BA 1982, Brian Lamb School of Communication
Vice President of Sales, Fine Wine and Education, Wente Family Estates
In January 2005, Bridget Epp joined Wente Family Estates, California’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery, located in Northern California’s Livermore Valley since 1883. For 10 years she served as vice president of sales, overseeing half the country for the Wente Family. Her primary role was leading a team of three regional sales managers and nine broker representatives in managing the distributors who sold Wente brands. This involved analyzing sales data, accessing opportunities, and forming in-depth financial strategies, pricing, programming and annual sales goal plans. Outlining “Go-To-Market Strategies” using marketing tools provided by the Wente team, presenting these annual sales goal plans, and getting buy-in from distributors were part of the sales management mission as well; just as important were building the skills of her team by enhancing their wine knowledge, developing impactful presentations, and furthering the effectiveness of their sales management and relationship-building skills. Tasked with developing top-to-top relationships with distributor management and wine buyers, she was the winery’s highest point of contact in each market. Of course the most fun part of her job was bringing the Wente Vineyards wine experience to consumers via wine tasting events both in restaurants and in wine shops. Recently she has taken on a new nationwide role focused on leading the Fine Wine Sales and Education mission of the Wente Family Estates Winery.
Bridget has an extensive background in the wine industry, including sales and brand management roles at the Robert Mondavi Winery, Terlato Family Distributors, and E&J Gallo Winery, where her career began 31 years ago in Aspen, Col. Bridget received her MBA from the University of Colorado and her undergraduate business and communications degrees from Purdue University, where she credits her time as an RA at Windsor’s Warren Hall as her first opportunity to be a leader. She is passionate about influencing the lives of those close to her and involved with many local and national charities.
She was born and raised in Northwest Indiana and now resides in Naperville, Ill., with her husband Bill, a Purdue and University of Colorado engineering graduate. She has two sons: Brian, who is a Purdue- and Georgia Tech-educated bio-medical mechanical engineer, and Kevin, a recent graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Division I lacrosse player. In addition she has more than a dozen nieces and nephews whom she hopes she has influenced in a positive way. Her time in Colorado furthered her passion for the outdoors including biking, kayaking, hiking and skiing.