Alder Yarrow: works hard to create an alternative to the traditional sources and styles of wine journalism


Alder Yarrow is a writer and founder of one of the most influential wine blogs, Vinography.Com. His creation has been running since January 15th, 2004, as a personal project for the founder and editor. Currently, the site is a respected source for non-mainstream wine writing, and one of the most influential wine blogs on the Internet. Thanks to the wine and sake reviews, variety of podcasts, restaurant reviews, editorials, book reviews, wine news, and wine event coverage, Vinography publishes new content daily to a global readership. The site was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2013.

His journey started in late 2003, when Alder had became the guy from whom all his friends went to for advice on wines, wine restaurants, etc. Thinking that there had to be a better way of answering his friends’ repeated questions, Alder googled the phrase “wine blog” and couldn’t find one on any of the handful of pages that contained the words “wine” and “blog”. Later he did the same for the made-up word “vinography” and also got zero results. 

Alder was called “The Wine World’s Brightest Cyberstar” by San Francisco Magazine and he is widely recognized as a pioneer of wine blogging. He also regularly speaks and presents at wine events around the world such as Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood in Napa Valley, Flavor! Napa Valley, and the Aspen Food and Wine Classic. He has also shown up as a panelist and speaker for events and organizations, for instance Wine 2.0, The Commonwealth Club, and the Churchill Club.

Moreover, since November of 2011, Alder has been a columnist for Jancis Robinson on her website His “Alder on America” column focuses on current events, trends, and happenings in the world of American wine.

From time to time, he contributes to other publications such as the World of Wine, Club Oenologique, or Fine Cooking Magazine. Alder has long been a judge for the World of Fine Wine’s annual Global Restaurant Wine List awards, and occasionally judges other wine competitions around the world. He was also a judge for the James Beard Restaurant awards for many years. In 2013, Alder was inducted into the Wine Media Guild of New York’s Wine Writer’s Hall of Fame, an honor he shared with only 24 other living wine writers at the time.

An award-winning coffee table book of The Essence of Wine, written by Alder contains photographs and essays about the many flavors and aromas of wine. The book was called one of the best wine books of 2015 by the New York Times and won the coveted Chairman’s Prize at the 2015 Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards. Alder points out that “One of the things that led me into a passion for wine from an ordinary drinker was the incredible array of aromas and flavors that you find in wine that was magical to me, and still is to this day”

The Essence of Wine features breathtaking photographs by collaborator Leigh Beisch of 46 iconic wine notes — cherry, lime, honey, paraffin, among others — with alluring prose of the same element.

Additionally, Alder is the author of the Sonoma and Marin County chapter of the behemoth, Opus Vino a comprehensive look at the world’s wine regions and their best wines that weighs in at 7 pounds and 800 pages and was a finalist for the 2011 James Beard Journalism Awards.