Ray Chadwick, the President and CEO of Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines since 2001, has been elected Chairman of the Wine Institute for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
Chadwick was Wine Enthusiast’s Man of the Year in 2008.
Prior to working at Diageo, Chadwick was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Seagram Chateau & Estate Wines Company and Managing Director of Barton & Guestier, S.A.
Chadwick faced considerable challenges when he took over Diageo. It had been only 3 months since the Sept. 11 attacks, and the nation was reeling, with the stock market nose-diving and restaurant sales declining. Chadwick nonetheless oversaw an aggressive expansion of Diageo’s wine portfolio, which includes 34 brands. In California, the company’s focus, he has presided over the growth of brands that include Beaulieu, Chalone, Rosenblum, Sterling, Blossom Hill and Provenance. Last year, Chadwick cited Napa-based Diageo’s strong route-to-market as its greatest asset, giving its brands good distribution and positioning Diageo to perform well, particularly in a period of consolidation.
As Wine Institute’s Chairman, Chadwick will tackle a range of issues now confronting the industry, from the political (new excise taxes and interstate shipping) to the commercial (expanding trade) to the lifestyle-oriented (promoting wine as a healthy beverage), including promoting sustainable practices. Wine Institute Chairmen tend to come from the ranks of hard-working men and women who came up through the industry’s trenches and understand its needs. Recent Chairpersons have included Eric Wente, Paul Dolan, Margaret Duckhorn, Jasper Indelicato, Gary Heck, Richard Walton and Louis “Bob” Trinchero.