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Team Spotlight: Paul Hecht Building Brands One Sale at a Time

For more than a decade, Paul Hecht, National Sales Director, has been integral to Riboli Family Wines’ success. From establishing strong distribution relationships to making Stella Rosa the juggernaut that it is today (#1 selling 750ml wine in the US!) to building the best sales team in the business, Paul has had a hand in it. In 2019, Paul spearheaded the creation of a new division for Riboli. The new Riboli Estates Group is dedicated to our portfolio of ultra-premium and luxury wine brands sourced from the Riboli family’s estate vineyards in Paso Robles, Monterey and Napa Valley. To learn more about Paul, we caught up with him and asked him a few questions.

How long have you been in beverage business? Tell us about your background?

My family had a retail liquor and bottling business in New Jersey that dates back to pre-prohibition, so you could say I was learning about beer, whiskey, liqueurs and wine at an early age. Prior to Riboli Family Wines, I worked with Brown-Forman, one of the biggest and oldest drinks businesses in the U.S. Twenty-five years with Brown-Forman prepared me for most anything in the industry – especially the need to stay proactive and progressive.  

What do you think are the secrets behind Stella Rosa’s amazing success?

Stella Rosa is, indeed, a massive success, but it’s not just because of sales team. The Riboli family has always focused on giving consumers what they want. No one is afraid to shift or innovate because of ‘tradition.’ The only tradition at Riboli is serving the customer! By creating the freedom to develop new products based on consumer feedback, the Riboli family tapped into something that is often lacking in the wine business.

Why create a new division for the wines from the family’s estate vineyards?

The new division is hyper-focused on a specific group of estate wines, which enables us all to have clear, directional, and consistent strategic planning and messaging to all stakeholders and consumers. The brands in the Riboli Estates Group portfolio require a different approach to marketing and selling (different from our mainline lifestyle brands Stella Rosa and San Antonio), and we are able to provide the type of branding that will build awareness levels as well as both quantitative and qualitative distribution throughout the US markets. This dedicated approach also allows us to provide our distributors with a plan for building the brand in their market.

When you’re not building brands one sale, one relationship at a time, where will we find you?

Probably outside with my family or my beloved dogs. I love to fish, backpack and hike. I have been in California for 3 years now and definitely caught the surfing bug!