Rob McMillan

Rob McMillan (@SVBWine)  is the founder and Executive Vice President of Silicon Valley Bank's Wine Division based in St. Helena, California. Starting in 1992 he developed the division from the idea and start-up phase to the point where it is today, now regarded by many as the leading provider of financial services to the fine wine business on the west coast of the United States.

Photo: Lance Iversen, The Chronicle, SF Gate

In this episode, we talk about:
-At the time, the wine industry was down trending in the 1980’s
-Fine wine business had one data point, and opportunity for growth
-The run-up of high-end wine prices was because of the boomers being able to afford it.
-They are the prominent providers of financial services for fine wine vineyards and wineries up and down the west coast.
-Fine wine is $20 and above price point
-SVB is the only bank in the US that focuses in the fine wine space
-Their portfolio consists of about 350 wineries
-Over 20 years they have lost less than $4 million dollars in a billion dollar portfolio
-Clients range from Chehalem to Ferrari-Carano, Harlan Estate to Peter Michael
-States have the right to regulate/move alcohol within their borders
-We essentially have 50 countries within the US
-2015: there are .08 distributors per winery
-It is difficult for small, family run wineries to work with distributors
-About 60% of winery sales are direct-to-consumer, mainly through the tasting room
-Sales for 2014 grew by 9% for fine wine in the US
-Markets are trading back up, meaning that they are looking for more expensive wines
-California produces roughly 90% of US wine
-Political issues in the Pacific Northwest based around tourism and wine events are popping up
-There are wineries producing in all 50 states
-25%-30% of total wine sales in the US are imported from other countries
-When it comes to wine, it has to do with authenticity
-Eventually, we’ll be able to order wine from and have it delivered the same day.
-China is the fifth largest producer of wine in the world
-Favorite wine? He likes variety. It just depends. One for a great value:
      -Cline Cellars, Carignane from Contra Costa County in California

You can learn more about Rob and Silicon Valley Bank here

And learn even more from Rob in this 2012 interview with Gary Vaynerchuck.