Fetzer Vineyards Appoints Chris McFerran SVP Sales
Hopland, Calif. — February 23, 2020 — Fetzer Vineyards, the nation’s 12th-largest wine marketer and a leading purveyor of wines and spirits from three origins, today announced the appointment of Chris McFerran to Senior Vice President, Sales.
McFerran joins the California vintner and importer with an impressive track record spanning two decades in the wine and beverage alcohol space, including the successful stewardship of strategic national accounts for some of the nation’s largest portfolio wine companies, and most recently wine and spirits sales leadership of the Beyond Beer Business Unit at Anheuser-Busch InBev. McFerran’s key accomplishments stretch from architecting the success of traditional offerings to driving alternative formats, including stewardship of 19 Crimes from launch to a top-20 wine brand, and catapulting BABE wine to the #1 canned wine in the coveted convenience channel.[i]
At Fetzer Vineyards, McFerran will hold responsibility for strategic national sales for the business’s multi-origin portfolio of wines from California, Chile and Argentina, and the craft whiskies of Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co, reporting to CEO Giancarlo Bianchetti. He will be tasked with continuing to drive Bonterra Organic Vineyards, +22% over the last year,[ii] spirits barrel-aged pioneer 1000 Stories, and leading import Casillero del Diablo, which was named 2020 New World Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast. He will also lead sales for the portfolio’s fine wines from California and South America.
“Chris’s capacity to build strong customer relationships alongside category growth, leverage insights to find opportunities, and lead with a collaborative approach creates a foundation for ongoing commercial success at Fetzer Vineyards,” said Bianchetti. “His ability to quickly understand where market opportunities exist, and to bring together the right combination of resources, partnerships and programs to catalyze growth for brands and categories fits right in with our plans to drive our next chapter.”
As Vice President, Strategic National Accounts (Off & On Premise) for Treasury Wine Estates through 2020, McFerran was responsible for driving more than $600 million in retail sales annually. During his tenure, 19 Crimes doubled in size numerous times over,[iii] Matua grew to be the fastest-growing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in the U.S.,[iv] receiving year-over-year recognition as an IMPACT Hot Brand, and Beringer Bros. Bourbon Barrel Aged brand was among the leading wine launches of 2018. McFerran led national account sales for Delicato Family Vineyards from 2014 to 2016, where he drove success for top-10 wine brand Bota Box, and at Anheuser-Busch InBev, he propelled Cutwater to a leading ready-to-drink (RTD) offering in the U.S.
Prior to joining the beverage-alcohol industry, McFerran established his career as an equity capital markets analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston in Manhattan. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University.
“I’m thrilled to begin a new chapter at a leading wine and spirits marketer focused on modeling innovation through the development of quality brands, long-term strategic partnerships with customers and trade, and a sustainable approach,” noted McFerran. “Long recognized for leading the sustainability movement in the U.S. wine business, Fetzer Vineyards is poised for success at a time when consumer-led trends highlighting sustainability and quality dovetail to create a compelling atmosphere of possibility.”