Sonoma, CA., July 20, 2020 – For immediate release
Cline Family Cellars, has announced that Fred Cline, founder and CEO of the company will be stepping down, and has appointed, John Grant, a dynamic global beverage executive, as the new Chief Executive Officer, effective July 20, 2020.
Fred Cline founded and led Cline Cellars for 38 years. He will continue with Cline, but will be stepping away from day to day operations and focusing on the long-term vision for the company.
John, formerly with The Hess Collection, is a proven leader who brings 30+ years of domestic and international experience leading and managing multi-channel businesses, brands, and sales and marketing teams within the beverage industry. John has an exceptional track record of inspiring teams, developing systems, and sees innovation as a key driver to success. His global experience has spanned other notable industry players such as Treasury Wine Estates, Constellation Wines Australia, and Kendal Jackson.
Fred Cline says, “Although I will be stepping down, I couldn’t have imagined a better 38 years. It has been an incredible journey. And it has been such a pleasure to lead such an amazing, dynamic team, that has helped make Cline Cellars a nationally and internationally recognized wine brand, a favorite place to visit for guests and wine lovers, and a leader in quality, sustainability, and accessibility in the wine world. 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. 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.”
John Grant says, “Fred and Nancy together with the support of a dedicated and loyal team have built a highly regarded wine business, founded on sustainable farming, excellent value products and a strong work ethic. I look forward to building upon this foundation, working with them and the next generation of Cline family. Together we will strengthen the portfolio, tighten ways of working and position the business for future generations. “
John Grant earned his B.S. Degree in Marketing and business management from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
About Cline Family Cellars
Cline Family Cellars, established in 1982, is a family-owned winery in Sonoma, California, built on a passion for winemaking and rooted in respect for the land. Fred and Nancy Cline started Cline Family Cellars in Oakley, California, making the first vintages from original plantings of Mourvedre, Zinfandel, and Carignane, some of which dated back to the 1880's. In 1989, Fred purchased a 350-acre horse farm in Carneros and moved the winery to Sonoma County. While Cline is most well-known for Zinfandel, Fred was also one of the original Rhone Rangers, and began planting varietals that included a number of vineyards dedicated to Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne. Since those first plantings, Fred and his wife Nancy have continued to plant vineyards throughout Sonoma County, expanding to include more classic varieties like Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Chardonnay.