WineDirect Admin
April 30, 2008 | Wine Industry Trends | WineDirect Admin

Wine Industry People with Strong Kung Foo

At our little company we like to say that when someone has strong skills or do something great that they have “strong kung foo” (yes, I know it is spelled wrong). Today is my blog day and I looked at the ominous screen wondering what should be my topic. Fortunately I was inspired by an email from George Vare (the Chairman of our Board and a great mentor to our entire team) and I thought today would be a nice day to put up a list of people in the wine industry that have “strong kung foo.” This is by no means a comprehensive list, but rather those who immediately came to mind. There are other great Kung Foo Masters out there. I also made an attempt to categorize these people to show where their kung foo is strongest. Please feel free to comment on people in the industry that you think have strong kung foo - I very much would like to see them added to this list.

Grandmaster Kung Foo (A category with only one member)
George Vare

The Legends of Kung Foo
Robert Mondavi
Michael Moone

Winery CEO Kung Foo
Mary Ann Tsai - Luna Vineyards
Erle Martin - Pine Ridge
Scott Weiss - Fosters
Tom Shelton - Joseph Phelps

Best wine sales Kung Foo
Gary Vaynerchuk - Winelibrary.com (and cult of personality Kung Foo)
John Tichenor - Brown Forman

Guys behind the scenes you may not know but they make all the magic but they do, Kung Foo
Chris Edwards - Wine Tasting Network
Tom Wark - Wark Communications
John Hinman - Hinman and Carmichael

Consumer Direct Kung Foo
Miryam Chae - Fosters
Lesley Kiefer Russell - St. Supery
Jennie Haug - Revana
Jason Williams - Lancaster
Samantha Lloyd - Niebaum Coppola
Jim O’Shea - Sterling Vineyards
Matt Wood - Icon Estates

Financial Kung Foo Wizards
Rob McMillan - Silicon Valley Bank
Bill Price - Texas Pacific Group
Prescott Ashe - Golden Gate Capital
Christian Whipple - Pacific Premier Vitners
Vic Motto - Global Wine Partners

Not sure how to categorize their crazy good kung foo, kung foo
Jeff Stai - Twisted Oak
Marc Engel - BRSgroup.com
John Collins - Fosters
Lesley Berglund - WISE, WITS, Aged Cabernet
Tammy Boatright - Wattle Creek

Wine techie Kung Foo
Philip James - Snooth.com
Jason Coleman- Winelog.net
Joel Vincent - Openwineconsortium.com
Michael Brill - Crushpad

People fighting the good fight kung foo
Paul Kronenberg - Family Wine Makers
Steve Gross - Wine Institute
Kenneth Star - SWRA

People that buy ink (digital or real) by the gallon and use it well Kung Foo
Cyril Penn - WBM
Eric Jorgensen - WBM
Alder Yarrow - Vinography
Tina Caputo - Wines and Vines
Howard Goldburg - NYT, et al
Mark Fisher - Dayton Daily News

The Peter Foo Awards (great guys with the name of Peter that have had a major influence on the wine industry)
Peter Marks - Icon Estates
Peter Granoff - Founder of Virtual Vineyards - Ferry Building Wine Merchants
Peter Sisson - Founder of Wineshopper.com - Serial entrepenuer

Now mind you there are many, many more and I just listed those who first came to mind. Here are some suggestions for kung foo categories you may look to add: most innovative small winery kung foo, best tasting room manager kung foo, best winery marketing kung foo, etc, etc - I look forward to your comments and to you helping me add to this list.






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