Last Thursday evening Greg Walter’s body finally gave out, after enduring rounds of chemotherapy and enjoying all the good food and wine he could while spending as much time as possible with ex-wife and best friend, Lisa Adams Walter, and their cherished daughter, Grace.
A devotee of pinot noir wines, Walter founded the subscription Pinot Report, looked upon by many wine lovers as the ultimate enlightening national newsletter of pinot noir wines over its 15 years. Walter’s Pinot Report won a James Beard Award for Newsletter Writing on Food, Beverage, Restaurants and Nutrition in 2005, the ultimate compliment.
So passionate was Walter about pinots that he even drove a pinot red SUV with Pinot Report abbreviated on its license plate.
Way back in 1980 while Walter a student at San Diego State and was working in San Diego’s Crest Liquor shop, the owner saw an ad for writers for a new newspaper called The Wine Spectator. Walter applied for the job, got it, and eventually rose to be president of the magazine, according to Marvin R. Shanken, current editor and publisher of the publication.
After he left the magazine in 1994, Walter wrote about wine for several publications and founded Carneros Press and the Carneros Group, publishing his own “Chalone: A Journey on the Wine Frontier,” as well as several books for Wine Spectator Press.
Before, and even while, he had colon cancer, Walter was often smiling and writing on his laptop at Starbucks in Maxwell Village or hanging out at Della Santina’s, his favorite local restaurant, where he savored his life and last dishes of veal picatta, penne con funghi (mushrooms), and pappardelle with the duck ragu with gusto.
The family prefers donations to the Greg Walter family at YouCaring.com.