John Sutton, Chief Financial Officer of The Wine Group, headquartered in Livermore, CA, was elected Wine Institute Board Chairman for the 2020-2021 fiscal year at the organization’s 86th Annual Meeting of Members. Other officers elected were Suzanne Groth of Groth Vineyards & Winery in Oakville, First Vice Chairman; Rick Tigner of Jackson Family Wines in Santa Rosa, Second Vice Chairman; Randall Lange of LangeTwins Family Vineyards and Winery in Acampo, Treasurer; and Matt Gallo of E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, Secretary. Bobby Koch is President and CEO of Wine Institute.
“Supporting Wine Institute’s work helping our wineries recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus while keeping our employees and customers safe will be a top priority this year. It is my honor to help navigate these challenges with Wine Institute and my fellow officers and board members,” said Sutton. “Critical to our recovery is making federal excise tax reduction permanent and building our export markets to help keep California strong as a global brand. It’s also essential to long-term growth that we continue to promote the industry’s adoption of sustainable practices.”
Sutton joined The Wine Group in 2007 as General Counsel and became Chief Financial Officer in 2015, responsible for finance, legal, information technology and business process improvement functions. He oversees the management of the winery’s three hospitality businesses and is a member of the winery’s executive committee, working closely with the CEO on business goals and strategies, and acquisitions and divestitures. The Wine Group is the second largest winery by volume in the U.S., producing the Franzia, Cupcake, Benziger, Concannon, Chloe and Imagery brands.
Previously, Sutton was an attorney at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin where he worked as outside counsel to The Wine Group. He was also an attorney at K & L Gates in San Francisco. From 1994-1997, Sutton served in the White House under President Clinton, first as Special Assistant to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff and then as Special Assistant to the Counselor to the President.
Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of more than 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses, working at the state, national and international levels. Based in San Francisco, with offices in Sacramento, Washington, D.C., six regions across the U.S. and 13 foreign countries, Wine Institute is guided by 80 vintners who are members and alternates on an active board of directors. The board elects the chairman and officers on an annual basis.