GUERNEVILLE, CA, February 28, 2022 – Gary B. Heck, President and Owner of Korbel Champagne Cellars, announced today that winery veteran Paul Ahvenainen has been named Vice President – Operations and Winemaking, joining Korbel’s executive team. In this new role, he will oversee all wine and brandy production, winemaking, grower relations, maintenance and quality control.
Ahvenainen has been with Korbel for 37 years, most recently directing winemaking and grower relations. He has been essential in the growth, production and consistent quality that has earned Korbel numerous gold medals throughout the years. Born in Helsinki, Finland, he emigrated to the United States as a youngster with his family in 1968. He holds a degree in Enology from the University of California at Davis.
“Paul has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities throughout his tenure at Korbel,” commented Heck. “He is one of only a few employees who have the opportunity to actively participate in the complete process from grape acquisition to bottled wine. It gives me great pleasure to recognize his achievements with this promotion and welcome him to my executive team.”
Established in 1882 in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, Korbel Champagne Cellars produces the United States’ most popular méthode champenoise champagne. The true measure of Korbel’s success during its 140 years can be seen in the impact it has had on American consumers and its presence at various celebrations throughout the years, including the past ten presidential inaugurations. Owned and managed by the Heck family since 1954, Korbel currently makes eleven California champagnes and a limited amount of still wine. In a separate facility, Korbel also produces three California brandies and imports Prosecco from Italy.