Lee and Cristina Hudson tap former LVMH executive Willmert to lead in newly created role
Napa Valley, California, May 12, 2021 — Lee and Cristina Hudson announced today the appointment of wine industry veteran and former LVMH executive Peter Willmert to the role of CEO Hudson Napa Valley, responsible for Hudson vineyards, wines, ranch and grocery. A wine industry leader with over 20 years of experience in wine, luxury, and consumer branded goods — including marketing; finance; direct, wholesale and export sales; and winery, farming and vineyard operations — Willmert most recently served as Vice President at Estates & Wines, North America for LVMH Moët Hennessy, responsible for the development of their international wine portfolio in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“Hudson Napa Valley is one of the true, recognized grand terroirs of California,” said Willmert. “I’ve known Lee and Cristina for many years, and have deeply appreciated their agrarian ethos of hard work, attention to detail and strong sense of community. I’m honored to be joining them and the diverse Hudson team in supporting this vineyard estate that is home to some of Napa Valley’s most esteemed wines, as well as our branded wines and hospitality center, our ranch and produce, and our Hudson Greens & Goods grocery store at the Oxbow Public Market.”
Founder/Owners Lee Hudson and Cristina SP Hudson will continue to be active and engaged in Hudson Napa Valley as Willmert takes leadership of the company.
“When I started growing Napa Valley wine grapes here in 1981, with winemakers and growers who I respected and admired, my measure of excellence and success was local. Today this is no longer sufficient; our yardstick must be international,” said Lee Hudson. “Now, after 40 years mothering our vines to maturity as grower partner to legendary winemakers — and the capstone for me of opening our own winery on the estate just a few years ago — it is now time to redefine my role at Hudson and re-write my own job description. It gives me great pleasure to warmly welcome Peter to Hudson Napa Valley as our CEO, and the new era of leadership he will bring to our teams and our craft.”
“When people are offered food and wine grown with good intentions, made with care, and served in a soulful setting, it can be a transformative experience,” said Cristina SP Hudson, veteran of the Slow Food movement and former leader alongside Alice Waters at Chez Panisse. “Our work here is to delight and surprise our members, clients and guests, and Peter’s vast experience has prepared him to guide Hudson Napa Valley into a bright future.”
Willmert will lead a talented and experienced management team at Hudson Napa Valley that includes: Alex Hanson who leads finance and HR; Clayton Kirchhoff who leads winemaking; Kelly MacLeod who leads vineyard operations; Brittany McKahn who leads direct to consumer efforts; and Elisabeth Wetzel who leads the hospitality team.
About Hudson Napa Valley:
Situated deep in the heart of the rolling hills of Napa Valley’s Carneros District, Hudson Napa Valley is this year celebrating a 40-year history growing wine grapes for the most respected winemakers in Napa and Sonoma. In addition to growing fruit for more than 30 wineries from the 2,000-acre contiguous property, Hudson also crafts its own wines from many of the best parcels on the estate, showcasing Hudson land and values. Guests enjoy the serenity of the new Hudson state-of-the-art winery and hospitality center, and Hudson distributes wines in fine restaurants and wine purveyors in 25 states as well as export markets across Europe and Asia. Hudson Greens & Goods full-service grocery store in the Napa Oxbow Market sets the standard for quality, freshness, curated assortment, and service, supplied by the diversified Hudson Ranch producing California olive oil, honey, heritage breed livestock and seasonal produce.
About Peter Willmert:
Before joining Hudson as CEO, Willmert spent the past 20 years working in the world of wine, luxury and consumer goods, most recently as Vice President at Estates & Wines, North America for LVMH Moët Hennessy, responsible for their international wine portfolio. Along his professional journey, Willmert has had the good fortune to serve in executive and senior roles for wine companies large and small, from Beringer and its parent companies, to organic boutique producer Red Car Wine Co. in Sonoma. During his career immediately following business school, he spent several years in brand management at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, and prior, served under two United States Senators and held a visible role in a winning Presidential campaign. He has earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA from Grinnell College in Iowa.