Purple Wine Company was founded in 2001 by Derek Benham and is based in Graton, California. Its mission is to create wines that offer outstanding value, are high quality and consistent in style from vintage to vintage. Current brands include Avalon, BEX Riesling, Four Vines, and Rock Rabbit. Purple launched its latest brand Cryptic on August 1st, 2012.
DEREK BENHAM, FOUNDER:
Purple Wine was founded by Derek Benham in 2001. A second generation Californian, Derek Benham grew up in an agricultural environment in the great San Joaquin Valley. While working summers on his father's farm, he began to dream of building his own wine company. After the sale of two of his brands (Blackstone in 2001 & Mark West in 2012) to Constellation Brands, Derek has earned the reputation as a great brand builder in the wine industry.
MICHAEL MESTAS, VICE PRESIDENT - NATIONAL SALES MANAGER:
Joining Purple Wine Company in 2008, Michael first created the National Account Team for Retail Chains and soon moved into the role of Division Sales Manager for the Gulf, Southeast and Atlantic regions. At the end of 2011 he was promoted to National Sales Manager, in charge of day-to-day sales and distribution efforts. With his appointment as Vice President, he joins the Executive Team with responsibility for managing distribution, sales, and sales management.
Prior to Purple Wine Company, Michael held leadership positions at Kendall Jackson Winery and Republic National Distributing Company. He is an avid Harley enthusiast and outdoorsman.
LISA EHRLICH, VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING:
In 2005, Derek brought Lisa on board to oversee brand-building efforts for the production wing of his wine enterprise, Sonoma Wine Company. Since then, she has developed over 30 brands including Lucky Star, Shiloh Road, Trailhead, Zynthesis and Kumbaya. In 2012, Sonoma Wine Company's marketing and sales were consolidated within Purple Wine Company, and Lisa assumed overall marketing responsibility for the entire portfolio.
Lisa draws upon a lengthy career the wine industry, Seagram Classics Wine Company, E&J Gallo Winery, Jim Beam/Peak Wines International, Hambrecht Vineyards, and Robert Mondavi Winery.