First as president of Fetzer Vineyards and then as CEO of the Mendocino Wine Company, fourth-generation California wine-maker Paul Dolan has successfully pioneered the path to sustainability in the California wine industry. In his book True to Our Roots: Fermenting a Business Revolution, he sets forth the simple but powerful management principles that enabled Fetzer Vineyards to become one of America's best-known wineries even as it was becoming a model for sustainable business practices.
Dolan and Fetzer led the California wine industry toward profound change in how wineries and grape growers preserve their environment, strengthen their communities, and enrich the lives of their employees, and he did all this without sacrificing Fetzer's bottom line. He introduced the first national brand made from 100 percent organically grown grapes and led a transformation that put Fetzer at the forefront of organic viticulture.
As a leader in the wine industry, Dolan introduced a Code of Sustainable Wine Growing to the Wine Institute and then went on to chair the Institute in 2006-2007. He served on President Clinton's Council on Sustainability, was Chairman of the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance, and received the Environmental Business Leader of the Year Award from the California Planning and Conservation League in 2006.
Dolan's greatest passion, however, is winegrowing at his family-owned Dark Horse Ranch, east of the Russian River in the foothills north of Hopland. It has been a family project and a labor of love to convert 70 acres of grapes into a certified Biodynamic® vineyard.
His presentations offer a powerful "how-to" blueprint to businesses on sustainability as an economic asset, as a competitive advantage, and as an imperative for healthy life on this planet.
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