Jim Huntsinger, the executive vice president of Trinchero Family Estates, has announced that he will retire at the end of 2014.
Huntsinger has been a key player in the expansion of Trinchero Family Estates since he joined Sutter Home Winery in 1987, according to Roger Trinchero, vice chairman and CEO. At that time Sutter Home was the only brand under the umbrella organization of Trinchero Family Estates, with only four varietals: White Zinfandel, Zinfandel, Reserve Zinfandel and Moscato.
In 1987 White Zinfandel became one of the best-selling premium wines in the U.S., prompting the company to increase production. Huntsinger, who had significant years of experience at Almaden Winery, Korbel Champagne Cellars, Christian Brothers Winery and Corbet Canyon Vineyards, was chosen to manage production expansion.
According to Trinchero in a statement released by the company, the systems and the team that Huntsinger’s leadership in production developed formed the basis for the rapid growth of the products that would drive the organization’s successes. These innovations included the design and construction of a bottling and warehouse distribution facility at Green Island Road in American Canyon, and the incorporation of the former Christian Brothers Winery facility on Main Street in St. Helena that tripled production. The Main Street facility is now the company’s headquarters.
In 1997 the company further began to expand its production to Lodi, where many of the company’s grapes are sourced. According to a company representative, the Lodi facility will be completed in 2015 and become the main bottling plant and distribution center for the company.
A significant part of Huntsinger’s role has been to manage the company’s raw material procurement and requirement planning, according to public relations director, Nora Feeley. Starting with very few information resources at his disposal in 1987 and a few hundred acres of grapes, Huntsinger defined the elements of an information system that would become the key to the company’s ability to meet consumer demand.
According to the company’s statement, it was the insight into requirements planning that enabled the company to expand production, while spurring the development of new vineyards to meet the growing demand for grapes. “As the head of production and a close confidant to our family, Jim has been a key factor in the success of the company,” Roger Trinchero said.
Today, Trinchero Family Estates holds nearly 10,000 acres in production throughout the state of California, and is composed of over 40 brands with more than 500 SKUs, making it one of the largest family-owned and operated wineries in the nation. “The processes that Jim developed,” Trinchero said. “And the team he built, will continue to ensure the growth of the company into the future. We will be forever grateful to Jim and his tremendous contribution to Trinchero Family Estates.”
But for Huntsinger, the gratitude is mutually returned. “I fell into this business and was able to learn from the bottom up,” he said. “I’m thankful to the Trinchero family for giving me the opportunity to be part of a company that changed the way American’s enjoy wine.”