Robyn Bentley

Founder, Wine Country Consultants

St. Helena; 707-477-8420; winecc.net

Professional background and education: I graduated from Augustana College, located in my hometown of Rock Island, Ill., in 1979, with a B.S. in business administration. I come from a long line of strong, independent women but I was the first woman on both sides of my family to attend college. There are six women in our next generation, including my daughter, all college graduates, five with graduates degrees. After graduation I Immediately moved to the Bay Area and joined the Macy’s California buyers training program. As a buyer for Men’s Fashion & Athletic footwear I traveled the world designing and buying for the 26 Bay Area Macy’s stores. I left in 1986 to focus for a few years on raising my two children, volunteering for women’s and children’s issues, and a move to Portland, Or. In 1990, following my passion for fund raising, I joined Waverly Children’s Home in Portland, Ore., as their Community Relations Coordinator. This position also encompassed the development department. I was responsible for all fundraising, board communication, a volunteer Guild of 120 amazing woman, and all communication with greater Portland area not only regarding our children but the residential and day programs Waverly Children’s Home offered. Moving back to California in 1993 my family and I settled in the magical community of St. Helena and I began my third career, this time in real estate. My first vineyard sale was also my first $1m sale and I was hooked on selling land.

Tell us about yourself and your company: Twenty years into assisting buyers and sellers of viticulture properties I have never been more passionate about my career nor more ambitious about my future. Founding Wine Country Consultants in 2008 grew out of my desire to fill the niche of providing world class customer service to buyers and sellers of viticulture properties world wide. The wine industry professionals of Wine Country Consultants are at the top of their individual field and personal game.

Words that best describe you: Strong, direct, fun-loving, optimistic, creative, passionate and compassionate. My midwestern roots are still very evident in me today. Strong in common sense and short on B.S.

What is a major accomplishment in the past year or so: The restructuring of our Web site to an awesome, video based, delight and launching our international marketing reach was a solid six months of hard work and creative process. The entire WineCC team is very proud of what we accomplished.

What achievement are you most proud of in your career: The achievement of legacy. Embracing the understanding of life and legacy as in pertains to career. Creating a company, now with my daughter at my side, that is results driven in the present but also focused on the infinite possibilities that today’s decisions are creating to keep WineCC viable in 100 years.

What is your biggest challenge today?: Maintaining balance is always at the top of my thoughts. I have it all - family, work, faith and the game is just as chaotic now that I am a grandmother as it was as a new mother 32 years ago. The shifting demands of everyday life I liken to surfing. My personal desire is to show up as positive energy in all aspects of life and it is a goal that will challenge me throughout this incarnation.

How do you think your profession will change over the next five years?: Specific to WineCC, we will be at the center of understanding the exchange of viticulture properties as it pertains to the world wide wine industry.

As a successful female professional, what have been the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?: Once a tomboy always a tomboy. The majority of my career years have been spent working along side men in male dominated professions. As a tomboy I began competing with boys from my earliest memories.

What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today?: Immediately create a personal business and life plan by stepping outside of yourself and asking how big is big. Create yourself in that image. Be smart, work hard, stay positive, keep your eye on your plans, run your own race and don’t look back, stay on top of the waves, surf the flow.

Current reading: Sunday New York Times; Shaman, Healer, Sage by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D.; Your Soul’s Plan by Robert Schwartz

Stress-relievers: Daily, long, walks at Lake Hennessy with my big dog Tessa and daily, long, hot soaks in my double sided claw foot tub.

Favorite hobbies: Speaking again to family and legacy I most enjoy combining my “fave” pastimes of sailing, hiking and travel with my husband, children and grandchildren. Jordan Bentley, my daughter and partner, also enjoy supporting the St. Helena Hospital specifically the Family Birthing Center. Our doctors and nurses are world class, the beauty of the setting unsurpassed.