Atkin and Chester Osborn, owner, winemaker and viticulturalist for McLaren Vale winery d'Arenberg, were both presented with awards by Wine Intelligence chief executive Lulie Halstead at a reception at the London wine fair.
A shortlist of 30 people had been drawn up by 10 influential judges including Paul Symington of Symington Family Estates, wine consultant Mike Paul and†Felicity Carter, editor of Meininger's Wine Business International.
The judges said of Atkin: "His willingness to challenge conventional wisdom while remaining the consummate professional is admired by many worldwide."
Picking up the award, Atkin warned that wine journalism is under threat from bloggers and declining interest in wine.
He said: "It is down to all of us to inspire people in this industry to take wine seriously again. We have got to get out of the ridiculous spiral of discounting and cheap wine.
"It saddens me slightly that we have lost a bit of the excitement in this country. Let's put the UK back at the centre of the wine world, not in the margins of wine."
Of Osborn, the judges said: "Chester's unique combination of technical excellence and unbridled irreverence is delightful to observe and fun to be part of."
Osborn commented: "I can't believe I've won this award - I've never worked a day in my life, I'm still making mud pies."
Three of the 10 awards have now been presented - the first went to Wines of South Africa chief executive Su Birch at Prowein.
The next award is to be presented next week in Hong Kong.