Senior Vice President, Winery Operations & Sales
"Almost any wine that is of interest, that is satisfying, has multiple elements. Wine flavors combine like notes, forming chords and developing harmonious tones or themes. We lay the flavors over each other; they flow through each other… until the composition completes itself with layers of sensory satisfaction."
Photo: Sara Matthews
Greg grew up in Chicago with a consuming passion to uncover how things worked. Large or small, he was obsessed with the inner workings of the world. To chase this passion, Greg entered college envisioning a career in engineering. At the age of 19, he succumbed to the siren song of California and, four years later, his life in wine began. Stints with Sebastiani, Sutter Home, and Rodney Strong Vineyards would be Greg’s vehicle to seeing the country. After promoting California wines in all 50 states, it’s fair to say that Greg’s knowledge of the national wine distribution network is nothing short of encyclopedic.
Over the years, Greg has revealed a unique ability to be in the right spot at exactly the right time. He had a key role in successfully launching Sebastiani Vineyard's Country Varietals. He helped establish Sutter Home as a national brand. Several years later, inspired by his strong working relationship and personal friendship with Rodney Strong, Greg realized that his destiny and his dream still lay in California. He commuted from Chicago for several years to attend winemaking classes at UC Davis, before finally moving his family back to the wine country.
When Greg met Michael Richmond in 2000, Greg predicted to his wife that “one day Michael and I will be making wine together.” Michael introduced him to other members of what Greg calls “the artistic brotherhood of the vine.” When Greg joined the Chalone Wine Group, he and Michael developed such a well-balanced working relationship that, upon joining Bouchaine, Michael promptly presented Greg to the owners as “the other half of the package.”
“Michael and I worked together, but we've had the unique opportunity to rebuild Bouchaine essentially from the ground up; to shape a vision and create a sustainable business with the Copelands. Building an organization, like crafting a fine wine, is all about harmony: harmony between people, but also harmony of purpose.” This tight knit relationship between winemaker and Greg continues today with Chris Kajani.
In addition to his family, his dog, and wine, Greg's other lifelong passion is music. "Buchli (his dog, adopted at an SPCA-sponsored event at Bouchaine) runs around in the vineyard hunting rabbits while I play my guitar in what I think is the most beautiful place on earth. I can't express it better than to say that I truly love the Bouchaine vineyards."