“The Unicorn of Napa Valley” by Phillip Stutts

Let me ask you a question: How do you like your chardonnay to taste? Minerally or buttery?

 

If you answered “buttery,” you probably know the wine that John Truchard built from the ashes of the Great Recession.

 

Now, let me ask you a marketing question: How important do you think a great brand is to your business?

 

This leads me back to John, who leveraged his amazing brand, solid price point and high quality standards to build a nine-figure (valuation) wine company in only a few years.

 

You have to read his incredible story…

 

But first, let me tell you right out of the gate, making and selling wine in California is hard as shit! The supply chain is massive and the distribution roadblocks are endless. You must also take into account the onerous regulations and taxes that all California business owners endure. And that’s before any economic disruptions or natural disasters come into the picture.

 

I tell you this to understand that it’s extremely difficult to build a successful wine business (in California or anywhere really).

 

And that’s why John Truchard is a unicorn in the wine industry.

 

John’s story is amazing. Here’s the short version…

 

He is a lifelong winemaker in Napa Valley. His high-end wine, named John Anthony Vineyards, was established over 20 years ago with blood, sweat and tears. It became successful and very profitable.

 

Then the 2008 recession hit. While John Anthony Vineyards survived (and is still making delicious high-end wines), it was also a wake-up call for John and his wife, Michele.

 

What do most entrepreneurs do in tough, challenging times? They get scrappy, innovative and create opportunities — and that’s what John and Michele did.

 

. . .

 

Click here to read the full story on Medium.

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