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Cannonball Wine Company Hires Dream Team

August 8, 2012 By: Nightclub & Bar


Cannonball Wine Company has made a substantial commitment to driving sales on a regional level with the addition of four new team members. Strategically located in key U.S. markets, the team brings over eighty years of combined wine industry knowledge to the company.

Cannonball Co-Founder and CEO Yoav Gilat conducted a year-long search to find just the right balance of experience and chemistry for his team. “The sales philosophy at Cannonball is to always represent the brand with integrity, and to build partners, not just shipments. This team brings that Cannonball DNA directly to the marketplace. The breadth of their experience and wine knowledge, both domestic and import, is impressive and a vital component to ‘Sharing a Splash’ across the country.”

Cannonball Co-Founder and Winemaker Dennis Hill, who has mastered his talent at wineries of all sizes including Seghesio, Hayman & Hill, and the wildly successful Blackstone Merlot, firmly believes in the investment of a regionally-based sales team. “After 36+ years in this industry, one component that I have consistently seen make a difference is a solid, personal relationship with your customer – whether trade or consumer. This dynamic team will fulfill our expectation of delivering a hands-on approach to all channels and to growing the Cannonball community.”

The first hire was Northern California-based Vice President of Sales Gil Watkins. During the past 25 years Gil has established himself as one of the most successful fine wine sales professionals in California. He has represented top producers such as Ridge, Bonny Doon, Graham's Port, and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Gil manages the Western U.S. and is positioned as a vital component in driving all sales and channel relationships for Cannonball Wine Company.

Representing the Southeastern U.S. and based out of Atlanta, Georgia is Sales Director John Lampe, who has 25 years of experience from all tiers of the wine industry. John has held key roles on the distributor side, and for the last twelve years, regional supplier management positions for Geyser Peak, Freixenet, Goldschmidt Vineyards, and Huneeus Vintners.

Directing sales in the Northeastern U.S. and based out of Brooklyn, New York is Rachael Texeira, who brings 10+ years of experience to Cannonball Wine Company. Rachael was previously with Opici Wine Co. NY in Manhattan, and most recently held a key regional management role with Oyster Bay Wines USA.

Completing the dream team is Sales Director Dave Zinni, based out of Austin, Texas, who will manage the Central U.S. Dave has 20+ years of concentrated Southern U.S. wine industry experience, and has held key distributor management roles representing portfolios such as Wilson Daniels, Kobrand, Paterno and Kermit Lynch. Most recently, Dave held a regional management position at Vintage Point where he served as one of the lead sales representatives for Educated Guess Wines and Layer Cake.


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