Veteran global wine entrepreneur joins America’s third-largest premium winery
WOODINVILLE, Wash. (January 3, 2020) – Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has announced the appointment of Peter Click as Vice President of International Sales. Click replaces longtime Ste. Michelle international sales chief Al Portney who recently retired after 25 years with the Washington-based winery.
“Peter has a deep understanding of the international wine trade and a distinguished three-decade track record of growing international wine brands,” said Dan Werth, Chief Operating Officer for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “Peter’s entrepreneurial mindset will help us build on the foundation we’ve established over several decades and take our international business – and American wine in general – to new heights around the world.”
Click earned international recognition as Founder and CEO of Click Wine Group, a Seattle-based wine import company that developed innovative partnerships with producers from Argentina, Chile, France, Germany and Washington State.
After growing Click Wine Group to more than 575,000 cases annually over two decades, he sold the business to The Winebow Group in 2008 and continued as Executive Vice President of Imports for the combined company.
“I’ve long admired Ste. Michelle for its leadership in the American wine industry,” said Click. “It is truly an honor to join such an esteemed company and such a talented group of wine professionals.”
Click will represent Ste. Michelle’s portfolio of wineries from Washington, Oregon and California in more than 100 countries and manage a team of ten salespeople worldwide.
“Growing our international business is a key pillar of our strategic plan,” said Jim Mortensen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “We know our wines – and American wines generally – belong among the best wines of the world, and Peter will help us earn our rightful share of the global wine market.”
About Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, located outside of Seattle, Washington, has a distinguished history that dates back to 1934. The company pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington State while wines under the Ste. Michelle label were first introduced in 1967. Today, SMWE owns more than 3,900 vineyard acres across Washington, Oregon and California with key sites certified with the LIVE, Salmon Safe or Napa Green designations. SMWE’s ‘String of Pearls’ wine portfolio represents owned or imported brands, all demonstrating the producers’ unwavering commitment to creating distinctive, high quality wines from authentic estate vineyards. Chateau Ste. Michelle, its cornerstone winery, enjoys winemaking partnerships with some of the world’s most distinguished vintners. Col Solare is an alliance with Tuscany’s Piero Antinori, Eroica Riesling is a partnership with the Mosel’s Ernst Loosen and Tenet is a collaboration with Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie of France. SMWE’s charitable giving program, which supports some 400 non-profit organizations annually, has provided more than $3 million for scholarships for high-achieving, low-income students at Washington universities. The company also was the principal fundraiser for Washington State University’s viticulture and enology institution, the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Wine Science Center.
Ste. Michelle’s Washington portfolio includes: Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Col Solare, Northstar, Spring Valley Vineyard, MERF, INTRINSIC, Seven Falls and Michelle sparkling wines. In California, the company owns Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (with Italy’s Antinori family), Conn Creek (Napa Valley) and Patz & Hall (Sonoma). Ste. Michelle also owns Erath Winery, in Dundee, Oregon. The company became the exclusive U.S. importer in 2006 for the renowned Marchesi Antinori wines of Italy and Chile’s Haras de Pirque wines, for Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte of France in 2009, and for New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate in 2010. For more information, please visit www.smwe.com.