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Wine Enthusiast this week named Ste. Michelle Wine Estates President and CEO Ted Baseler as its “Person of the Year”. Baseler was one of five candidates including Mariann Fischer Boel (European Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development); Nicolas Catena (Catena Zapata, Argentina); Bill Foley II (Foley Estates); and Christian Moueix (Etablissements Jean-Pierre Moueix, France; Dominus, Napa).

The award is part of Wine Enthusiast’s 2009 ‘Wine Star Awards’ which also names a Winemaker of the Year and Winery of the Year among other awards. The awards are in their tenth year. The magazine states “winners were selected for their outstanding contribution to the world of wine and spirits, with special attention to achievements in the year 2009.” Award recipients will be featured in the December issue of Wine Enthusiast and will be honored at a ceremony early next year.

Baseler joined what is now Ste Michelle Wine Estates in 1984. He was named President and CEO in 2001. Among other accomplishments, during his tenure Baseler has focused on increasing distribution, increasing attention on Washington vineyards, and acquiring several small, prominent wineries.

In naming Baseler Person of the Year, Wine Enthusiast writes:

"Ted Baseler is President/CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the most prominent wine company in Washington State. Under his leadership, it has evolved into a high performance organization known for its top quality, world-class wines; for its strategic partnerships with leading wine producers in Italy and Germany; and for collaborating with fellow members of Washington’s wine industry to help raise the region’s profile, worldwide. For his vision, leadership, brand-building, team-building, and region-building accomplishments, Ted Baseler is Wine Enthusiast’s Man of the Year.”

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