Billy Grant named 2021 ‘Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year’
2022 Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Board of Directors installed
– Every year the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (PRWCA) membership recognizes one of their own who has exemplified the spirit of Paso Robles Wine Country with outstanding leadership and vision in promoting the region. Billy Grant, business development head & partner at McPrice Myers Wines, will receive the 2021 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year award as voted on by his peers. A special Where Wine Takes You podcast will feature Grant where his history and current endeavors will be discussed in making him the 2021 Paso Robles Wine Country Industry Person of the Year.
William R. Grant, better known as Billy, has been involved in the Paso Robles Wine Industry since 2002. In the past 20 years, Grant has served as partner, investor, consultant, and resource to wineries, vineyards, and affiliated businesses in the Paso Robles area. Affectionately known as the loudest guy in the room, Grant has been earnest in promoting the Paso Robles Wine Region by increasing market reach for brands with creative and unconventional approaches.
“I’m a serial entrepreneur and seeing other entrepreneurs and businesses thrive is what I love the most about getting involved. I’m a true believer in the saying: a rising tide lifts all boats,” says Grant. “My passion for Paso is rooted in the sense of community and true nature of what we do here.”
Grant saw early success in the banking industry as the founder of an electronic payment systems company in the Bay Area. He caught the wine bug in Napa while entertaining bankers and clients. In 2002, he invested in making a little Naked Chardonnay with his childhood friend Christian Teitje and partner Susan Mahler (Sam) of Four Vines Winery – and the rest is history. Grant’s high-energy sales approach and business acumen helped build Four Vines from 8,000 cases to 120,000 cases in six years with a successful exit for the brand and its partners. One morning in 2008, he met Janell Dusi while she was driving her tractor and picking grapes. Together 14 years now, Grant works with her on growing and developing J Dusi Winery. Many a Saturday you will find him holding court on her winery’s patio.
In 2017, Grant joined McPrice Myers as a consultant and is now “all in” as a partner and heading up business development.
“Working shoulder to shoulder with Mac at McPrice Myers has been a highlight of my work in Paso. Mac embodies the authenticity and renegade nature of Paso Robles winemaking. I couldn’t be more excited about selling Paso Robles coast to coast once again,” says Grant.
“The state of Paso Robles Wine is strong, and getting stronger by the day,” says Grant. “When I first began, people would ask, ‘So what part of Napa is Paso Robles?’ I would joke: the very very southern part. It’s finally getting harder to find people who have not experienced Paso Robles wines, thanks in large part to the Lohrs, Hopes, and now the Daous. A big difference from 2004!”
Additionally, over the years Grant has consulted and served on a number of boards and committees that bring opportunity to those in need within the agricultural community.
Episode 41 of Where Wine Takes You (WWTY) podcast will feature Billy Grant along with McPrice “Mac” Myers and is sure to get into more depth on Grant’s history, what brought him to Paso Robles, and all his endeavors leading up to his partnership with the McPrice Myers brand. The WWTY podcast is a long form experience that features an intimate journey with owners, winemakers, growers, and personalities as they discuss the places and wines that have shaped the Paso Robles Wine Region.
The Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year is typically bestowed at an annual winter gathering of the PRWCA membership. In 2022, a celebration will happen when outdoor events can coincide with warmer temperatures. Grant was nominated and named the 2021 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance membership which represents 400+ companies including wineries, vineyards, and associated businesses.
Also announced is the installation of the 2022 Board of Directors for the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.
The incoming Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Board of Directors and Executive Team are as follows:
• Molly Scott – chairperson, Justin Vineyards & Winery*
• Cris Cherry – vice chairperson, Maha Estate | Villa Creek Cellars
• Austin Hope – secretary, Hope Family Wines
• Randy Heinzen – treasurer, Coakley Vineyard / Vineyard Professional Services
• Chloé Asseo – director, L’Aventure Winery
• Josh Beckett – director, Peachy Canyon Winery*
• Carole MacDonal – director, Il Cortile / La Cosecha**
• Noreen Martin – director, Martin Resorts
• Jeff Strekas – director, ONX Wines**
** Newly elected
For more information about the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, visit pasowine.com.