Vintage Wine Estates names new operations chief

Russell G. Joy will become the new chief operating officer for Santa Rosa-based Vintage Wine Estates, effective Nov. 1, the company announced.

He will replace Jeff Nicholson who will retire from the company, effective Oct. 29.

Joy has held key roles in the wine industry, most recently as general manager of Napa Wine Company. Previous to that role, he was vice president of California operations for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. It had acquired Patz & Hall Wine Company, where Joy had held the position of CEO, president and general manager for 11 years from the startup of the business, Vintage stated.

His entry into the wine business was as controller for Allied Domecq Wines. He moved on to become chief financial officer of Sebastiani Vineyards and subsequently Viansa Winery as CFO and president. He began his career as a certified public accountant with Touche Ross & Co, now known as Deloitte.

“Russ has a strong track record of execution and proven leadership skills that I expect to prove valuable as we continue to execute our strategy for growth. He brings extensive operating and finance experience to the team that should prove beneficial as well for our transition into the public reporting realm. These are exciting times at VWE as we execute our plans to drive growth by leveraging our differentiated, business model encompassing three channel-to-market platforms,” said Pat Roney, founder and CEO of Vintage.

He added that Nicholson, who joined the company in 2019, worked to make improvement to the company’s bottling line and warehousing capacity and will remain to take on special projects.

Vintage operates wineries throughout Napa and Sonoma counties, California’s Central Coast, Oregon and Washington. It is the 15th largest wine producer in the U.S., selling more than 2 million nine-liter equivalent cases annually.

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