Decanter, the influential UK-based wine magazine, published its semi-annual Power List today in its July issue.
Pierre Pringuet, Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard, was named the number one most powerful figure in the international wine world. Pringuet has been the CEO of the world's fourth largest wine and company since 2008 - which is behind Chivas whiskey, Jameson Irish whiskey, and Martell cognac. One of Pringuet's first accomplishments as CEO was the acquisition of Vin & Spirit and its vodka brand Absolut. He first joined the company in 1987 as development director and climbed the ranks of the rapidly growing company. Before joining Pernod Ricard, Pringuet was a government advisor and worked for the Ministry of Agriculture.
Pringuet usurped the top slot from Robert Sands, CEO of Constellation, who was named the most powerful in 2009.
Authoritative wine critic Robert Parker continues to cede ranking, moving further down to the number three spot. According to Decanter, Parker is still undoubtedly the world's most influential wine critic, but his power is slowly diminishing as he farms out more and more key regions. When Parker was first bumped from the top of the list in 2009, Decanter blamed decreasing interest in the big, ripe, high-alcohol wines that Parker is partial to, along with increased competition from emerging wine critics in the U.S. and sharp criticism over the perceived questionable ethics of two of his contributors at Robert Parker's Wine Advocate who allowed a wine industry group to cover travel expenses and who enjoyed lavish dinners paid for by wine producers whose products they were reviewing.
Second place went to Eric Rothschild, who has been managing Domaines Barons de Rothschild's portfolio for nearly four decades. Decanter cited the influence of Chateau Lafite in China as the reason for Rothschild's power ascent: as the world's premium producers blaze a trail east, it is in Lafite's footsteps they tread.