Robert Drouhin is the recipient of Wine Spectator's Distinguished Service Award (DSA) for 2013. As the head of Maison Joseph Drouhin from 1957 to 2003, he developed the company, founded by his grandfather in 1880, into one of Burgundy's most important négociants. He also acquired vineyards in the Côte d'Or and Chablis, increasing the estate portion of Joseph Drouhin to its current 180 acres. The name Drouhin is synonymous with the Burgundy region, and Robert Drouhin is the first Burgundian to be awarded the DSA.
Drouhin was a pioneer in many ways. He recognized the potential of Chablis, purchasing vineyards there from 1967 to 1972. In 1987, he made a major investment in Oregon's fledgling wine industry, validating the nascent Willamette Valley region as a contender for growing world-class Pinot Noir. Domaine Drouhin Oregon celebrated its 25th vintage last year.
Drouhin was on the forefront of eliminating the use of synthetic chemicals in vineyards and, in 1976, hired Laurence Jobard, the first female enologist in Burgundy.
From 1985 to 2005, Drouhin was a vice president of the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine and served on the board of Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne. He is also a Chevalier du Mérite Agricole.
Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator Magazine
Issue: September 30, 2013