News & Press
Oct 13, 2020
Jeff O’Neill & Caine Thompson Receive Wine Enthusiast Star Award Nominations
This year marks the 21st anniversary of Wine Enthusiast’s Annual Wine Star Awards, honoring the individuals and companies that make outstanding contributions to the wine and alcohol beverage world. Here are the nominees across 15 categories for the 2020 Wine Star Awards. The winners of these categories, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award and American Wine Legend, will be announced in the magazine’s Best of Year issue. In a challenging year for all industries, we salute the dedicated beverage professionals who have innovated and flourished.
The third generation of a California winemaking family, Jeff O’Neill is the founder of O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, the seventh-largest winery in the state. O’Neill says that the company has grown by 30% annually for several years, and produced nearly 1 million cases in 2019, thanks in part to the rapid growth of its Line 39 brand. Late last year, the company partnered with NFL star Charles Woodson to launch Intercept, a line of red wines from Paso Robles. In 2020, Intercept gained national distribution and Woodson became the first Black NFL player and wine brand partner with national, direct-to-retail distribution. O’Neill also recently pledged $25,000 to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Fund’s Covid-19 emergency relief fund.