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Villa San-Juliette announces management changes 

Hillary Trout moves on, Matt Ortman named interim president

Matt Ortman

Matt Ortman

Villa San-Juliette Vineyard and Winery announced the appointment of second-generation winemaker Matt Ortman as its interim president. The appointment comes on the resignation of president and COO, Hillary Trout.

“Hillary has done a masterful job in bringing our dream of a fully functioning winery to fruition and she has our sincere thanks for all she has done,” said co-owner Ken Warwick. Nigel Lythgoe said, “We will sincerely miss Hillary and only send our thanks and best wishes as she moves on with her career.”

“Working with Ken and Nigel, and the super team at Villa San-Juliette has been one of the highlights of my life,” said Hillary Trout. “But it’s time for me to move forward with other opportunities, and, though I’ll miss everyone at VSJ, I know my next step will be yet another terrific experience.”

Matt Ortman was named winemaker at Villa San-Juliette in January of 2013 and is held in high regard in the industry. He operated Ortman Family Vineyards for several years and is a protégé of his father, Winemaker, Chuck Ortman.

“We appreciate all that Hillary has done to bring Villa San-Juliette to its current potential,” said Matt, “but, we also appreciate her desire to move on, she will be missed. She has set the table for our continued success and leaves us with a very capable team in place.”

Winery hires new chief marketing officer and national sales manager

Dick Taylor

Dick Taylor

Dick Taylor joins Villa San Juliette as chief marketing officer after over 40-years of experience in brand building. Taylor’s eye for marketing communications and linking the entertainment industry with the corporate world led him to many successful client relationships.

His credits began while representing Moet & Chandon Champagne where he created the highly-visibility link to the product and entertainment worlds through his innovative “Winner’s Circles” at national racing events. Then, while at Rogers & Cowan, he revitalized Ford Motor Company’s studio vehicle placement program, furthering Ford’s visibility in major film and television productions. The program became the model for the entertainment industry.

Taylor joined Hill & Knowlton, Inc. as executive vice president and president of the agency’s heralded Worldwide Entertainment division. At H&K, he recruited new clients and developed comprehensive marketing communications campaigns for Ford, The Tournament of Roses Parade, Rose Bowl Game and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. Taylor’s corporate and product world expanded through his representation of television programs, motion pictures, musical artists and actors. “Dick’s legacy as a forward thinking marketer makes him an ideal member of the team to take our brands, Villa San-Juliette & Fat Monk, to the next level. We are thrilled to have him on board,” said Co-owner, Ken Warwick.

Daniel Bachilla

Daniel Bachilla

Daniel Bachilla joins the winery as national sales manager. He has held senior leadership roles in both the supplier and wholesale facets of the wine business for over 15 years.

Most recently he was director of sales at Vehrs Inc., a Northwest wholesaler, managing brands and a staff of more than 40 individuals, covering three states. Prior to joining Vehrs, Bachilla was vice president of marketing and sales at Milbrandt Vineyards and held key leadership positions at Whaluke Wine Company. In this role he developed and launched the Milbrandt Vineyards label nationally. Bachilla also held management positions with Click Wine Group and Cordon Selections.

“With Dan’s extensive background and drive, he brings an exciting new energy and breadth of knowledge to the team,” said Co-owner, Nigel Lythgoe.

“These gentlemen have strong reputations as proven leaders with far-reaching success building brands using innovative and relevant marketing, communications and sales strategies. We are delighted to have them on board,” said Winemaker and Interim President, Matt Ortman.

Villa San-Juliette is co-owned by Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick who acquired the vineyard in 2006. The facility now produces approximately 22,000 cases of wine per year and is distributed nationally and internationally.

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.