June 16, 2024

Sonoma County custom bubbly vintner Rack & Riddle hires finance chief, sales executive

Rack & Riddle hired Kimberly Benson as chief financial officer and Brett Vankoski as vice president for sales.

The Healdsburg-based custom winery that has become among the nation’s largest producers of bubbly said Jan. 18 that these additions are “a strategic step” in the growth of the company.

Benson for the past 10 years rose to executive finance positions at Santa Rosa-anchored Vintage Wine Estates and then Napa-based Crimson Wine Group, exiting the latter in November as interim CFO, according to her LinkedIn profile. Benson had stepped up from vice president of finance at Crimson when the CFO Karen Diepholz resigned in July, the Business Journal reported.

“Kimberly brings a second-to-none wealth of experience, knowledge, and gravitas in strategic planning, capital management, acquisition analysis and financing, cost and inventory accounting,” said co-founders and co-CEOs Bruce Lundquist and Rebecca Faust in the news release.

Vankoski began his career working in a global capacity in finance for institutions such as American Express and Fidelity Investments, the announcement said. He then moved into the wine business, first in retail and then as vice president and wine director for Latitude Beverage Company, creators of the brand 90+ Cellars.

“Adding Brett to our sales team is a fitting and natural step for Rack & Riddle as our business continues to grow and produce a broader portfolio of sparkling wines,” Lundquist and Faust said. “His leadership, innovation, creativity, and connections in the alcoholic beverage world, match the forward and progressive direction of our company.”

Benson and Vankoski earned MBAs in wine business from Sonoma State University.

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