Our Roots, Our Values, and Our Vision Moving Forward

Our beginnings trace back to Mike Temple’s Berkeley garage in 1975, where he and a group of self-professed “food and wine geeks” with a tasting club stored their wine and met regularly to drink it. Within months Mike and his friends went “deep” and began purchasing wine at auction in England. Such activity required an import license, and after several years and many bottles of Grand Cru Burgundy the group became official by incorporating in 1977. Players in the then-emerging Berkeley farm-to-table restaurant scene wanted “in,” as there were precious few quality-minded wine importers operating in California at this time. A company was born.

In 1987 President Alan Pricco joined Grape Expectations, providing the additional capital and energy to expand the company’s distribution into Oregon and Washington. By the late 1980s Mike and Alan had salespeople and trucks covering the coast from Los Angeles all the way to Seattle, establishing early leadership when it came to integrated multi-state wine importation and distribution. Netherlands-based Frank Poot, a long-time industry leader in Europe, joined Grape in 2015 after the untimely passing of Founder Mike Temple. Mike and Frank, always close friends, collaborated on many fronts over the years and Frank’s formal integration into the company now provides Grape with a stronger than ever foundation in Europe. Frank’s extensive relationships and logistics acumen are second to nobody in this business. Managing Director Jeff Miller started his career in sales at Grape Expectations and returned after a 12-year absence in 2018, igniting the beginning of a new era for the company in terms of growth and reach.

Our National Portfolio represents independent producers from all major wine regions with licensing and service in all 50 US states. Our West Coast Distribution arm directly services the Western states of California, Oregon, and Washington, selling both our own import selections, wines from partner importers, and wines from leading domestic producers. Our Premier division provides compressed margin and 3PL solutions to progressive retailers, wineries, and importers.

Here in the US market Grape is unique amongst peers of similar size and longevity in that the company has remained a family-oriented operation through and through. Most of the key members of our management team have been with us since the first time neon colors were in style, and the second generation of the family is now stepping into leadership roles.

More so than any of his Bay Area peers our late Founder Mike Temple placed tremendous emphasis on delivering value, and forty years later it goes without saying that most everyone in this industry thinks of “Grape” and “value” synonymously. Whether dealing in humble Touraine Sauvignon or Cru Barolo, Mike took heartfelt pride in providing unbeatable value to you, Grape’s clients.

Our industry is changing quickly these days, and we’ve doubled down on Mike’s legacy of value with the rollout of our Direct Import Portfolio and its “winery direct” pricing model – We don’t build a typical importer margin into our national prices because we don’t have to. We don’t employ the typical importer’s army of regional managers, you won’t see us spending money on in-store demos, we refuse to pay slotting fees, and we don’t shuffle our import employees across the country on time and dollar consuming “ride withs.” Instead we drive engagement through our creative online content channels and through personal visits from winery principals. A similar story can be told about our West Coast Distribution arm and the uniquely low-cost structure that now serves as its architecture – No uneeded layers of middle management, no army of merchandisers, and no fancy office spaces…Just hand-made wine sold at prices that induce eye-strain! Wine lovers everywhere seek out the “Grape” importer label because they’ve come to trust our company’s ability to consistently over-deliver. The continuation and expansion of this philosophy, Mike’s legacy, is our obsession.

Our Business Units

DIRECT IMPORT PORTFOLIO

  • The Grape Expectations Direct Import Portfolio is composed of the wines that we purchase directly as the importer of record.
  • The focus of our Direct Import Portfolio efforts are with European wine, but we import directly from most other major regions in the world as well.
  • For most of these items we broker sales with distributors in the other 47 US states (most purchase out of our California warehouse, and some pick up directly from the winery cellar).
  • While most National Importers run on a 30-40% profit margin, we run much leaner (10%-15%), with the understanding being that a combination of engaging content and best in class pricing is superior to the “status quo” of ride withs and billback schemes.

WEST COAST DISTRIBUTION

  • We operate wholesale distribution companies in California, Oregon, and Washington, each with its own warehouse and office.
  • We pride ourselves in best-in-class customer service, commitment to teamwork, and a “growth-mindset” culture.
  • Our distribution portfolios are split between products sourced from the Grape Expectations Direct Import Portfolio, and those from US-based wineries and importers.

PREMIER

  • We’ve specialized in compressed-margin and 3PL solutions since our early days, where we’ve handled warehousing and logistics for firms looking to select and import their own wines.
  • This business unit is flexible, with the philosophy of creating custom solutions for retailers, wineries, importers, and agents looking for compressed-margin/communication-first fulfillment

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Alan Pricco
Alan PriccoPresident
Jeff Miller
Jeff MillerManaging Director

WEST COAST DISTRIBUTION SALES TEAM

Ken O'Hara
Ken O'HaraDirector of Sales, Washington Distribution
Angelo Simonetti
Angelo SimonettiDirector of Sales, Oregon Distribution
Bruno Walker
Bruno WalkerDirector of Sales, Northern California Distribution
Cameron Russell
Cameron RussellDirector of Sales, Southern California Distribution
Caleb Leonard
Caleb LeonardAccount Manager, Olympia/Tacoma; Chain Coordinator, WCD
Janell Glatzmaier
Janell GlatzmaierAccount Manager, Spokane
John Griffin
John GriffinAccount Manager, Seattle Metro
Justin Meredith
Justin MeredithAccount Manager, Bellevue/Eastside
Josh Silverman
Josh SilvermanAccount Manager, Whatcom/Skagit/Island Counties
Maria Zeimet
Maria ZeimetAccount Manager, Seattle Metro
Peter Fritts
Peter FrittsAccount Manager, Seattle
Stephen Buffington
Stephen BuffingtonAccount Manager, Vashon/Seatac/Renton
Todd Roney
Todd RoneyAccount Manager, Kitsap Peninsula
Steve Heinzel
Steve HeinzelAccount Manager, North Seattle
Valerie Ross
Valerie RossAccount Manager, Seattle Metro
Beth Eby
Beth EbyAccount Manager, Oregon Coast
Brent Burkholder
Brent BurkholderAccount Manager, Portland/Vancouver
Drew Prazeau
Drew PrazeauAccount Manager, Portland
Jonathan Barbo
Jonathan BarboAccount Manager, Ashland
Katie Zancanella
Katie ZancanellaAccount Manager, Eugene
Maio Martinez
Maio MartinezAccount Manager, Portland
Mark Garner
Mark GarnerAccount Manager, Portland
Nicholas Jaindil
Nicholas JaindilAccount Manager, Bend
Hannah Ermisch
Hannah ErmischAccount Manager, San Francisco/Peninsula
Ricki Flores
Ricki FloresAccount Manager, Napa/Sonoma
Stephanie Burke
Stephanie BurkeAccount Manager, East Bay
Tiziana Costamanga
Tiziana CostamangaAccount Manager, San Francisco
Jake Lenz
Jake LenzAccount Manager, Sacramento
Brian Klassen
Brian KlassenAccount Manager, Sacramento
Alicia Ajolo
Alicia AjoloAccount Manager, Orange County
Mark Goldfarb
Mark GoldfarbAccount Manager, Beverly Hills
Mike King
Mike KingAccount Manager, San Diego
Megan McLoone
Megan McLooneAccount Manager, West Los Angeles
Sean Best
Sean BestAccount Manager, Santa Barbara

NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION SALES AND MARKETING TEAM

Peter Moore
Peter MooreDirector of Sales, National Distribution
Katie Cushwa
Katie CushwaMarketing Coordinator
Kathi Kankis
Kathi KankisMarketing Coordinator

CORPORATE OPERATIONS TEAM

Debbie Cooper
Debbie CooperOperations Manager, Accounting (Corporate)
Yukie Hasegawa
Yukie HasegawaOperations Coordinator, Accounting (Corporate)
Logan Pricco
Logan PriccoPurchasing Manager, Imports
Adam Keene
Adam KeenePurchasing Manager, Domestic
Daniel Hericks
Daniel HericksOperations Manager, Traffic and Compliance

REGIONAL OPERATIONS TEAM (ADMIN)

Amy Kinsella
Amy KinsellaOperations Manager, Admin (WCD WA/OR)
Anabel Torres
Anabel TorresOperations Manager, Admin (Premier WA/OR)
Jenny Skidmore
Jenny SkidmoreOperations Manager, Admin (Premier CA, WCD CA, National Portfolio)
Natalie Pricco
Natalie PriccoOperations Manager, Admin (Premier CA), Account Manager (Premier CA)
Elizabeth Styles
Elizabeth StylesOperations Coordinator, Admin (Premier CA, WCD CA)
Marie Lohier
Marie LohierOperations Coordinator, Accounting (WCD OR, Premier OR)
Susan Smith
Susan SmithOperations Coordinator, Accounting (WCD WA, Premier WA)
Teresa Thompson
Teresa ThompsonOperations Coordinator, Admin (WCD WA/OR)
Paris Moore
Paris MooreOperations Coordinator, Admin (WCD WA/OR, Premier WA/OR)

REGIONAL OPERATIONS TEAM (WAREHOUSING AND DELIVERY)

Mike Lucia
Mike LuciaOperations Director, Warehousing/Delivery (WA/OR/CA)
Denny Bowden
Denny BowdenSenior Operations Manager, Warehousing and Delivery (WA); Receiver (WA)
Shawn Grant
Shawn GrantWarehousing/Delivery Lead (OR)
Francisco Gomez
Francisco GomezOperations Manager, Warehousing and Delivery (CA); Receiver (CA)
Alberto Romero
Alberto RomeroWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (CA)
Diego Hernandez
Diego HernandezWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (CA)
Douglas Lopez
Douglas LopezWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (CA)
Jorge Gonzales
Jorge GonzalesWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (CA)
Jose Baeza
Jose BaezaWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (CA)
Jose Hernandez
Jose HernandezWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (CA)
Ruben Gaitan Cruz
Ruben Gaitan CruzWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (CA)
Kristian Martinez
Kristian MartinezWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (CA)
Luis Aguilar
Luis AguilarWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (CA)
Wayne Owen
Wayne OwenWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (CA)
Jessica Quackenbush
Jessica QuackenbushCustomer Success, Warehousing and Delivery (WA/OR)
Andrea Kirkwood
Andrea KirkwoodWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Coco Failautusi
Coco FailautusiWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Cole Hames
Cole HamesWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Dak Thurman
Dak ThurmanWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
David Stakston
David StakstonWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Dayln Cadena
Dayln CadenaWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Eric Starr
Eric StarrWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Joe Soakai
Joe SoakaiWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Joe Whalen
Joe WhalenWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Kevin Hawkins
Kevin HawkinsWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Rodolfo Cruz
Rodolfo CruzWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Cory Earl
Cory EarlWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Zack Zibrosky
Zack ZibroskyWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (WA)
Calixto Uluan
Calixto UluanWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (OR)
Fernando Aguirre
Fernando AguirreWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (OR)
Francisco Marquez
Francisco MarquezWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (OR)
Oscar Tepitzila
Oscar TepitzilaWarehousing/Delivery Specialist (OR)