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News & Press

Oct 13, 2020

Jeff O’Neill & Caine Thompson Receive Wine Enthusiast Star Award Nominations

This year marks the 21st anniver­sary of Wine Enthu­si­asts 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.

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