Agajanian Leadership Team

Agajanian, Inc., dba Agajanian Vineyards & Wine Company (AV) is the largest, most successful winegrape merchant and premium bulk wine negociant in the United States, with clients in over 10 states, and China.  AV has over $25+ million in gross sales, experiencing a 45% growth rate in winegrapes since 1995 and a 55% growth rate in bulk wine since 1998. We currently contract with 16 custom crush facilities in the state of California to support our bulk wine efforts that service over 110 wineries nationally. From a winegrape perspective we are contracted with over 160 growers with contract terms ranging from spot purchase to five year contracts.

AV currently employs several colleagues with dedicated field representatives in the Central Valley, Central Coast, North Central Interior and North Coast. Our combined viticulture and enology experience exceeds over two hundred years of experience with college degrees from UC Davis, Fresno State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Gary Agajanian: President and CEO

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.

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.

Daniel GarciaNorthern 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.

Tim Mendonca: Central Valley Grower Relations

Tim was raised in the Central Valley town of Turlock, CA.  He has an extensive background in agriculture coming from a family involved in dairy farming, almond ranching, and sheet metal fabrication for agriculture use.  Tim graduated from Fresno State, in 2013, with a degree in Viticulture.  While attending Fresno State he was secretary of the Viticulture club.  Tim now manages grape supplies, grower and winery relations for AV while being an active member of the Viticulture and Enology Alumni Association at Fresno State.

Patrick Tachella: Director of Viticulture

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.

Shelly Van Rijn: Private Label Manager

Shelly was born and raised in St. Helena and has worked in the wine industry for over 20 years. Working as a graphic designer for the wine industry in St. Helena for over 10 years, Shelly then transitioned to the purchasing side using her knowledge of the industry. She has worked for several multi-national wine label printers, an internet direct to consumer wine retailer and most recently a large volume wine and spirits producer as a Supply Chain Manager.

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.

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