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The leading specialist on American wines from organic and biodynamic vineyards, Pam Strayer is the founder, author and publisher of Wine Country Geographic.
Described by Alder Yarrow (of JancisRobinson.com) as "the go to person on organic and biodynamic wines," her work has been featured in leading U.S. wine magazines and sites. She's senior editor for Slow Wine Guide in the US, the foremost guide to environmentally friendly wineries and their wines, served as Conference Program Director for Demeter USA's 2018 International Biodynamic Wine Conference and is currently consulting to Vivino, the world's largest wine app.
A graduate of U.C. Berkeley's wine program, she studied wine at U.C. Davis and the North American Sommelier Association and has attended hundreds of industry conferences, tastings and seminars. She's also visited most of the 200+ organic and biodynamic producers in the U.S. and written about them. Pam's previous wine apps were also featured (on Earth Day) in the Los Angeles Times.
EDUCATION FOR THE INDUSTRY
Pam has given educational talks on organic topics for Women of the Vine & Spirits and lectured in classes at Santa Rosa Community College and Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute. Her written works served as the supporting literature for a recent MW's thesis. She's also been an invited speaker for environmental groups in Sonoma and Napa.
Pam has also moderated public events on biodynamic wine at Healdsburg SHED and Demeter USA's biodynamic short course in Oregon's Willamette Valley, featuring U.C. soil scientist Glenn McGourty and regenerative agriculture champion Paul Dolan.
In 2018, Pam co-founded the International Biodynamic Wine Conference with then Demeter USA president Elizabeth Candelario, hosting 47 wineries from five countries in San Francisco's Presidio. She served as Conference Program Director for the two day event bringing together 70+ panelists for 30 sessions, focusing on regenerative ag practices, winemaking and wine marketing.
Keynote speakers included David Montgomery and Anne Biklé (authors of The Hidden Half of Nature), Napa vintner Jean-Charles Boisset and international biodynamic wine expert Monty Waldin (from Tuscany).
Panelists included Emiliana CEO Cristian Rodriguez, Jean-Michel Comme (Chateau Pontet-Canet), Jason Haas (Tablas Creek), Bob Lindquist (Lindquist Family Vineyards), Philippe Coderey (vineyard consultant), Gwen Wilson (Wine.com), Bree Boskov (MW), talented somms and international distributors, and many more.
HEALTH, SCIENCE & THE ENVIRONMENT
Pam has an extensive background in health, science and environmental journalism.
A member of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), she has reported on health and the environment over a career of four decades and on wine for a decade.
In the early 1980s, she won a prestigious New England Press Association award for six months of coverage on citizens' attempts to shutdown a local nuclear power plant.
She also consulted on digital and social media for environmental organizations, including Huey Johnson's Resource Renewal Institute (for whom she produced videos with the leading thinkers and policymakers around the globe in the internaitional Green Plans movement) and led digital media and social media marketing workshops for the 63 project directors at Earth Island Institute.
In 1997, Pam was editor in chief of Healthcentral.com, a successful dotcom she launched with radio and TV physician broadcaster Dr. Dean Edell. The company went public in 1999. In 2000, she was recruited to become editor in chief of Jim Clark's genetic discovery startup DNA Sciences. James Watson was a board member.
As editor of DNA.com, she launched all of WebMD's genetic health information for both consumers and clinicians, working with world class scientists from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Stanford and other research institutions.
It was there that she came to understand the deeper science underlying genetics, cancer and the environment. She began to learn more about California's pesticide use reports and became concerned about pesticide use in vineyards. After DNA.com's demise, she began researching wine and pesticide uses, launching three apps on organic and biodynamic wines in 2013.
In 2018, as a journalist, Pam covered the first scientific experts to appear in the glyphosate cases in federal district court. Her coverage, originally commissioned for Civil Eats, was syndicated worldwide on Public Radio International and became the most widely read article online that week on glyphosate.
In 2019, Pam became Senior Editor for Slow Wine Guide 2020, writing about California wines in Slow Food's major wine publication. She has added more than 60+ organic and biodynamic producers to the USA guides and has helped to define the inclusion criteria for Slow Wine to require that no herbicides are used in the wines featured in the California sections of the guide (where vineyard chemical data is available). In the 2021 guide, she wrote about 60 wineries (out of the guide's 285 producers) and reviewed 180 wines.
In 2021, Pam began working with Vivino, the world's biggest wine app, on a new project on organic and biodynamic wines from the U.S.
She is also launching a new website in the summer of 2021 to help consumers and the industry find wine from all of their favorite regions and the greenest producers in the US.
Find Pam's latest article on organic and biodynamic wines - on French wine critics scoring organic and biodynamic wines 6-12 points higher than conventional wines - at WineBusiness.com.
"Pam Strayer is the country’s foremost authority on organic and biodynamic wines and vines. While I have taken advantage of her know-how for years, I am so excited that she is launching this site for consumers and the wine industry.
Her sites are must have resource for all wine lovers who are concerned about greenwashing and want to know what wines are produced with certified organic or biodynamic grapes."
-Elizabeth Candelario, regenerative food and wine industry consultant; former president, Demeter USA
"I just wanted to extend my thanks...for your presentation on organics and biodynamics. The depth of information presented was astounding."
-Damien Wilson, Hamel Family Faculty Chair of Wine Business, Sonoma State University, Wine Business Institute
"The energy and commitment that Slow Wine Guide Senior Editor Pam Strayer brings...is an inspiration for me.
A former environmental and health journalist, she writes expertly about organic and biodynamic viticulture...and has impressive experience tasting wines."
-Jeremy Parzen, Coordinating Editor for North America, Slow Wine Guide 2020
"Senior Editor Pam Strayer's subject matter expertise in conventional, organic and biodynamic winegrowing has been a guiding light for several years."
-Deborah Parker Wong, Slow Wine Guide, National Editor 2021
"Pam Strayer’s coverage of the organic and biodynamic wine world stateside is based on rigorous research ...into individual wineries' wine growing and winemaking practices."
-Monty Waldin, author, The Oxford Companion to Wine (organic and biodynamic sections) and numerous books on organic and biodynamic wines, Regional Chair for Tuscany at the Decanter World Wine Awards
"The go to person on organic and biodynamic wines."
-Alder Yarrow, Vinography and JancisRobinson.com
• Slow Wine Guide: I write about 60+ producer descriptions and 180+ wine reviews each year out of 285 winery listings