Post Creator: Rosie Bartley

Aged to Perfection: A Generational Journey in Crafting Brand Legacy with Alex Ryan, The Duckhorn Portfolio

By ICR | Podcast

To create a brand with a lasting legacy, owners have to set and follow clear principles from the very beginning. Today’s guest has continued to strengthen and grow their brand while maintaining those key principles.

On this episode we’re sitting down with Alex Ryan, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Duckhorn Portfolio, North America’s premier luxury wine company, with 10 wineries, eight state-of-the-art winemaking facilities, seven tasting rooms, and over a thousand coveted acres of vineyard spanning 32 estate properties. Their wines are available throughout the US, on five continents, and in 50 plus countries around the world. Their stock trades under – not surprisingly – NAPA.

Since 1988, Alex’s visionary leadership has been instrumental in establishing and growing the Duckhorn Portfolio from a modest 15,000 cases and a few million dollars in revenue to one of the most highly respected and fastest growing luxury wine companies in the world with multiple Appalachians brands, price points, and styles.

Alex’s story about moving to the region and rising through the ranks to his current position is so interesting, and it’s safe to say Tom’s been looking forward to this interview for months. Join him on this week’s episode as he cracks a bottle of Duckhorn Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2019 just for the occasion.


  • Alex’s relationship with the Duckhorns (2:45)
  • Alex’s start in the business (4:21)
  • The Duckhorn Portfolio brands and products (5:05)
  • Alex’s path to CEO (7:50)
  • The addressable market for automation (9:34)
  • What makes The Duckhorn Portfolio unique (10:00)
  • The company’s distribution strategies (11:36)
  • Off-premise growth strategy (13:35)
  • Innovation and incorporating modern technology into the business (14:57)
  • The company’s total addressable market, and going international (17:17)
  • Growth investments (18:36)
  • The executive team at The Duckhorn Portfolio (20:35)
  • Company values, and brand legacy (22:31)
  • How the brand makes and chooses their aquisitions (24:29)
  • The impact of inflation and the current economy have on the business (25:47)
  • Alex’s proudest moments in his career (27:46)
  • Wine recommendations from Alex (28:41)


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