After the sale of The Wine Advocate (henceforth: TWA) a few months ago, wine writer Antonio Galloni decided to jump ship. Perhaps a wise move, given that Robert Parker, TWA’s founder would eventually be stepping down and the publication potentially losing some of its power. Okay, no big deal. Galloni then went on to start his own website reviewing wines. Also no big deal.
But then Galloni posted on his website that he would not be giving his recent reviews of Sonoma wines to TWA, and instead keeping them for himself. The legality can be argued there (further review of contracts would be needed), but certainly a jerk move and the first hints of some bad blood. Today, the internet blew up with reports of TWA suing Galloni for breach of contract, defamation, and fraud. Seriously, Google it – I’m sure you’ll find plenty of results related to this story. I found more details of the case on Inside Scoop SF, here.
The sale of TWA was already fairly poorly handled from a marketing and brand perspective. Despite Galloni no longer being associated with TWA, this is sure to muddy the waters further for a publication desperate to save its reputation. More to come, no doubt.