At John Anthony Family of Wines, we’re driven by passion, dedication and focus. Meet some of the people behind these brands.
At John Anthony Family of Wines, we’re driven by passion, dedication and focus. Meet some of the people behind these brands.
John Anthony Truchard, Founder and CEO of John Anthony Family of Wines leads one of the fastest-growing businesses in the wine industry today. John’s interest in wine began in his family’s vineyards learning viticulture from his father Tony Truchard and other iconic Napa Valley pioneers. John studied biology at University of San Diego, transferring to UC Davis to focus on wine. John started a vineyard management business in the mid-1990s—growing grapes for others to eventually realize the funds to plant his own vineyards and make wines under the John Anthony Vineyards label.
John produced his first estate wines in 2003 with a Syrah and a Cabernet Sauvignon that received notable acclaim and placed John Anthony Vineyards on the map as one of the finest producers in the Napa Valley. The John Anthony collection now includes John Anthony Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in distribution and a portfolio of single-vineyard releases exclusively available through the John Anthony Vineyards Tasting Lounge in downtown Napa.
In 2008 John resolved to make great wines accessible to more people with the brand JaM Cellars (short for John and his wife Michele). The result was a rich, bold Californian Cabernet Sauvignon under $20 called JaM Cabernet. Its success prompted the creation of a creamy Chardonnay called Butter Chardonnay, with Toast Sparkling following quickly thereafter. Butter Chardonnay’s popularity has grown exponentially over the last 10 years and JaM Cellars is nearing 1MM cases in the U.S. with Butter Chardonnay the #2 selling chardonnay over $12 (source Nielsen 2022, 52 weeks) and recognized by Shanken News Impact as a Blue Chip brand since 2021. Butter Chardonnay is also available in 250ml ButterCans, the #1 selling Chardonnay in a can. In 2022 Butter Cab and Butter Bubbles joined the line up to provide more easy-to-love accessible wines in the $15-$20 price point.
John continues to conceive and launch new wine brands that offer distinct value propositions and exceptional quality across price points. Serial Wines showcases the fast-growing and exceptionally-diverse terroirs of Paso Robles, with a Red Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon in distribution. The winery in downtown Paso Robles received the accolade of 10Best New Winery of 2022 by USA Today and continues to release small batch, varietal-specific wines from Paso’s sub-AVAs. Weather Wines is a collection that focuses on expressive Burgundian varietals Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown in their most perfect micro-climates currently sourcing from Sonoma Coast, Russian River and Los Carneros, Napa Valley.
Despite his more than two decades in the wine business, John is just getting started in bringing his entrepreneurial leadership and vision to the industry.
Michele Truchard is fourth-generation Napan, her family grows grapes on their estate in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. Michele earned her Bachelors degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from San Diego State University starting her career as a nutritionist at UCSF Medical Center and St. Mary’s Hospital, San Francisco before wine country called her back to Napa.
Michele returned to the Valley after reconnecting with her future husband John Anthony Truchard, also from Napa and a student at SDSU. Combining her training as a nutritionist with her knowledge and appreciation of wine, Michele developed several successful food-and-wine pairing programs for the Terlato Wine Group’s Rutherford Hill and Chimney Rock wineries. In 2003, she helped John launch John Anthony Vineyards and bottle its first vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
Michele eventually left Terlato to dedicate herself full-time to John Anthony Vineyards and raising their family of three children. John Anthony Family of Wines has since added three more labels: JaM Cellars in 2009 (JaM is short for John and Michele), Serial Wines in 2019 and Weather Wines in 2020. Today, Michele is a spokesperson for the company and instrumental in producing exclusive brand experiences across the portfolio—food and wine pairings, farm-to-table dinners, and live music events—as well as supporting local and national causes as Proprietor of John Anthony Family of Wines.
Jeff was born and raised in the agriculturally based San Joaquin Valley of California and knew early on that he wanted to make wine. At California State University of Fresno he studied Enology and Chemistry earning his Bachelor of Sciences degree.
Jeff honed his winemaking craft at both large and small wineries in the Paso Robles AVA, notably including Justin, Meridian, Eberle and Shandon Valley Partners. Eventually, the northern, cool, coastal climate in Oregon called to him and he landed there as Winemaker with Del Rio Vineyards and Winery.
In the summer of 2008, Jeff joined King Estate, taking the mantel of Director of Winemaking and Viticulture in 2010. His energy and passion for winemaking translated to exceptional wines for King Estate. Jeff also established himself as a respected voice in the industry, speaking at wine industry symposia on his approach for making outstanding Oregon Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. During his tenure, King Estate received “Winery of the Year” on three separate occasions from Wine & Spirits Magazine.
In 2014 Jeff connected with John Truchard, relocated to the Napa Valley and took over winemaking for the John Anthony Family of Wines portfolio. Jeff makes wine across the signature collection of John Anthony Vineyards; the all-occasion Californian wines JaM Cellars; a Paso Robles wine series for Serial Wines; and the Burgundian-varietal portfolio Weather Wines. As John Anthony Family of Wines Executive Winemaker, Jeff continues to add to his career collection of over fifty 90+ points ratings from Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits, Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate—confirming his skill as a world-class winemaker.
Geoff’s wine industry career spans nearly three decades. His roles include fine wine hospitality and sales, major account sales and distribution, winemaking, production and executive leadership. Having worked with industry icons across all facets of the business, Geoff brings broad expertise and deep relationships to his position with John Anthony Family of Wines.
Geoff began his wine career in 1994 in Santa Barbara, California where he held a management position at Wine Cask, a fine-wine and dining restaurant, as well as working harvest and in the cellar at prestigious wineries including Au Bon Climat and Qupé.
In 1999, Geoff switched to the distribution side of the wine business, joining Southern Wine & Spirits as a fine wine salesperson. This experience led him to Robert Mondavi Corporation in 2001, where he held key sales positions in Los Angeles and later in the southwest of the U.S. for the next 6 years. In October 2007, Geoff joined Rob Mondavi Jr. as Managing Partner and Assistant Winemaker for their brands Spellbound and Medusa. Geoff and his wife, Jemina, relocated to Napa, where Geoff could immerse himself in the vineyards and winery.
By 2009 Michael Mondavi asked Geoff to take on the additional role of General Manager for his Michael Mondavi Family Estate, calling on Geoff’s winemaking and production skills, along with his expertise in fine wine sales and marketing. Wines included the highly allocated and rare “M” by Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, Animo, and Emblem brands.
In 2015, having successfully sold the brands he’d helped build, Geoff connected with John Anthony Truchard and joined the John Anthony Family of Wines team to build a sales organization for the portfolio. Geoff leads all sales efforts in the three-tier distribution channel and has continuously built out an elite national sales team. Geoff’s team supports all John Anthony Family of Wines brands including JaM Cellars, John Anthony Vineyards, Serial Wines and Weather Wines on and off-premise nationally. JaM Cellars Butter Chardonnay is the #2 selling chardonnay over $13 (source Nielsen 2022, 52 weeks) and is recognized by Shanken News Impact as a Hot Brand and Blue Chip Award winner.
Sarah brings over 25 years consumer marketing experience to John Anthony Family of Wines. Beginning her career in London, subsequently Chicago and then San Francisco, Sarah has worked at some of the world’s leading communications agencies including: Brann Worldwide; Foote, Cone & Belding; Draft; Digitas; and Organic.
Sarah’s expertise lies in connecting with consumers across touchpoints to build brand equity and drive sales. Having led accounts including, Kraft, Quaker, eBay, Foster Farms and Nike, Sarah knows what motivates consumers to make brands part of their every-day lives.
A love of wine and frequent visits to Napa over the past decade landed Sarah in Napa Valley in 2013. Consulting with wineries and BottleRock Napa Valley led her to John Anthony Truchard. They met just as JaM Cellars wines were taking off and the company was seeking marketing discipline and rigor. Sarah joined the John Anthony Family of Wines team as Chief Marketing Officer in 2015.
Sarah has established an innovative consumer and trade marketing framework for the brands. Employing a zero-based planning approach, Sarah helps the brands meet consumers where they are—online, offline, in-store, in the tasting rooms and at festivals—including BottleRock Napa Valley where JaM Cellars has been Presenting Sponsor since 2016. In her time with John Anthony, Sarah has built a marketing organization that creates billions of impressions annually generates engagement and builds brand communities. The John Anthony trade marketing platform that supports a team of national distributors and retailers with in-store activations and traffic driving campaigns. Sarah earned her Executive Wine MBA from Sonoma State University, is WSET Level II certified and past-Chair of the Napa Valley Vintners Marketing Committee. Sarah lives on the Napa River with her husband Alan, both active in the Napa Yacht Club.
Dallas was first introduced to the world of wine while attending college at UC Berkley and working nights at Chez Panisse. He then spent several years after college working in finance and land development, but missed curating unforgettable wine and food experiences and building lasting relationships. Between 2006 and 2010 Dallas helped open several notable restaurants as sommelier, including Hungry Cat with James Beard Award-winning chef Suzanne Goin; The French Laundry alongside Thomas Keller; and Morimoto Napa with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. In 2010, Dallas moved to New Orleans as Louisiana State Sales Manager for Neat Wines, a Napa Valley focused distributor, doubling revenues in less than two years with logistical, operational and educational system improvements. Dallas returned to Napa in 2014 as Director of Sales for Larkmead Vineyards to help reinvigorate distribution and hospitality for one of Napa’s oldest wine estates. After meeting John Truchard In 2016, Dallas joined John Anthony Family of Wines as VP Hospitality and Direct Sales. He continues to expand hospitality and winery-exclusive offerings across John Anthony Vineyards, JaM Cellars, Serial Wines, Weather Wines and Wishlist Wines through authentic, world-class hospitality and experiences.
Liza Butler has a storied 30-year career conceiving, designing and launching successful beverage alcohol brands. An award-winning, multi-disciplinary design leader, strategic thinker and storyteller, Liza’s focus is on differentiating the brands she creates. Her creative philosophy leads to the creation of distinctive, engaging products that connect with consumers on a personal level. Liza’s career started with leading London design agencies including Design Bridge and Springetts introducing her to the wine and spirits industry, where she found her passion. Prior to joining John Anthony Family of Wines in 2017, Liza was Senior Director of Creative at E & J Gallo Winery driving new brand development and managing a design portfolio of over 100 wine and spirits brands in the premium and popular price segments. Originally from England, Liza gained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Derbyshire University. Her dry British sense of humor carry her through her busy career and personal life as mother to twin boys and athlete dedicated to fitness and health.
Jim brings over 30 years executive experience in beer, wine and spirits companies. Previously CFO of Pete’s Brewing Company, Jim oversaw finance and production functions supporting the growth of Pete’s Wicked Ale®. The brand grew from startup to 5 million cases in just 6 years earning Inc. 500® awards as one of the 100 fastest-growing, privately held companies in America 3 years in a row. Jim also led the company’s effort to go public on NASDAQ in 1995.
In the wine business, Jim previously held CFO positions with St. Supéry Vineyards and Winery and Leslie Rudd Investment Company, a private investment holding company with diverse holdings in beverage alcohol and hospitality. He first met John Anthony Truchard as Co-Founder of Halsey Bottling, then one of the largest mobile bottling companies in Northern California, where Jim’s team bottled some of the first vintages of Butter Chardonnay for JaM Cellars.
Jim is a Certified Public Accountant Accredited in Business Valuation, a Chartered Global Management Accountant and a Certified Family Business Advisor. Jim and his wife Dorothea have three grown children and make their home in Napa.
Bringing 15 years of wine industry experience and 9 years in leadership positions for both finance and human resources, Trycel has worked at iconic Napa Valley wineries. Focused on brand quality and growth, Trycel uses her industry knowledge to provide analysis and insight to John Anthony Family of Wines.
In 2014 after completing her MBA at Dominican University with a focus in Global Business Management, Trycel held the Controller role at Clos Du Val winery. In 2018, she joined the team at Heitz Cellars to complete the new ownership acquisition and start a new strategic direction for the brand.
In 2020, Trycel connected with Jim Collins and John Truchard and joined as John Anthony Family of Wines Controller overseeing Accounting and Human Resources. After 18 months of building a high caliber finance team, implementing system improvements and the improving employee experience, Trycel was promoted to Vice President of Finance.
Trycel was born and raised in Sonoma where she is currently raising the fourth generation including three young girls along with her talented husband and chef, Michael and their menagerie of poultry livestock.
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