Who is Brian Baker?

I got my start in the wine industry heading up Kendall Jackson’s CRM team. The concept of CRM in the wine space was brand new; tasting rooms were still viewed as extensions of Marketing and PR budgets. My group and I were charged with setting up the systems and strategies for 17 brands under the Jackson Family umbrella. During that time, we pioneered some new concepts for the wine industry like RFM analysis and outbound telesales. I launched Cultivar Marketing, just after I left KJ in 2008, but put it on hold after I was asked to work with Chateau Montelena to re-start their DTC effort. While there I was able to not only triple the size of their club program but also integrated cutting edge e-marketing, created an in-house telesales team and launched the first Urban Tasting Room in a Hotel. I spent ten years with the Barrett family running sales and marketing, gaining valuable experience in Wholesale and Export channels while managing a national sales team (VINTUS). I rounded out my wine experience, polishing my financial planning and production knowledge at Mayacamas Vineyards, serving as GM. At Mayacamas I launched my second Urban Tasting Room in Downtown Napa and founded the Napa downtown tasting room association (WINED).

 I recently re-launched Cultivar Marketing with a focus on helping wineries of all sizes achieve profitability through the application of core value marketing, DtC best practices, brand management and sales channel balance. I am big believer in DTC– as well as the promise of Export. Remember, 96% of the wine drinkers live outside the U.S. That’s a lot of opportunity. Since that time I have extended my services to Beverage Alcohol and now work with spirits clients as well.

I am classically trained core value marketer who has worked successfully in three different  industries. My trademark is to help get businesses profitable and balanced between their sales channels. I have a strong background in stats and research and am a stickler when it comes to ROI.

I was born in Long Beach and raised in the desert in a small town called Corona that was once awash in citrus ranches (alas no more). I did not come from a ‘wine family” but quickly adopted it after college. My aha moment was a bottle of 1985 Vichon I bought at Trader Joe’s. My family and I have been living in Northern California for 25 years and I now call Napa home.

I’m a public speaker and faculty member of the Institute for Organizational management. I have served as a wine judge for the past 23 years for San Francisco International Wine Competition and hold a CSW credential. I am also the co-founder and current Executive Director of WINED—which is the Napa downtown tasting room association.

Industry Sales and Marketing Experience:

  • Beverage Alcohol
  • Urban Tasting rooms
  • Luxury
  • Travel
  • Non-Profit
  • Destination Marketing
  • Advertising and Public Relations
  • Publishing