' Coho Wines - Gary Lipp

Gary Lipp

After a successful five-year career as a ski bum in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Gary moved back to his hometown, Cleveland, Ohio following the 1976 ski season. There he would become involved in the local wine scene, and with a pretty young woman named Sheila Barry. After several years of managing restaurants, music clubs, and working in a wine shop, Gary now married to Sheila, moved to Napa Valley where he became a “cellar rat” at Heitz Wine Cellars.

In 1982 Gary moved to the Robert Mondavi Winery and from production to his first sales and marketing position: street rep in San Francisco. The next year he was promoted to Midwest Sales Manager, and they moved to Chicago where Emma was born.

Recognizing the importance of international markets, Robert Mondavi appointed Gary as their first Export Manager in 1986. The family moved to London, and Gary spent the next five years promoting Robert Mondavi and California wine from Scandinavia to Spain. And somewhere near the middle of that time Sam was added to the family. Upon their return to Napa Valley in late 1991, Gary assumed on-premise marketing responsibilities, managing a team that sold Mondavi wines to restaurant and hotel groups, and to airlines, duty-free and cruise lines.

In 1993 Gary accepted a position as President of Chalone Wine Estates, the sales and marketing company of the Chalone Wine Group. A few years later he became the Marketing Director of Artisan and Estates, Jess Jackson’s fine wine group.

Looking to focus on artisan made wines; Gary joined Paul Hobbs in 1999 as Sales and Marketing Director. He also became a partner with Paul in the import company bringing Paul’s Argentine wines to the U.S. In 2003 Gary left to begin the marketing work for COHO which he and Brooks Painter started the previous year.

In addition to managing all the sales and marketing activities of COHO, Gary also worked for the Chappellet family from 2007-2009, directing their consumer-direct business. As the new decade begins Gary is now devoting all his attention to COHO.