Duckhorn Wine CEO: Planning for luxury market after boomers, coping with new Napa County regulations

Napa Valley-based Duckhorn Wine Company makes ultrapremium and luxury brands Decoy, Duckhorn, Goldeneye, Paraduxx, Migration, Canvasback from Washington state and Calera from the California Central Coast.

The company owns or leases 800 acres of vineyards and produces over 800,000 cases a year.

In 1981, Alex Ryan came to Duckhorn and worked his way up from to president and CEO in 2005. Private-equity firm GI Partners acquired Duckhorn two years later. In 2016, another private-equity firm, TSG Consumer Partners of San Francisco, became the new owner.

On the “hot topics” panel at the Business Journal’s Wine Industry Conference on Thursday, Ryan talked with the Journal about the forces propelling and hindering the business, including the challenge of marketing to the next generation and the prickly matter of whether it’s economical for the industry to operate in Napa County with new regulations

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