The Wine Finance Seminar

Following on the heels of our successful, 6th Annual Wine Industry Workshop in December, there has been a groundswell of support for a follow up “seminar” to more sharply focus on the financial issues facing wine industry organizations.

This Wine Finance Seminar event was organized by Exkalibur University, the education affiliate of The Exkalibur Organization and, with the support of these Wine Industry Sponsors.

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The Wine Industry Programs from Exkalibur University are focused on presenting practical business strategies to help you achieve superior performance in your wine business, and are dedicated to helping you become a More Effective Leader and Build a More Successful Business.

As you know, great wine from great grapes is rarely enough to build and sustain a profitable and successful wine business. There are many other factors that contribute to a successful wine business:

  • Recruiting and retaining the best leadership team
  • Employing dedicated sales and marketing professionals
  • Creating positive cash flow and financial stability
  • Understanding how to create realizable value in your business

Our mission is to help you navigate these waters and to share with you Best Practices adopted by successful wine businesses.

Click here to see the lineup of speakers.

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Who Will Benefit?

The Wine Finance Seminar was directed to the broad range of C-level executives, as well as CFOs and finance teams in the wine industry.

It was also valuable for anyone who will benefit from a thoughtful understanding of issues critical to the financial performance of a winery, as well as growers, bottlers, negociants and related agricultural companies.

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Who Has Attended?

Our Wine Industry Programs have averaged approximately 100 attendees or more. Our Workshop Guests have included CEOs and other C-Suite executives as well as managers from sales, marketing, operations, vineyard management, finance and accounting, HR and general administrative functions.

We have hosted senior executives and managers from such wineries and related companies as Peter Michael, Trinchero Family Estates, Duckhorn Wine Company, Cakebread Cellars, Trefethen Family Vineyards, C. Mondavi and Sons, Jackson Family Wines, Francis Ford Coppola Presents, Silver Oak Cellars, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, Black Dog Ranch, Paul Hobbs Winery, Black Knight Vineyards, Lambert Bridge, Napa Valley Reserve, Kachina Winery, Merryvale Vineyards, Dos Lagos Vineyard, DaVero Farms & Winery, Markham Vineyard, Enkidu Wine, V2 Wine Group, Saxon Brown Wines, Halleck Vineyard, Orin Swift Wine Cellars, Lasseter Family Winery, Iron Horse Vineyards, Dutton Ranch, Bacchus Vineyard Management, V Sattui Winery … and many others.

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Our Wine Industry Sponsors are committed to Your Success

I have been fortunate to work closely with each of Our Sponsors over many years, and am continually impressed by their commitment to serving their clients and community and to helping their clients and colleagues build more successful businesses. You can learn more about our Sponsors here.

All of us are genuinely interested in helping you advance your wine industry knowledge and learn practical tools and best practices you can immediately put to work in your wine-related business.

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Event Location & Details

This was an invitation-only event for the clients and guests of our Sponsors.

If you registered as a guest of one of our Sponsors, you were added to our Wine Industry Workshop mailing list and will receive all of the relevant workshop materials. It’s an easy way for us to communicate and make certain you had everything you needed for this a successful event.

The information, below, is for your convenient reference:

Date: Friday, March 2, 2018

Time: 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Food: Continental Breakfast & Lunch

Location: Near the Santa Rosa airport (Details to be provided upon registration.)

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This Year’s Program

Our Growing List of Speakers

We have assembled some of the keenest minds in the Wine Industry to discuss some of the most important business challenges facing companies in the wine industry.

Lary R. Kirchenbauer, Chancellor, Exkalibur University

Lary is the founder of The Exkalibur Organization, which includes its affiliate, Exkalibur University, its educational platform providing educational and training experiences, in both in-person events and through its online curriculum focused on Leadership, Productivity and Business Finance.

Aaron Tompkins, CPA, Senior Manager, Moss Adams LLP

Aaron has practiced public accounting since 2002, and works closely with wineries and institutionally-backed businesses to proactively plan for tax reform compliance as well as advise clients on a wide range of tax strategies matters. Aaron has substantial experience in the wine, food & beverage, consumer products, and construction industries.

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Anya Lopez, CPA, Senior Manager, Moss Adams LLP

Anya is a tax senior manager with Moss Adams LLP who has practiced public accounting since 2004. She provides tax compliance and consulting services for business entities and individuals in the wine, agribusiness, and food and beverage industries. She has experience preparing tax returns for pass-through entities and individuals as well as corporations.

Liz Bishop, Managing SVP, Heffernan Insurance Brokers

Liz leads the Heffernan Wine Practice in Petaluma, which currents helps over 100 wineries with their insurance needs. She has been in the insurance industry for over 25 years, and has since focused on helping those in the wine, agribusiness, food, hospitality, nonprofit, construction and manufacturing industries.

Debra Costa, Senior Vice President Heffernan Insurance Brokers

Debra Costa is a Senior Vice President of Heffernan Insurance Brokers and leads their Wine Practice. Debra has over 25 years of commercial insurance experience and specializes in insuring wineries and food manufacturing operations.

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Steve Tamburelli, CEO, Clos du Val

Steve Tamburelli has earned a reputation for helping to write exciting new chapters in the stories of some of the valley’s most iconic wineries. Since being named the president and CEO of Clos Du Val in 2014, Steve has guided a renaissance at the winery, including a pivotal decision to begin making almost all of Clos Du Val’s wines exclusively using estate-grown grapes beginning with the 2014 vintage.

Phil Borgmeyer, CFO, Goosecross Cellars

Currently, Phil is the CFO at Goosecross Cellars in Yountville and works directly with Christi Coors Ficeli. He enjoys working with a smaller boutique winery because strategic decisions can have a significant impact. For example, he built out a Five-Year Cash Flow model to include all case sales by sales channel & production requirements for each of the five years, which also recognizes all Revenue and Operating expenses by sales channel for the five years. He enjoys being part of the Goosecross team and being a strategic part of growing the winery.

Marshall Graves, Vice President, Wine Industry Specialist, Bank of Marin

Marshall Graves is a Senior Commercial Banking Officer at Bank of Marin, specializing in the wine industry. In this role, he helps wineries and winery owners understand market trends and industry-specific metrics, and works closely with them to build symbiotic relationships that lead to the best financial solutions for each client’s unique needs.

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Nicole Cummings, HR Director, Cakebreak Cellars

Nicole is responsible for leading the activities of the HR department. She served as the first HR Manager for the winery from 2001-2006 and rejoined the winery in June, 2014 as the head of Human Resources. Nicole oversees recruitment, selection, talent management, development and implementation of various employee and leadership training, compensation, benefits, employment compliance, safety, and performance management.

Lisa Meyer, HR Director, Pernod Ricard Winemakers

Lisa has overall responsibility for managing the full spectrum of HR operations for Mumm Napa & Kenwood Vineyards for Pernod Ricard. She is responsible for developing the PRW USA HR strategy and establishing a strong HR team & foundation, including managing the design & implementation of all local HR policies, procedures, programs and best practices, driving initiatives that are in line with the global PRW HR strategy, company’s strategic priorities and business needs.

Cameron M. Carlson, Principal, Carlson Hammond

Cameron (“Cam”) M. Carlson is a principal in CARLSON HAMMOND, a consulting and financial services practice specializing in the development of business succession and exit strategies for owners of privately held businesses. For over 40 years, Cam has advised business owners from a variety of industries, integrating experience in estate planning, retirement planning, and executive retention programs.

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What Was Covered?

Below, you will find a current summary of the topics that were covered in this year’s Workshop.

In all cases, we encourage an active conversation among the panelists and the audience and will reserve plenty of time for your questions.

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1. The wide-Ranging Impact of the Tax Reform Act of 2017

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed into law on December 22, and became effective on January 1, 2018, including the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform (CBMTR) provisions.

Our tax experts will cover significant income tax law changes impacting individuals and identify potential tax-saving opportunities for winery and vineyard owners that were created or expanded under the new legislation.They’ll also highlight federal excise credits and other aspects of tax reform that apply to a broader cross-section of individuals and businesses, including those involved in farming activities.

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2. The Top 6.5 Risk Management Strategies Essential for Wine Industry Success

In the wake of the tragic fires that struck in wine country last year, along with earthquake and other unexpected challenges from Mother Nature, it’s an ideal time to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered.

  • How is “Business Income” calculated so I know my risk coverages are adequate when a claim is filed?
  • What should be included in a Disaster Planning memo to make we don’t leave anything out?
  • How do we balance a beautiful property with attractive foliage without creating a fire hazard?

Get the answers to these and the other 3.5 Critical Risk Management strategies for 2018!

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3. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Used by the Most Successful Wineries

There are countless ratios, benchmarks and covenants that companies may choose to monitor, measure and drive superior performance.

This panel will address some of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used by the most successful wineries to achieve success in the wine industry.

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4. Successful Practices to Manage Growing Labor Shortages & Higher Labor Costs

This panel will address the increasing labor management demands in the wine industry.

Labor challenges are mounting as a result of multiple factors. There continue to be acute labor shortages at all levels, and as expected, resulting in higher labor costs required to attract employees. These pressures can be felt in the vineyards and tasting rooms as well as at the executive level.

If you’re not facing this issue head-on, you’re already behind the curve. Join our industry experts who have their fingers on the pulse of the labor market and benefit from their keen insights and innovations to address this short and long-term challenge.

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5. Innovative Incentive Programs to Recruit, Retain and Reward Your Key Employees

Given the labor challenges at all levels within the wine industry, creating programs to reward key performers can go a long way toward creating a superior workforce.

Cam Carlson, Principal of Carlson Hammond, will cover the current landscape of incentive plans available for privately held companies to help you identify and implement compelling incentive programs.

His presentation will cover these topics and more:

  • Equity-based incentives like restricted stock and stock options, including both qualified and non-qualified Incentive Stock Options (ISOs).
  • Synthetic equity incentives including Restricted Stock Units, Phantom Stock and Stock Appreciation Rights (SARs)
  • Deferred Cash-Based Incentives including restricted bonus arrangements, Supplemental Retirement Executive Plans (SERPs) and voluntary deferred compensation.

He will also discuss IRS compliance rules that have impacted the design of executive incentives, including, for example, compliance rules that have affected the growing shift from restricted stock options to restricted stock units.

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Contact the Exkalibur Team for any reason

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Exkalibur Team if you need assistance for any reason.

You can reach our Business Manager, Deborah Harlow at; 888–351–8880, x 3. I promise she will respond promptly to your inquiry.

You may also reach me directly at or 888–351–8880, x1.

Please let us know if we can be helpful to you in any way.

All the best,