Think Drinks

Sarasota's Vic Motto Advises Winery Owners on Biz Strategies

Vic Motto reinvented his life as a global wine consultant.

By Ilene Denton January 11, 2016 Published in the January 2016 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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As co-founder, chairman and CEO of Napa Valley-based Global Wine Partners, Sarasota’s Vic Motto travels the world—25,000 miles in the first three quarters of 2015 alone—advising hundreds of winery owners, importers and distributors on mergers and acquisitions and business strategy. He and his wife, Sandy, former director of public relations for Robert Mondavi Winery, moved to Sarasota five years ago from Napa.


“The industry is very fragmented. In the U.S. alone there are 8,000 wineries, and over 100,000 in the rest of the world. Most are mom-and-pop, but [many] are meaningful-sized businesses that operate nationally or internationally. I work with wineries mostly in the U.S. but also in Italy, France, Spain, Australia, Chile, Argentina.”


“I grew up in Tampa and majored in accounting at USF. I’d worked at ABC Wine & Spirits, where they had a 30-minute class every week for employees on wines of different regions; after a year you knew quite a bit. I started my career as a CPA for Arthur Andersen, where real estate was my specialty.”


”After my mid-life career crisis, I decided to take a vacation trip to Napa Valley to think and relax. I decided I was going to move there and get involved with the wine industry. My skills are portable, so I learned the industry, met people and slowly built up a base of clients. That was 34 years ago, and since then I’ve worked with everybody in the industry. I created my own fantasy and then lived it. It paid off in every way, including meeting my wife. I really scored.”

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