Marketing, noted author, wine radio show cohost (Bottle Talk with Rick & Paul), and Napa Valley College professor has been awarded the prestigious 2018 Award of Merit from the American Wine Society.

David Falchek, executive director of the American Wine Society (AWS) commented “Paul has been a great friend not only to our organization, but also to the wine industry. Working in the background as a marketing professional and an educator, Paul has influenced the way the public drinks wine and thinks about wine. His passion and work has aligned with the AWS mission to promote wine appreciation through education.”

“It’s really lovely that they have done this,” said Wagner, who will attend the organization’s national conference in November to accept the award.

“I have great respect for John Hames, who recently retired as the executive director of the AWS, and I am delighted that he is being honored with the Member of the Year Award at this same conference. And I have loved the many sessions at that national conferences that I have taught. The members are so appreciative and energized. I think I get more from them than they ever get from me.”

“Paul has been my mentor and has provided me with the insight and wisdom to lead Balzac for the next 25 years,” states Michael Wangbickler, President. “In my 14 years at Balzac, I’ve had the pleasure to learn, grow and mature under Paul’s tutelage and guidance – I couldn’t be more thankful and am so proud to learn of Paul winning this award.”

Wagner, who recently retired from running Balzac, continues to teach about wine – in Barcelona at the WinTour Wine Tourism MBA program in July and October, leading a wine cruise and tour through Bordeaux this spring, and teaching at Napa Valley College.

His schedule this year has included joining the U.S. tour of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, giving the keynote address at the Vancouver International Wine Festival, judging the California State Fair Wine Competition, and giving lectures at Fresno State University and for the Cambridge University Executive MBA program.

Wagner will teach the Wines of Germany class this spring at Napa Valley College, and in the fall, he will return to teach Wine Marketing and Sales and A Cultural Appreciation of Wine.

In addition, Wagner will publish two new books this year: “Artisan Public Relations” from Board and Bench Publishing, and “Wine Sales and Distribution” from Rowman and Littlefield. The latter was written with co-authors John Crotts of the College of Charleston, and Byron Marlowe of Washington State University. And the third edition of Wagner’s “Wine Marketing & Sales” will also be published this year by Board and Bench.

About American Wine Society – www.americanwinesociety.org

The American Wine Society (AWS) is a consumer organization that appreciates, celebrates, and shares knowledge about wine. With a membership base of over 8,000 people, they host local wine tastings in 180 chapters across the United States. This year, the AWS celebrates its 50th Anniversary and is the largest consumer-based wine education organization in North America. Membership is open to anyone aged 21 and over who is interested in learning about wine.

About Balzac Communications & Marketing

Founded in 1991, Balzac Communications & Marketing is a marketing communications agency with a no-nonsense approach to combining the strategies and tactics of marketing, public relations, event management, digital marketing, advertising, and creative services to assist the business goals of its clients. The experience, creativity, and determination of the staff distinguish Balzac from their competition. They use these assets to develop and execute cost-effective campaigns which have won international communications awards. The agency is in Napa, California, and provides services to companies and organizations throughout the world. www.balzac.com 

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