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Sbragia Family Vineyards Appoints Steve Cousins as General Manager


Date: 11/18/11

Sbragia Family Vineyards, the winery founded by renowned Winemaster Ed Sbragia, and owned by the Sbragia family and Bacchus Capital Management, LLC, a San Francisco-based wine investment firm, announced today the appointment of Steve Cousins to the position of General Manager of Sbragia Family Vineyards. Cousins will be responsible for all business operations of the winery including the development and implementation of the company's sales, marketing and strategic plans. He will work closely with Ed Sbragia and his son, Winemaker Adam Sbragia.

Cousins has 30 years of wine industry experience with expertise in general management, branding, marketing and sales. He has a successful track record of accelerating growth at family owned and operated wine companies.

Most recently, Cousins owned and operated Cousins Consulting which provided strategic and business planning for several California wineries. Previously, Cousins was COO of Freemark Abbey, CEO of WineQuest (Delicato's brand company – Delicato, Monterra), CEO and President of RACKE USA (Buena Vista, Robert Stemmler, Haywood) and VP Operations of KIMCO Restaurant Group.

Cousins began his career at Somerset wine Company. Since 1994, Cousins and his brother, Bruce, have owned and operated the Armida Winery in Healdsburg, California.

"The chance to work with Ed Sbragia, a living legend in the wine industry, and to be a part of the future of Sbragia Family Vineyards, as well as work with the folks at Bacchus Capital, is a professional and personal opportunity one waits for in this business," commented Steve Cousins. "Having the wine, the people, and the location that we do offers tremendous opportunities for Sbragia Family Vineyards."

"Steve has the right mix of skills and abilities and the deep California wine industry experience to help Sbragia continue its momentum and grow our business to its next level," stated Ed Sbragia, Founder, President and Winemaster of Sbragia Family Vineyards. "Given the opportunities and resources we have today, Steve is an ideal addition to our team. I look forward to working with him as I continue to focus on making great wine."

"The chance to partner with Ed, to support his vision and to enable Sbragia Family Vineyards to maximize its potential, is what Bacchus is all about. Putting our resources behind a proven winner is our goal in the market," commented Sam Bronfman II, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Bacchus Capital Management. "Steve's passion for the wine industry and his expertise are an ideal complement to our team. We look forward to a long and productive future together."


Pictured (l-r): Steve Cousins, Sam Bronfman and Ed Sbragia
 

About Sbragia Family Vineyards

Sbragia Family Vineyards is located in the beautiful Dry Creek Valley. The label was born in 2001, when Ed Sbragia decided to focus on making limited, individual lots of wine from grapes grown in select blocks of his favorite vineyards. Sbragia Family wines are all single vineyard and are made from Dry Creek, Napa and Sonoma County fruit. Five of the wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and two Zinfandels, are sourced from estate vineyards that range in size from five to thirteen acres and are owned by the Sbragia Family.

The Sbragia family history runs deep in the Dry Creek Valley. Ed's grandfather came to the Valley from Tuscany in 1904, where he worked in wineries. Ed's father, Gino, acquired his own vineyards near Healdsburg, growing zinfandel grapes for sale and home winemaking. The Sbragia family purchased the old Lake Sonoma Winery facility at the end of Dry Creek Valley in 2006 and it is where Sbragia Family Vineyards has made a home for their wines. Today, Ed is joined by his son, Adam Sbragia, as Winemaker. Additionally, Adam's wife Kathy handles hospitality, Kevin, Ed's youngest son, works in the cellar during harvest, and Ed's wife, Jane, and daughter, Gina, can often be found in the tasting room.

For more information, visit www.sbragia.com

About Bacchus Capital Management

Bacchus Capital Management is an investment firm co-founded in 2007 by Sam Bronfman II, Peter S. Kaufman and Henry F. Owsley providing strategic capital and making equity investments in United States wineries and wine businesses. Quinton Jay and Rob Rupe are the Managing Directors.

Bronfman and Jay bring extensive wine industry experience through leadership positions at Seagram Chateau and Estate Wines, Diageo Global Wines, Artesa Vineyards and Winery, Etude, Quintessa and Bonny Doon Vineyard. Kaufman and Owsley are leading investment bankers specializing in credit analysis, valuation and restructuring.

Bacchus portfolio companies include: Qupe, a leading Central Coast winery; Pietra Santa, also of the Central Coast; Andretti Winery, a well-known Napa winery founded by Mario Andretti; and Wine by Joe, the 2nd largest wine producer in Oregon. The Company previously had a successful financing with Cameron Hughes Wine, one of America's fastest growing wine businesses.

For more information, visit www.bacchuswinefund.com

Job Function: President/Owner/GM

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