Director of Marketing
Cathy Clements Seghesio was working as Sales Manager of the historic Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans when clients insisted she meet Peter Seghesio, who in their words, ' . . . could be your husband!” Such an absurd comment was quickly dismissed. Then, after a political argument, crawfish and a five month friendship, the couple began 'courting.”
Upon their engagement in 1992, Cathy moved to Sonoma County and worked in advertising sales traveling weekdays. Peter, then Marketing and Sales Director for the winery, traveled three weeks a month. It was Peter's father, realizing the young couple was rarely seeing each other, who suggested Seghesio hire Cathy to fill the then vacant position of California Sales Manager. With her degree in Marketing and Management, her sales experience and the fact that she was soon to be a Seghesio, she was a natural choice.
Cathy began working for the Family in December of 1992 successfully handling California Sales. In Fall of 1993, her sales position expanded to include ten Western States and her home state of Louisiana. In 1995, she began the winery's Centennial Club as a means for sharing with Seghesio's faithful fans the traditions of the family. With the arrival of their sons, Cathy's responsibilities keep her closer to home as she manages all aspects of marketing for the winery. Peter boasts that he has even taught her a bit of the cooking skills for which the family is known. Together in their home, the couple often entertains customers they have met in their travels. Cathy remarks, 'I feel very fortunate to work for the family and with my husband. The Seghesio story is a marketing dream! So many wineries try to suggest the history, the family commitment and the dedication to the land this family has shown over the past century. With that remarkable history and, the vision and quality focus of the new generation, my job becomes easy.'
Cathy, Peter and their sons live in Healdsburg on the San Lorenzo Ranch.
Chief Executive Officer/Winegrower
E. Peter Seghesio was raised at the Seghesio Home Ranch in Alexander Valley, the birthplace of the family's wine business. The son of Eugene "Pete" and Rachel Ann Seghesio, Peter is a third-generation descendent of founders Edoardo and Angela Seghesio. Peter literally grew up playing hide and seek among the old redwood fermenters in the original Seghesio Winery, located on the Home Ranch. "Grapes and wine were naturally part of my childhood," he recalls.
With the goal of joining the family business in sight, Peter enrolled at California State University at Fresno. Upon graduation in 1986, Peter joined the Seghesio Winery as marketing director. He took to the streets, traveling three weeks a month, twelve months a year, sharing family stories with distributors and salesmen across the country. "Building relationships is the key component of our philosophy," says Peter. "As a member of the Seghesio family, I want to forge a bond with the people who sell our wine, and to let them know the family is fully committed to the business." Within two years, Peter had established national distribution and sales for the Seghesio brand. Working with Winemaker Ted Seghesio, his cousin, Peter developed the Seghesio brand and together they took production to over 100,000 cases. In May of 1993, at the age of 28, Peter was chosen by the elder generation to become the winery's General Manager. Wise at a young age, he surrounded himself with a core group of specialists in every aspect of the business. Then, in 1994, Peter spearheaded the winery's turnaround by refocusing attention to the vineyards. This courageous move decreased production from 128,000 cases down to 30,000 cases, and placed the focus on growing great wine to solidify the winery one of the finest producers of Zinfandel and Sangiovese.
As a third-generation Seghesio, Peter combines his strong family heritage with youthful vitality and optimism as he guides the family business. "Wine is our history, our tradition and our way of life," articulates Peter. "We utilize the legacy and knowledge of our forefathers with cutting edge viticultural and vinification practices." Today, even as CEO, Peter spends much of his time in the vineyards as he determines it most crucial to Seghesio's success. True to his roots, Peter loves food and family and maintains the family traditions such as sausage making and mushroom hunting.
Peter, his wife Cathy, and their sons live in Healdsburg on the San Lorenzo Ranch.
Camille Seghesio, granddaughter of Edoardo and Angela Seghesio, began managing the winery's export markets in February 2002.
Upon departing for college at Georgetown University, it was clear that Camille would not soon return to the Home Ranch where she was raised . . . She studied political science and languages. She achieved her Masters in Economics from Stanford and went on to work for Salomon Brothers in New York. Eager to continue her education, she received her MBA from the University of Chicago. Upon graduation, Camille worked for Goldman Sachs in their London equities division.
In 1999, Camille began serving on the winery's Board of Directors and reacquainted herself with the family business. By 2002, export markets were expanding and changes in the European distribution network created a need for a manager. Camille's international experience made her a great choice and, conversely, she states, "my dream has always been to work for the family handling the export markets."
Camille shares her family's passion for the wine industry and her dedicated work has brought Seghesio wines to nearly 40 countries.
Today, Camille directs exports and enjoys traveling on behalf of the family to numerous wine events. And, as of Summer 2007, we are delighted to have her once again call Sonoma County home.
Ed Seghesio acquired the tools he needed for life in the same manner as his father and uncles before him. He attended a one-room school in Asti and grew up in the midst of the family's grape and wine business in Geyserville. The son of Arthur, the third-born child of Edoardo and Angela Seghesio, Ed was born in 1926, a second-generation American Seghesio.
As a young boy, Ed developed a lasting love of farming. Beginning at the age of eleven, Ed and his brother Ray pruned old Zinfandel vines surrounding the family home. "My brother and I just loved to prune," Ed recalls. "We worked after school and on weekends. Some years we pruned seven acres, just the two of us!"
Ed always planned to join the family business. In 1949, after completing his military service, Ed and his bride Fay settled in the home aside the old Scatena Winery that the Seghesio family had just purchased in Healdsburg. Ed managed the operation of this, the second Seghesio winery for more than 30 years, while raising his family in the adjacent Victorian home. From 1950 to 1972, the winery was active producing wine for bulk sales; production topped a million gallons at its peak. Ed remembers good relationships with the many Sonoma County farmers whose grapes he purchased over the years. Along with his uncle, Pete Seghesio, he bought grapes from over 400 growers in the area, all on the good faith of a handshake. He recalls, "It was always a verbal deal and we paid cash before December of the vintage. I would deliver the checks and bring a few bottles of wine to each grower around Thanksgiving."
As Seghesio Winery transitioned from bulk to premium varietal wine in the late 1970s, Ed's son Ted became involved in the winemaking. In the early 1980s, Ed turned the winemaking over to Ted, preferring tending the family's 400 acres of vineyards. Today, three of Ed's five children are directly involved in the family business. "If they are happy with what they are doing, it works out," he says. Ed is gratified to see the Seghesio tradition continue. "There are not many families who have 100 years in business over four generations that doesn't happen too often nowadays," he notes.
Jim Neumiller Vineyard Manager
Jim Neumiller grew up on a farm in North Dakota growing grains, corn and hay. Today, he farms Seghesio's 400 acres of vineyards. Jim's family moved to Santa Rosa in 1963 when he was in Junior High. Upon his High School graduation, he was instrumental with other students, teachers and community leaders in encouraging the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) to institute an Agricultural program. He studied Animal Science at both SRJC and Chico State University.
In 1977, Jim married Julie Seghesio. At the time, he worked as a load master for international cargo flights and traveled 85% of the year. A pilot's strike during the fall of 1977 left him looking for temporary work so he decided to work a harvest for his new family. Pleased with his work and hoping to change his travel schedule, Jim's new bride and her parents encouraged him to give up flying and work for the family. In 1978, Jim began working for Seghesio. He says, "I just did whatever needed to be done. In those days, I worked in the vineyards, driving tractors, in the winery and on the bottling line." But, it was Jim's love of farming that earned him the position of vineyard manager in 1992. Since then, Seghesio's vineyard practices have changed enormously. Under Jim's direction and, the guidance of vineyard consultant Phil Freese, Seghesio's farming practices are now some of the most diligent in Sonoma County. The result of his work in the vineyards is more and more apparent with each vintage.
Jim & Julie live in Alexander Valley where they enjoy time with their three grown children, daughter-in-law and precious granddaughter.
Growing up next door to Seghesio's Healdsburg winery did not immediately inspire Ted Seghesio to be a winemaker. "I didn't have a strong impression of winemaking because, in the bulk business, we shipped out all the young wine each December," he recalls. Instead, Ted developed a fascination for trains, watching tank cars side up to the winery, then depart full of wine. And like many young athletes, he dreamed of becoming a baseball player.
Ted went to college at the University of the Pacific and played baseball while earning a BA in Business. Returning home in 1975, he went to work in the family vineyards, expanding his knowledge of viticulture and, particularly, the Seghesio vines. Then in 1977, at the prompting of his mother, Fay, Ted headed to UC Davis and enrolled in enology and chemistry courses. Returning to Healdsburg in 1979, Ted started converting the Healdsburg bulk winery to premium varietal production, purchasing oak barrels and stainless steel fermenters. "Mom had urged the family to produce wine under the Seghesio brand for years," Ted says. "She passed away while I was in school, but she knew her dream would be fulfilled. I think she would be proud today." The first Seghesio wines were introduced in 1983. As a new label with a long tradition in wine Ted believes Seghesio benefits from the family heritage, tempered with youth and innovation: "I think the fact that we were not selling 14 different wines under our brand in the 1940s, 50s and 60s is a definite advantage, because we are not locked into a past era," says Ted. "We are an Italian, family-owned winery, but we are not old fashioned. Our third- and fourth-generation family members are dynamic, flexible, and adapt well to the changing marketplace."
Ted believes winemaking truly begins in the vineyard: "You must do all you can to produce good grapes, then guide them into wine," he explains. "My goal is to make the best wine I can, a wine that is accessible when young, yet balanced to age." Again, Ted views the family's history as a benefit in terms of wine quality: "We have drawn grapes from our vineyards for many vintages; we know what they can produce," he states. "And we continue to look for ways to improve our vineyards at each of our six Sonoma County locations," he adds.
Ted will tell you his goal as a winemaker is to make a wine people seek out. And, that he has done as his wines have been named to the Wine Spectator's annual Top 100 List for seven of the previous eight years. Ted has also been honored by Decanter's Best American Red Trophy in 2007, by Food & Wine's American Wine Awards and by the San Francisco Chronicle's Wine Competition as Winemaker of the Year.
Ted lives in Healdsburg where he enjoys biking and the company of his two daughters.
Raymond Seghesio, Sr
Raymond Seghesio, Sr. grew up on Seghesio's Home Ranch in Alexander Valley. From a young age his father, Arthur, instilled in sons Ray and Ed a love of vineyards. At age eighteen, Ray began working for the family.
Today, Ray is retired but can still be found delivering wine to several accounts he has serviced since the family first began bottling in 1982. He delights in seeing Seghesio wines in restaurants and retailers. Ray adds that the most gratifying aspect of the business is, "witnessing how well the family works together to continue the business." He adds, "Margaret and I are impressed and supportive of the changes made by the new generation."
Ray and his wife Margaret have made the family's River Road Ranch home for over fifty years.
David Seghesio grew up fascinated with hobbies that involved working with his hands. And, growing up next door to the winery, there was always something to work on with his father Ed Seghesio.
David followed his love by attending trade school for Automotive and Diesel Mechanics. After gaining three years' experience, David joined the winery in 1984 to handle its fleet of trucks and farm equipment. Soon, his position grew as he learned woodworking, plumbing, welding and electrical contracting. He earned his General Builder's License in 1994. Today, David is the operations manager of the winery.
The winery has always been at the core of David's life. He reminisces, "My favorite memory of the winery thus far was our Centennial Celebration in 1995. That day highlighted the many changes our family has undergone to maintain our business for 100 years." He adds, "The changes of the last decade have been most drastic. With a greater knowledge of the vineyards and new state-of-the-art equipment, we are making wines to be very proud of."
David's carpentry skills are most recently best showcased by the tables he crafted for our Family Table Wine & Food Pairings. If you come by the winery, don't miss a peek at the tables he built from the redwood tanks that once populated our historic cellar. David enjoys restoring classic automobiles and lives on the Cortina Ranch in Dry Creek Valley.