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Veteran wine business leader John Grant named CEO of Sonoma County’s Cline Family Cellars

Fred Cline has handed over day-to-day operations of Sonoma County’s Cline Family Cellars to new CEO John Grant, who has been a top officer of some of the largest local wine companies for two decades.

Cline, who has been at the helm of the winery since he started it 38 years ago, will remain in a “long-term vision” role with the winery, according to the announcement July 24. The management change-up was effective July 20.

Grant has been in the wine business for more than 30 years, the last 20 of which in top roles at Kendall-Jackson, Constellation Wines Australia, Treasury Wine Estates’s Napa Valley-based Beringer group and, most recently, as chief operating officer of The Hess Collection.

"In the last year my wife Nancy and I began looking towards the future, and at what the next 38 years at Cline will bring,“ Cline said in the announcement. ”We knew that to propel the business further into success and to grow, we needed a different type of focused leadership. We were thrilled when we finally found John. He is the perfect fit and we are confident that his extensive knowledge and leadership will be key in strengthening our presence in the wine world.”

Grant said the couple “have built a highly regarded wine business, founded on sustainable farming, excellent value products and a strong work ethic.”

He said he plans to “strengthen the portfolio, tighten ways of working and position the business for future generations.”

Grant earned his B.S. in marketing and business management from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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