San Francisco, California | March 21, 2018 – Vinfolio.com, the nation’s leading fine wine sales and service provider, has just announced a series of changes that position the company to be a dominant player in the U.S. fine wine market. Included in the announcement is a fresh injection of capital to support a shift in business model, a new leadership team, and the release of a new iOS mobile app.
First founded in 2003, Vinfolio underwent a major turning point in 2016 when Don St. Pierre Jr. took over as CEO and invested $4.4 million. Prior to joining Vinfolio, St. Pierre Jr. co-founded ASC Fine Wines, Greater China’s leading importer of wines. After selling ASC to Suntory and moving to San Francisco in 2015, St. Pierre Jr. became interested in helping the many fine wine producers he knew from his previous experience at ACS better navigate the U.S. distribution environment and connect with the end consumer.
“I saw an opportunity to bring the world of fine wine closer together, including everyone from producers to consumers,” said St. Pierre Jr. “Vinfolio, with its integrated platform consisting of a direct-to-consumer fine wine ecommerce store, a collector marketplace, leading cellar management software, and a fine wine storage facility, was the perfect place to make that happen.”
Demonstrating how confident St. Pierre Jr. is in Vinfolio’s strategic shift, he and his partner, Allan Warburg, invested an additional $5 million at the beginning of 2018 to take over majority ownership of the company.
“To achieve our ambitious vision of building a full-service, integrated platform that connects the world of fine wine, we needed a rock-star team with diverse experience, but all with a passion for fine wine. It took me two years to find the right people, but I am confident we have the right leadership team in place,” said St. Pierre Jr.
Vinfolio’s new leadership team has been filled with top industry, business, and technology talent, including:
- Kevin Zollinger, COO — Zollinger oversees finance and operations, and comes from Wente Vineyards, where he served as EVP of Operations for nine years. Prior to Wente, Zollinger spent 20 years in various executive positions in the semiconductors equipment industry.
- Cristina Hall, CMO — Hall oversees marketing, product, and strategy. She brings with her operational experience from numerous high-profile, growth stage DTC companies and academic experience from Forrester Research and Harvard Business School, where she received her MBA.
- Nick Warhol, CTO — Warhol brings 20 years of IT experience and is already leading a full infrastructure overhaul to integrate a new ERP and ecommerce solution.
- Adam Lapierre, MW, Director of Procurement — In addition to being one of fewer than 380 Masters of Wine in the world, Lapierre has an impressive background playing various industry roles including Director of Purchasing for Lidl USA and National Sales Manager for Frederick Wildman and Sons.
- Leah Hammer, Director of Cellar Acquisitions — Hammer joined Vinfolio from Hart Davis Hart in 2011 and has over 20 years of fine wine industry experience. She is responsible for managing the acquisitions and sales of private collections.
- Roland Hankerson, Director of Client Services — Hankerson has been in the wine industry for 20 years and joins the team after 6 ½ years as a Senior Wine Specialist at JJ Buckley.
- John Phan, Corporate Controller — Phan brings operational excellence from innovative technology companies including walmart.com, Stella & Dot, and IfOnly.
To coincide with the new round of funding, Vinfolio launched the most comprehensive and innovative mobile experience available to the fine wine industry. “When we started this project, we wanted to build the world’s best mobile experience for a fine wine collector. We also wanted to integrate all elements of our business model—fine wine sales, Marketplace, cellar management, storage, and fine wine content—into one seamless experience. This was no easy task, and after a full year of development I am very proud of the result,” said St. Pierre Jr. “Our new app is truly a game changer, and its launch is a significant milestone in our effort to build Vinfolio towards our future vision of transforming how everyone buys, sells, manages, and enjoys fine wine.”
The Vinfolio app is packed with proprietary algorithms and personalized recommendations, including a collector favorite: which wines are best to drink next from your cellar. On its first day of release on Apple’s App Store, the app quickly achieved a five-star r rating. According to Vinfolio, customer feedback has been phenomenal, with one collector calling it “the most sophisticated and complete wine cellar management tool in the world.” Vinfolio’s new app is available for download on iOS.
Headquartered in downtown San Francisco with a fine wine storage facility in Napa, Vinfolio transforms how the fine wine community buys, sells, manages, and enjoys fine wine with the world’s best cellar management technology, fine wine storage facility, and direct-to-consumer ecommerce platform. Combined, these systems empower the fine wine enthusiast to acquire highly collectible wine directly from producers, purchase and sell wine from Vinfolio’s collector Marketplace, stay on top of every bottle in their cellar, and engage with other fine wine collectors, industry influencers, and winemakers, all in one seamless experience.
Vinfolio is majority-owned by CEO Don St. Pierre Jr. and his business partner and good friend Allan Warburg, co-founder and co-CEO of Bestseller Fashion Group China. St. Pierre Jr. is the recipient of numerous wine industry accolades, including being named number seven on Decanter magazine’s 2011 Top 50 global wine industry power players and selected by Wine Enthusiast Magazine as the 2011 International Man of the Yearr. In 2012, the French governmentt awarded St. Pierre Jr. the degree of Knight in the French Ordre du Mérite Agricole, and in 2015, he was appointed as a member of the supervisory board of Vinexpo Overseas. Vinfolio’s ownership also includes Jean-Michel Valette, who chairs the Institute of Masters of Wine and is former chairman of Robert Mondavi Corporation and Peet’s Coffee, Jon Moramarco, former CEO of Constellation Brands, and Steve Case, founder of AOL and co-founder at venture capital firm Revolution.
To learn more visit vinfolio.com or download the new iOS app.