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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Changing of the guard at B.R. Cohn Winery

B.R. Cohn Winery in Sonoma Valley is known for Cabernet, olive oil and the Doobie Brothers.

Bruce Cohn is the manager of the Doobie Brothers rock band. He wisely invested in Sonoma County real estate 40 years ago and opened the winery 30 years ago. Almost from the beginning of the winery he hosted a yearly concert in his vineyards with the Doobies and other big-name bands from that era. No rap music allowed though that could change.

Bruce has been grooming his oldest son, Dan, to take over the family business. Dan and his siblings grew up in the winery and it appears he has worked in most all aspects of the wine business. Have you started seeing B.R. Cohn wine on your local store shelves in just the last few years? That's Dan's doing as sales manager. Dan is now CEO. Bruce will still be active in the winery, but appears is retired from the day-to-day activities. Dan's brother and sisters also work at the winery.

This sounds like it should be a successful turning over of the reins unlike some of the other local family wineries--Deloach and Viansa are examples of the children not having the same success as their parents.

Bruce Cohn, besides the autumn concerts to benefit charity, puts on classic car shows that also benefit local charities. He has a pretty nice collection of old cars himself. Bruce got into the olive oil business almost 15 years ago at the very beginning of the California olive oil boom.

Bruce has done well for himself. Let's hope the kids have the same business smarts.

Article from the Press Democrat

On another note: One of the smaller corporate-owned wineries in Sonoma County, Alderbrook, has been sold. The Terlato Group out of the Chicago area kept the name, but has sold the property. The new owner is a local. What you'd call a wine & beer executive, I suppose. He owns vineyard property in the county. Hopefully, this will be good for Alderbrook (whatever their new name will be) as they've been through several owners.