Robert Lawrence Balzer, the nation¿s preeminent wine journalist who in 2008 donated his writings, photos and many wine artifacts to the university¿s Special
Collections Library, died Dec. 1. He was 99.
Balzer was a prolific author and popular educator, writing a dozen books and a decades-long wine column in the Los Angeles Times, and teaching wine courses well into his 90s. He is credited with helping develop the California wine culture long before vintners in the state were taken seriously.
¿The California wine industry owes Robert Lawrence Balzer more than you can imagine,¿ Ernest Gallo once said of Balzer. ¿Without his writings, California wines would not be where they are today. His work legitimized our industry to the world.¿
The Robert Lawrence Balzer Collection builds on an already significant Wine Industry Collection at the University Library and further strengthens the library as a research venue for the wine industry.
¿We are very honored to have the opportunity to preserve the legacy of Robert Lawrence Balzer at Cal Poly Pomona library. He was a true Renaissance man ¿ an artist as well as a master wine educator,¿ says Danette Cook Adamson, the Special Collections librarian. ¿He has students all over the world who he inspired. They continue to remember him, love him and appreciate all he taught them.¿
A public memorial service is scheduled for January. Details are pending.