Above: Soon-to-be former editor of the Gambero Rosso Guide to the Wines of Italy, Daniele Cernilli, one of the “50 most powerful” names in the wine industry, according to Decanter, pictured with his wife Marina Thompson, owner of Thompson Wine Marketing (photo via Christian Callec).
According to a report published Friday by WineNews.it, Daniele Cernilli has parted ways with the Gambero Rosso publishing group, whose flagship Guide to the Wines of Italy was co-founded by him in 1987.
The report of the powerful however controversial editor confirms widespread rumors that began to circulate in the blogosphere mid-December 2010.
Cernilli’s tenure as editor of the now historic guide coincided with the emergence and subsequent popularity of “modern-style” wines and international grape varieties. Although in recent years, the editors of the guide have taken steps to give more coverage traditional-style wines made with indigenous Italian grape varieties, observers of the Italian wine industry generally agree that Cernilli’s tastes and editorial philosophy played a significant role in the rise of the “international style” as a dominant force in Italian winemaking today.
In 2009, Decanter named Cernilli in its list of the 50 most powerful persons in the wine industry. According to the report by WineNews.it, the masthead of the Guide to the Wines of Italy will list Cernilli as its direttore (editor-in-chief) for both the 2010 and 2011.
Cernilli was highly criticized in 2008 when the founder of the Gambero Rosso trademark and publishing group, Stefano Bonilli, was ousted by an as-of-yet unnamed investor who took control of the brand that year and installed Cernilli at the helm of Italy’s most powerful wine guide.
The relationship between Cernilli, the Gambero Rosso brand, and a public relations firm owned by Cerilli’s wife Marina Thompson, Thompson Wine Marketing, has also been criticized by VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani who has written extensively about the apparent conflict of interest created by the “marriage” of a critical guide and PR firm. (Ziliani’s observations were translated in part here at VinoWire.)