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Legends Behind the Craft

Business & Economics Podcasts

This is the Legends Behind the Craft Podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry.

This is the Legends Behind the Craft Podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry.


United States


This is the Legends Behind the Craft Podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry.




Creating and Managing Multiple Wine Brands With Josh McDaniels of Bledsoe Wine Estates

Josh McDaniels is the CEO and Director of Winemaking at Bledsoe Wine Estates. He was born and raised in Walla Walla, where he fell in love with the wine industry at an early age. Josh started his own winery during high school and pursued this passion by obtaining formal education from the Institute of Enology and Viticulture. He also took extension courses through Washington State University and UC Davis and interned in Argentina at Paul Hobbs’ Vina Cobos Winery to further his...

The Art and Science of Storage and Distribution With Mark Hiddleson of Specialized Storage Solutions

Mark Hiddleson is the Owner of Specialized Storage Solutions, a company that provides industry-leading warehouse storage solutions nationwide. He has been a storage racking industry professional since 1996 and started Specialized Storage Solutions in 2004 to create something unique and better serve clients. Mark is also the Host of the Tao of Pizza Podcast, which features top logistics leaders and entrepreneurs. He holds a master’s degree in holistic health education, which has helped him...


4,083 Days to Success: The Story of a Lawyer Turned Winemaker With Amy LaBelle of LaBelle Winery

Amy LaBelle is the Founder and Winemaker at LaBelle Winery. She is a former practicing attorney who discovered her passion for winemaking after visiting a small winery in Nova Scotia, Canada during one of her summer vacations. Amy was recently named “Business Leader of the Year” in New Hampshire. Her ultimate goal is to give back to her community in fulfilling, impactful, and meaningful ways while also growing her business exponentially with her husband and Co-owner, Cesar Arboleda. In...


Bringing the Renaissance of Armenian Wines to the US With Zack Armen of Storica Wines

Zack Armen is the Co-founder and President of Storica Wines, an Armenian wine import company in the US. He is an American Armenian who grew up in Long Island, New York, but was raised very close to Armenian culture and heritage. Zack travels to Armenia every year, and during one of his trips in 2017, he noticed the sudden boom of wine bars and wine drinking. He started to ask around, met two of the best winemakers in Armenia, and the rest is history. Today, through Storica Wines, Zack...


Launching and Running a Spirits Brand as a Side Hustle With Dariusz Paczuski of Rocket Vodka

Dariusz Paczuski is the Founder and CEO of Rocket Vodka — California vodka handcrafted from 100% apples and fresh Sierra Nevada mountain water. Dariusz came to the US from Norway on a swimming scholarship to study business and later earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from California State University, Long Beach. During an involuntary sabbatical and a ‘what if’ moment on a ski trip, Dariusz launched Rocket Vodka from his garage in Silicon Valley. Today, Dariusz works in the tech...


The Story Behind the World’s First Superfruit Cocktail With Tomas Crowe of Dezo

Tomas Crowe is the Co-founder and President of Dezo, the world's first canned superfruit cocktail. During his time at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, Tomas first realized that there was a serious need for healthier drinking options. He shared this idea with his then fraternity brother, Tim Demirjian. Tim introduced Tomas to Marc Kessler who also had an interest in creating healthier cocktails. The three started experimenting in Tim and Marc’s kitchen in LA, and the rest is...


The Secrets of a Successful Family-Owned Vineyard and Winery With Craig, Nancy, Clayton, Casey, Lisa, and Emma Kirchhoff of Kirchhoff Wines

The Kirchhoff family lives and farms south of Clarksburg, CA, on the Sacramento River Delta. Growing grapes is more than an occupation in their family — it’s a passion. Their hands-on grape-growing approach and dry farming techniques evoke the truest expression their land has to offer and promote sustainable practices, preserving the land for future generations. Craig Kirchhoff and his family began planting a variety of grape vines in 2009. The family's first wines were produced from these...


Building Successful Spirits Brands With David Mandell of Kentucky Owl

David Mandell is the President of Kentucky Owl, the Co-founder of The Bardstown Bourbon Company, and the creator of the first premium caffeinated vodka. He has spent the last two decades in the spirits industry and is known as an innovative and transformational leader. Before entering the beverage space, David was an attorney at Blank Rome. He’s also the former Chief of Staff of the Federal Aviation Administration and was Counsel to the Chairman of the National Transportation Safety...


Creating Brand Equity and Customer Value With Julia Weinberg and Byron Hoffman of Offset Partners

Byron Hoffman is the Co-CEO and Chief Creative Officer at Offset Partners, a wine commerce, technology, and brand design company. Prior to Offset, he was the Founder and Creative Director at Hoffman & Co. Julia Weinberg is the VP of Commerce Strategy at Offset, the leading choice for allocated wineries and high-touch retailers. The company also offers brand packaging and website design. Before Offset, Julia was the Creative Developer and Founding Partner at Delectable. In this episode with...


Pioneering Mamajuana for the American Consumer With Alejandro Russo of Candela

Alejandro Russo is the CEO and Founder of Candela, a Miami-based producer of exotic spiced rums. As CEO, he uses his entrepreneurial and leadership backgrounds to create Candela’s brand, which is well-recognized for making the Dominican Republic’s legendary native drink a household name. Alejandro founded his first company at 19 years old and has owned and sold many companies including SoyGourmet.com and Klooff. In this episode with Alejandro Russo As a liquor brand, it’s important to...


How to Market Your Winery With Julie Kuhlken of Pedernales Cellars

Julie Kuhlken, PhD is the Owner and CEO of Pedernales Cellars, a winery specializing in Texas-grown Spanish and Rhone-style wines. As a well-versed professional in the wine industry, she has earned the Level III award from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and has served as President of The Texas Hill Country Winery Association. Julie currently serves on the marketing committee of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association and the board of the Economic Development Commission for...


Quality Wines and Experiential Tasting With Jason Bushong of Bushong Vintage Company

Jason Bushong is the Owner of Bushong Vintage Company, a winery and tasting room. He entered the wine industry as an Intern at Fieldbrook Winery and has worked in several different American Viticultural Areas (AVA) in California. With over 20 years of winemaking experience, Jason opened his company in 2017. In this episode with Jason Bushong Wine brands often struggle in convincing customers to appreciate the full value of a wine. Consumers regard tasting rooms as restaurants and overlook...


Creating Opportunities in the Wine Industry With Jena Domingue of WineDirect

Jena Domingue is the Vice President of Talent, Culture, and Sales at WineDirect, a leading provider of direct-to-consumer (DTC) solutions for wineries. At WineDirect, Jena leads the client success teams across e-commerce and fulfillment and has also been responsible for fulfillment sales growth of over $50 million in revenue. She has led the development of WineDirect’s programs including the strong onboarding program and the WineDirect Academy training program. As an accomplished senior...


Creating Innovative Wines for the Young Consumer With Jerry Amabile of Cream Ridge Winery

Jerry Amabile is the President of Cream Ridge Winery, which is dedicated to crafting quality, natural wines and providing exceptional customer service. Established in Cream Ridge, New Jersey in 1988, Cream Ridge was the seventh winery at the time, making it one of the oldest in the state. Today, Cream Ridge creates innovative wines from native varietals and fruits from their orchard. In this episode with Jerry Amabile In today’s dynamic industry, many wineries have experienced a decline in...


Great Wines for Great Causes With Shari and Garen Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyard

Shari and Garen Staglin are the CEOs and Co-owners of Staglin Family Vineyard, which is founded on the motto “great wines for great causes.” They purchased Rutherford Bench Estates in 1985 after spending many years learning about wine together. Since farming their vineyard during that time, Shari and Garen have donated and raised more than $1 billion to support charities, including their main cause, One Mind, whose mission is to foster healthy brains for all. In this episode with Shari and...


Brand Evangelists: Building a Memorable Brand for the Consumer With John Kochis

John Kochis is the President of Beck Family Estates, a family-owned company promoting unique vineyard sites and wineries in South Africa and Oregon. As a 27-year veteran of the wine industry, John began his career as a wine sales rep. He is a performance-driven executive leader with experience building and directing high-performance management teams. In this episode with John Kochis In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for wine has increased, and marketing in the wine...


Expanding Your Brand for Consumer Demands With John McDonnell

John McDonnell is the former International President and COO of Patrón, where he was responsible for growing its revenue from 75 million to 600 million dollars. He is a worldwide motivational speaker, helping individuals and organizations achieve success in today’s global economy, build strong international brands, and leverage the power of teamwork. He served as the Chairman of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and is now a Chairman of the Massachusetts Convention...


Nurturing Sustainability in the Wine Industry With Matt Brain of Alpha Omega Winery

Matt Brain is a Winemaker at Alpha Omega Winery in Napa Valley, California. Matt holds a master’s degree in biosciences from Sam Houston State University where he was a decathlete. He also earned a winemaking degree from UC Davis. Matt partnered with The Vineyard Team as a Sustainability Auditor and hosts a podcast for the organization promoting sustainable wine growing. Previously, Matt worked at Treasury Wine Estates, Baker and Brain Wines, Fresno State, and Edna Valley Vineyards, among...


Cultivating Care and Dedication in Winemaking With Barry Waitte

Barry Waitte is a Vintner and Proprietor at Tamber Bey Vineyards and the President of the Board Of Directors at Oakville Winegrowers. He began his career in the tech industry, working for Apple and AOL in sales before his passion for the wine beverage industry took hold. Previously, Barry was the Chairman of the Board for Structural Integrity Associates, and he earned his degree in business from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. In this episode with Barry...


Honing Your Craft for the Consumer With Adrian Mobilia of Salted Vines Vineyard & Winery

Adrian Mobilia is the Owner and President of Salted Vines Vineyard & Winery. Adrian is a fourth-generation grape grower born and raised on his family’s farm in North East Pennsylvania, where he grew up working in the vineyard. He graduated from Penn State with a degree in horticulture, and shortly after getting married, purchased a 26-acre farm in Frankford, Delaware, where he opened Salted Vines Vineyard & Winery. In this episode with Adrian Mobilia Starting and maintaining a successful...