Following are profiles of the top day-to-day leaders from the Business Journal's lists of the largest independently owned wineries under 100,000 cases, published in March, and the largest wine companies, published in May.
Listed alphabetically by company name.
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Alexander Valley Vineyards
8644 Highway 128, Healdsburg 95448, 707-433-7209, avvwine.com
Harry "Hank" Wetzel, proprietor and winemaker, and his wife, Maggie, purchased the property in 1962 from the family of Cyrus Alexander, after whom the valley is named. Their oldest son, Hank IV, launched the winery in 1975. Production last year was 160,000 cases.
Benziger Family Winery
1883 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen 95442, 888-490-2739, benziger.com
General manager and Tribute winemaker Mike Benziger and his wife, Mary, co-founded the winery in 1980, and since that time the family business has been a leader in environmentally friendly winegrowing and advocate for Biodynamic farming.
Benziger had an impressive four wines, all with retail prices between $19 and $28, winning "platinum" awards, and one a silver award, at the San Diego International Wine Competition in April. Out of 1,666 entries, only 66 won at that level. One $16 wine won silver. The competition named Benziger the Winery of the Year.
Boisset Family Wines
849 Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena 94574; 707-963-6172, boissetfamilyestates.com
Jean-Charles Boisset is president of a Boisset Family Wines, started in 1980 as the U.S. arm of a large French family wine and spirits operation. The parent company is now Burgundy's largest wine company; France's third-largest, making more than 5 million cases annually; and among the biggest in the U.S. producing more than 600,000 cases a year. In late 2009, he married Gina Gallo of Gallo Family Vineyards.
C. Mondavi & Sons
2800 Main St., St. Helena 94574, 707-967-2200, charleskrug.com
Proprietors Peter Mondavi and sons hired 25-year "mature brand" expert Mike Jaeger as chief operating officer of C. Mondavi & Sons in May. The Krug brand started in 1861 and was acquired by Cesare and Rosa Mondavi in 1943. At 1.6 million cases of mass-market CK Mondavi and higher-end Charles Krug produced last year, the company is among the North Coast's largest producers.
Cecchetti Wine Co.
P.O. Box 637, Vineburg 95487, 707-996-7221, cecchettiwineco.com
Co-founder and chief executive officer Roy Cecchetti and his wife, Rachael, started the company in 2007. He was part of the Cecchetti Sebastiani Cellars with brother-in-law Don Sebastiani until 2001.
Sales of 250,000-plus cases and more than $13 million are projected for this year. Brand sales last year were 137,000 cases of $6- to $8-a-bottle Redtree, up 26 percent from 2010, and 63,000 cases of $9- to $11-a-bottle Line 39. Sales of the latter Lake County-focused label nearly doubled those of a year before.
Clos Du Val
5330 Silverado Trail, Napa 94558, 707-261-5200, closduval.com
Winemaker and Chief Operating Officer John Clews in April 1999 came to the 60,000- to 70,000-case-a-year winery, one of five Goelet family wine businesses in the U.S., Australia and France. John Goelet and Bernard Portet started Clos Du Val in 1972, and it was part of the famed 1976 Paris tasting. Wine & Spirits magazine named the company 2010 Winery of the Year.