A journalist with wide-ranging interests, Pam covers green topics in the wine industry and is the leading expert on U.S. organic and biodynamic wines and wineries.
She writes on climate and environment topics for wine industry business publications (including Wine Business) and writes on ecofriendly organic and biodynamic wines for consumer publications in the US, including Pix.wine, Voices (from Maze Row Merchants) and Slow Wine Guide USA, the wine arm of Slow Food.
A long time health editor and journalist, she also writes on the health and the environment for The Guardian and The New Lede, focusing on science and health stories. The New Lede is an environmental journalism news site (from Environmental Working Group) headed by veteran environmental journalist Carey Gillam, whose reporting on Roundup has been internationally acclaimed.
Teaching and Speaking
Formerly editor of the Wells Fargo Wholesale Bank intranet, Pam's latest wine business article on finance, new carbon disclosure requirements, and the wine industry and appeared in the May 2022 issue of Wine Business Monthly (or see pdf). She also convened and moderated a panel at Green Wine Future with interviewees from the article including representatives from Bank of the West, president of Vintage Wine Estates, and the CFO of Treasury WIne Estates.
Earlier in her career, she worked with Huey Johnson's environmental group Resource Renewal Institute on green plans at nation scale.
The leading specialist and voice on American wines from organic and biodynamic vineyards, she has worked with major players (including Vivino) and is Senior Editor of Slow Wine Guide USA, helping consumers and the industry find and enjoy organic, biodynamic and eco friendly wines.
She also has a popular blog on organic and biodynamic wines and vineyard pesticides (850,000 views and counting).
Other works in progress focus on Bordeaux's sustainability strategy and approach (for which she attended the Bordeaux Environment Forum as a guest of CIVB in December 2021) and an article on the Vineyards and Biodiversity conference held in May 2022 in Avignon.
ORGANIC AND BIODYNAMIC SPECIALIST
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 eco-friendly wineries and their wines. She also served as Conference Program Director for Demeter USA's 2018 International Biodynamic Wine Conference and consults 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 as well as leading soil scientists and Oregon vintners.
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), noted somms and international distributors, and many more.
HEALTH, SCIENCE, WINE & 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 more than 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 international 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.
SLOW WINE GUIDE AND VIVINO
In 2019, Pam became Senior Editor for Slow Wine Guide 2020, writing about California and Oregon wines in Slow Food's major wine publication. She has added more than 60+ organic and biodynamic producers to the USA guides and has collaborated on defining the inclusion criteria for wines featured in Slow Wine USA (which now requires that no herbicides are used in the wines that are reviewed). In the 2021 guide, she wrote about 60 wineries (out of the guide's 285 producers) in Oregon and California 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, licensing her database of all the organically grown wines in the US, New Zealand and Chile to the world's largest wine app.
MBA PROGRAM GUEST LECTURES
In Jan. 2022, Pam gave two lectures at Sonoma State University (as part of the short course for international and California wine business MBA students on sustainabilty). One lecture was a case study on Bordeaux's approach to sustainability (she attended the 12th annual Environment Forum as a guest of CIVB in December 2021) and another was on emerging sustainable finance and ESG's financial impact on the wine industry in the US. (The French case study is also a (forthcoming) article for WineBusiness.com.)
She also participated in a forum for U.C. Davis's OIV Wine Marketing Class.
Pam writes for WineBusiness.com and Wine Business Monthly on winery marketing and tech and on climate, environment and sustainable finance.
She organized and moderated a panel for WBM's annual wine technology conference held in Napa and appeared as a panelist in the 2021 Future of Wine conference.
At Unified Wine Grape Symposium in Jan. 2022, she reported on smoke taint issues for wineries and on the USDA's keynote speaker's talk on wine and climate change. (See links below).
Her story for Wine Business Monthly on sustainable finance and sustainability linked loans in the wine industry appeared in the May 2022 issue. As a followup, she also organized and moderated the first global panel on ESG and wine for the international Green Wine Future conference.
She has also written a forthcoming WBM article on the research underlying Bordeaux's newly approved varieties (developed as a result of climate change impacts) and on the Vineyards and Biodiversity conference held in May in Avignon (also forthcoming on WBM).
"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 2020-22
"You contributed a lot...and I'm still getting mileage from your story uncovering the origins of our sulfites regulation!"
-Christian Miller, Full Glass Research, Instructor
U.C. Davis OIV Wine Marketing Program
"You kept the session live, relevant and informative. Here's to convincing more people to live without toxic chemicals."
-Theresa Sanchez, MBA, Instructor, U.C. Davis OIV Wine Marketing Program
"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
For US wine guide published by the Slow Food movement covering 285 US eco friendly wineries, serve as senior editor and writer.
• Slow Wine Guide 2022 (buy it on this Slow Food website link to support us)
• Slow Wine Guide 2021
• Slow Wine Guide 2020