Tasting Profits in Wine with Barefoot Cellars Co-founder Michael Houlihan

Chris Versace

Chris Versace is a financial columnist and equity analyst with more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry.

Welcome to another edition of PowerTalk. I’m your host Chris Versace, editor of the investment newsletter PowerTrend Profits, and these are my one-on-one conversations with the movers and shakers in the business world that take you behind the scenes and in the know. Be sure to check out ChrisVersace.com for more on PowerTrends and past editions of PowerTalk.

Joining me on PowerTalk today is Michael C. Houlihan, co-founder of wine company Barefoot Cellars, where he was president and CEO for 19 years. During that time, Michael and his partner Bonnie Harvey took Barefoot from a startup and grew it to a business that sold more than a half million cases, making the company a national bestseller by the time they sold the company to E&J Gallo in 2005. What’s even more amazing is Michael and Bonnie did it all without advertising.

As Michael pointed out, you can have a great product at a great price, but what so many companies forget is that they are also in the distribution business. We’ve seen the product and distribution success of other companies that bear this out — The Coca-Cola Company (KO), PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP), Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (BUD), Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP) and Diageo plc (DEO), which is the home of many top brands of spirits, wines and beers.

Not only do Michael and I talk about how he and Bonnie built Barefoot Cellars into a national bestseller, but we also discuss the New York Times best-selling book that he and Bonnie wrote — “The Barefoot Spirit — How Hardship, Hustle & Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand.”

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My advice to you is the following — pour yourself a drink and listen up to this edition of PowerTalk.

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