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Gary Agajanian: President
Gary graduated in the school of Agricultural Business at California State University, Fresno. Growing up on the family vineyard in Madera, California, Gary is a third generation wine grape grower. He has had his own production agricultural operation since 1976, and began marketing fresh perishable agricultural crops in 1986. In the early 1990’s, his marketing and sales business began to focus on winegrapes and he began making wine in 1998. Gary is now the successful owner and President of Agajanian Vineyards & Wine Company with clients all over the United States and the business continues to grow year after year.
Keith LaHonta: Vice President and General Manager
Keith graduated from the school of Business at California State University, Fresno. Keith has over thirty years of corporate and small business management experience, notably with the Xerox Corporation and Digital Generations Systems as an Executive Manager from start-up in 1989 through a successful IPO in 1993. Keith has been a resident in the Walnut Creek for twenty five years and varies his time weekly at our offices in the North Coast, Central Valley and Central Coast.
Dan Garcia: Northern Interior Grape Manager
Dan was raised in agricultural crop production business and operated a successful grape logistics business for almost four decades. Dan grows winegrapes in Clarksburg, and manages grape supplies, grower and winery relations for AV. He is also President of the Clarksburg Winegrape Growers Association.
Harry Parducci: Winemaker
Harry is a third generation winegrower from Sonoma Valley whose family established Valley of the Moon Winery (Madrone Vineyards) in 1939. His first harvest as a head winemaker was in 1981 and he has gained global knowledge throughout his career. Harry’s experience ranges from winery owner, winemaker, manager, and consultant for companies such as Total Wines and More, Costco, and HEB. Harry’s wealth of knowledge about the market, varietals, and production adds a great value to the AV team and the possibilities of growth with our company and our clients.
Rick Aldine: North Coast Grape Manager
Rick was raised on a vineyard in Northern California and graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Plant Science – Viticulture & Pomology. He possesses over thirty years of experience working with A&P Ag Structures, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Chateau Ste Michele and Domaine Chandon. Rick has resided in Napa for the past thirty five years. Rick now manages grape supplies, grower and winery relations for AV.
Jake Aukes: North Coast Grower/Winery Representative
Jake was raised in Woodland, CA where he grew up in an agricultural based real estate family. His roots go back to 1877 when his forefathers moved to the western Sacramento Valley to farm. Jake graduated from Fresno State in 2016 with his degree in Viticulture. During his time in college, he acquired a vast amount of experience by interning at E&J Gallo Winery and working as a Research Assistant for Dr. Sanliang Gu. Now based in Napa, CA, Jake will be doing Grower/Winery Relations along the North Coast.
Patrick Tachella: Central Valley Grower Relations
Patrick was raised in Lodi, CA where he started his career working harvest on the crush pad at Van Ruiten Winery, which inspired his passion for the industry. Patrick studied Viticulture at Fresno State and was the President of the Viticulture Club. He brings a broad background of knowledge with experiences gained while working for Vino Farms LLC, and Trinchero Family Estates. Patrick will be working across California to help growers achieve the highest quality and most consistent yields.
Jennifer Hibbard: Premium Bulk Wine Manager
Jennifer is a fifth-generation Californian raised in the Sacramento Valley. She has spent over 20 years in wine industry sales, and has resided in old-town Napa for the last 20 years. Jennifer has worked with many notable wine companies, including Charles Krug, Terlato Wines International and Wine Business Monthly, to name a few.
Michael Haddox: Senior Winery Relations Manager/ Winemaker, Central Coast
Michael was raised in Washington State and spent the first 14 years of his career working for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Washington Wine and Beverage Company and 5 years as Founder and Owner of The Winemakers Loft/ Michael Florentino Cellars. Since relocating to California in 2010 he has worked for industry giants such as C. Mondavi & Sons, E&J Gallo Winery, Fetzer Vineyards/Concha Y Tora, and Terravant Wine Company. Michael’s broad background in winemaking and vineyards adds tremendous value to the AV team when looking to source in the Central Coast of California, Oregon and Washington State. Michael attended Washington State University and majored in Computer Science and Ag Business.
Patrick Frazier: Central Coast Grower Relations
Patrick Frazier was born and raised in Bakersfield, California as a fourth generation sheep and cattle farmer. Patrick went to Cal Poly where he studied Ag Business and Ag Education. Patrick worked for G3 for 7 harvests where he gained extensive knowledge in logistics and grape hauling. He has had his hand in the horse industry, wine industry, and beekeeping industry. One of his passions is working with wine grape growers to deliver the best fruit possible to the winery.
Sarkis Torosian: Central Valley Grower Relations and Viticulture
Sarkis was raised in Dinuba, CA as a third-generation fruit farmer with long family ties to the table grapes industry. Now his family grows stone fruit, grapes, pomegranates and citrus for farmers markets and restaurants in the San Francisco bay area. He studied both Enology and Viticulture at Fresno State University and interned at the Grapery Inc. in the Bakersfield area, where he gained more vineyard education and experience while assisting in the daily work and management of premium table grape production.
Richard Oleksa: Business Development
Rich is a veteran of the fresh produce and transportation industries formerly with C.H. Robinson Worldwide. Looking to get back into the produce industry in 2013, Rich happened upon a wine grape packer/shipper that was looking for a salesperson. Rich’s long time interest and enjoyment of wine prompted him to take the position. In an effort to learn more about the grapes he was selling and his customers’ needs Rich began making wine becoming an avid home winemaker. Eventually, Rich built his own small winery in his backyard. In his new position with Agajanian Vineyards Rich hopes to utilize his prior experiences, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for wine to promote our company and develop best in class programs for our customers.