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San Francisco Wine Exchange Expands Sales & Marketing Team

Posted on June 15, 2015

Larkspur, Calif. – June 15, 2015 – The San Francisco Wine Exchange (SFWE), America’s oldest independent wine marketing and sales agency and a leading importer of fine wine, has enhanced its sales and marketing team with the addition of five new team members and two promotions.

“This is an exciting time at the San Francisco Wine Exchange. We are expanding our presence throughout the U.S. and strengthening our leadership bench as demand continues to grow for exceptionally fine wines from undiscovered regions,” said SFWE president Diego Lo Prete. “We now have a strong and ambitious national sales and marketing team in place to meet the needs of existing and potential customers. We are pleased to welcome these talented and experienced individuals to our team.”

Mike Zuppa has joined SFWE as vice president and national sales manager. He is also a member of the company’s executive team. Zuppa brings to SFWE more than 15 years of success in wine sales and a strong network of account and wholesale relationships. He was trained at E&J Gallo Winery and then spent 10 years with Constellation Brands, an international producer and marketer of wine, beer and spirits. Most recently, Zuppa managed a portfolio of more than 50 premium suppliers for Europvin U.S.A, an import division of Bordeaux-based Europvin which is internationally recognized for representing the finest, terroir-driven estate wineries of the world.

SFWE also promoted Olivier Portet to vice president of marketing. Portet, a California native, comes from a long winemaking tradition, as his family has been in the business for 10 generations. With more than 15 years of international wine sales and marketing experience, he is known for relationship building, collaboration, creativity and execution.

In addition to the promotion of Portet and the appointment of Zuppa, SFWE has hired four sales managers. Based throughout the U.S., SFWE’s new sales managers maintain an impressive background in the wine industry and are poised to further strengthen the company’s retail partnerships across America.

Aaron Schifferle is the Southwestern regional manager. He is responsible for sales in Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Hawaii. Schifferle was most recently Fine Wine & Craft Spirits Consultant for the Country Vintner in Virginia. He is based in Southern California.

Wayne Cheeseman is the Southeastern regional manager responsible for sales in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee. Cheeseman most recently led the Palm Beach, Florida, sales team for Stacole Fine Wines. He is based in Southern Florida.

Samantha Lincoln is the New York and New Jersey sales manager and a certified specialist of wine (CSW). Lincoln is based in New Jersey, and joins SFWE after spending the past three years as a sales representative with distributor Opici.

Marcke Lhyle is the Northwest regional manager in charge of SFWE sales in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Previously the western Washington sales manager for Ambrosia Wine Group, Lhyle is based near Seattle.

Earlier in the year, Laura Taffe-Balderelli was promoted to East Coast sales manager, responsible for sales in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeastern U.S. Previously, she was SFWE’s Mid-Atlantic regional manager and has been with the company since 2002. She is based in Maryland.

For contact information and details about SFWE’s portfolio of wines, visit or call (415) 546-0484.

About The San Francisco Wine Exchange

The San Francisco Wine Exchange (SFWE), founded in 1975, is the oldest independent national wine marketing and sales agency in the United States. SFWE oversees a national network of regional fine wine-dedicated sales personnel from its headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. The company actively manages sales and marketing for a selected portfolio of quality-minded, terroir-driven producers from the U.S., Argentina, Australia, Chile, Italy, New Zealand and Portugal. For more information about SFWE, please visit

Job Function: Sales/Marketing

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