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John Sutton of The Wine Group Elected Wine Institute Chairman 2020-2021

New Officers and Board Directors Named

SAN FRANCISCO —John Sutton, Chief Financial Officer of The Wine Group headquartered in Livermore, CA, was elected Wine Institute Board Chairman for the 2020-2021 fiscal year at the organization’s 86th Annual Meeting of Members. Other officers elected were Suzanne Groth of Groth Vineyards & Winery in Oakville, First Vice Chairman; Rick Tigner of Jackson Family Wines in Santa Rosa, Second Vice Chairman; Randall Lange of Lange Twins Family Vineyards and Winery in Acampo, Treasurer; and Matt Gallo of E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, Secretary. Bobby Koch is President and CEO of Wine Institute.

“Supporting Wine Institute’s work helping our wineries recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus while keeping our employees and customers safe will be a top priority this year. It is my honor to help navigate these challenges with Wine Institute and my fellow officers and board members,” said Sutton. “Critical to our recovery is making federal excise tax reduction permanent and building our export markets to help keep California strong as a global brand. It’s also essential to long-term growth that we continue to promote the industry’s adoption of sustainable practices.”

Sutton joined The Wine Group in 2007 as General Counsel and became Chief Financial Officer in 2015, responsible for finance, legal, information technology and business process improvement functions. He oversees the management of the winery’s three hospitality businesses and is a member of the winery’s executive committee, working closely with the CEO on business goals and strategies, and acquisitions and divestitures. The Wine Group is the second largest winery by volume in the U.S., producing the Franzia, Cupcake, Benziger, Concannon, Chloe and Imagery brands.

Previously, Sutton was an attorney at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin where he worked as outside counsel to The Wine Group. He was also an attorney at K & L Gates in San Francisco. From 1994-1997, Sutton served in the White House under President Clinton, first as Special Assistant to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff and then as Special Assistant to the Counselor to the President.

Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of more than 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses, working at the state, national and international levels. Based in San Francisco, with offices in Sacramento, Washington, D.C., six regions across the U.S. and 13 foreign countries, Wine Institute is guided by 80 vintners who are members and alternates on an active board of directors. The board elects the chairman and officers on an annual basis.

Wine Institute’s membership also elected new district and at-large directors and alternates. District directors and their alternates were elected on a one-member-one-vote basis in each district, following nominations by regional winery associations. They are:

2020-2021 District Directors
District Director Alternate
Northern: Kaj Ahlman, Six Sigma Winery To be announced
Sonoma: Julie Pedroncelli St. John, J. Pedroncelli Winery Carmen Castaldi, Rodney Strong Wine Estates
Louis M. Foppiano, Foppiano Vineyards Eric Lent, St. Michelle Wine Estates
Steven MacRostie, MacRostie Winery & Vineyards To be announced
Katie Wetzel Murphy, Alexander Valley Vineyards To be announced
Napa: Suzanne Groth, Groth Vineyards & Winery Mike Reynolds, HALL Wines
David Duncan, Silver Oak Cellars Hugh Davies, Schramsberg Vineyards
Michael Maher, Harlan Estate Delia Viader, Viader Vineyards & Winery
Dennis Cakebread, Cakebread Cellars Chris Hall, Long Meadow Ranch
Robin Baggett, Alpha Omega Winery Paul Leary, Blackbird Vineyards
San Francisco Bay: William Cooper, Cooper-Garrod Vineyards Earl Ault, Cedar Mountain Winery
Monterey Bay: Scott Scheid, Scheid Vineyards Lawrence T. Lohr, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
Central Coast: Gretchen Roddick, Hope Family Wines Karen Steinwachs, Buttonwood Farm Winery
Laura Booras, Riverbench Vineyard & Winery Maeve Pesquera, DAOU Vineyards & Winery
Nicholas Miller,  Miller Family Wine Company Greg Martellotto, Martellotto Winery
Gary Eberle, Eberle Winery Jean Pierre Wolff, Wolff Vineyards
Southern: Stephen Kahle, Woof‘n Rose Winery Linda McWilliams, San Pasqual Winery
Sierra: Steven Millier, Milliaire Winery To be announced
Northern Interior: Randall Lange, LangeTwins Family Vineyards and Winery David Phillips, Michael-David Winery
Southern Interior: Steven Schafer, San Joaquin Wine Company William Nakata, ASV Wines
2020-2021 At-Large Directors
At-Large Director Alternate
Corey Beck, Francis Ford Coppola Winery Ken Minami, Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Giancarlo Bianchetti, Fetzer Vineyards Steven Chen, Fetzer Vineyards 
David Bowman, Jackson Family Wines  Carolyn Wasem, Jackson Family Wines 
James Coleman, E. & J. Gallo Winery  To be announced 
Matt Deegan, Constellation Brands  Sam Glaetzer, Constellation Brands 
Cindy DeVries, Fetzer Vineyards Rodrigo Maturana, Fetzer Vineyards
Michael Drobnick, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers Matthew Towers, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers
John Franzia, Jr., Bronco Wine Company Daniel Leonard, Bronco Wine Company
Joseph Franzia, Bronco Wine Company Chris Mifsud, Bronco Wine Company
Matt Gallo, E. & J. Gallo Winery  Stephanie Gallo, E. & J. Gallo Winery
Tobin Ginter, Rodney Strong Vineyards Timothy Burgess, Rodney Strong Vineyards
Peter Larson, Trinchero Family Estates Roger Trinchero, Trinchero Family Estates
James O’Malley, Brown-Forman Corporation David Perata, Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards
John Sutton, The Wine Group Keith Bauman, The Wine Group
Rick Tigner, Jackson Family Wines Katie Jackson, Jackson Family Wines
Robert Torkelson, Trinchero Family Estates Anthony Torres, Trinchero Family Estates
Brian Vos, The Wine Group Jeff Dubiel, The Wine Group
Michael Walker, Constellation Brands Tiffanie De Liberty, Constellation Brands
Christine Wente, Family Estates Amy Hoopes, Wente Family Estates
Jolene Yee, Delicato Family Wines Cheryl Indelicato, Delicato Family Wines

Media Contact
Wine Institute Communications Department