Precept Wine announces promotions after record first quarter

By on April 22, 2013

Precept Wine logoSEATTLE — Precept Wine, which has risen to become the largest privately held wine company in the Pacific Northwest, today announced the best first quarter in its 10-year history and celebrated the promotions of three executives.

President/CEO Andrew Browne declared the first three months of 2013 to be “the most successful” in company history. It comes on the heels of producing 950,000 cases of wine last year.

“Precept Wine is about people. The internal team allows our company to develop and grow new and existing relationships throughout the life of a wine: growers, wineries, distributors, accounts and consumers,” Browne said in a news release. “I’m proud of the team we currently have and excited for the addition of new dynamic members who will make this a great place to work and be successful – individually and as a team.”

The company is owned by Dan Baty and his son, Stan, who formed Precept Wine in 2003 with Browne. The Baty family is in its fourth decade as major players in the Pacific Northwest wine industry, having created Corus Brands in 1980 with its purchase of Columbia Winery.

During the next 21 years, Corus Brands acquired Covey Run and Paul Thomas in Washington and Idaho wineries Ste Chapelle and Sawtooth as well as Australian brand Alice White.

Alexandra Evans of Precept Wine

Alexandra Evans of Precept Wine

Constellation purchased Corus Brands in 2001, but the Batys did not sell their 2,400 acres of vineyard in the Northwest. In less than two years, Browne and the Batys rejoined forces and began to reassemble their corporate team.

Alexandra Evans, promoted to chief marketing officer on Monday, was brand manager for Corus from 1999-2001, then served in a similar role for two years with Constellation. She began at Precept in 2003 and orchestrated branding, creative direction and marketing.

Kirk Brewer has been promoted to chief sales officer in charge of sales, logistics and shipping. Mark Harmann accepted the title as senior vice president of sales for the West Coast and international accounts. He joined Precept last September after a career with Southern Wine and Spirits in Seattle, Majestic Fine Wines and work with Jackson Family Enterprises.

Kirk Brewer of Precept Wine

Kirk Brewer of Precept Wine

Mark Harmann of Precept Wine

Mark Harmann of Precept Wine

“Alex, Kirk and Mark have exhibited characteristics that have led to our current success – communication, caring and passion,” Browne said. “I look forward to watching their growth and success in the coming years  and feel privileged to be working with them every day.”

Precept includes Washington state brands Apex Cellars, Canoe Ridge, House Wine, Sagelands, Waterbrook and Willow Crest. In Oregon, its 12th & Maple Wine Co., in Dundee is the state’s third-largest producer with labels Blue Pirate, Primarius and Red Door.  It controls four vineyards in the Willamette Valley — Battle Creek, Howell Prairie, Roe and Waldo Hills. They combine for more than 600 acres.

Overall, Precept ranks as the 18th largest wine producer in North America, owns more than 3,700 vineyard acres in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, and operates nine tasting rooms.

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the President and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for a decade. He is a frequent wine judge at international wine competitions throughout North America and orchestrates 10 Northwest competitions each year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *