Wine Marketing Trends & Innovations

Wine Marketing Trends & Innovations

Is wine now part of an American lifestyle? As Wine, Behind the Curtain begins to shift the discussion from science to business, in our fourth live session, we will examine the key factors in building a wine brand, the evolving role of wine experts, and what “brand experience” can mean in the wine industry. Join moderator and Notre Dame Professor Joe Sweeney from Mendoza College of Business, in a discussion of all things wine marketing with Andrew Waterhouse ‘77, the director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at UC Davis, and David R. Duncan ‘88, Proprietor/Chairman & CEO of Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars.

View the Event

Presented by

Is wine now part of an American lifestyle? As Wine, Behind the Curtain begins to shift the discussion from science to business, in our fourth live session, we will examine the key factors in building a wine brand, the evolving role of wine experts, and what “brand experience” can mean in the wine industry. 

Subscribe to the ThinkND podcast on AppleSpotify, or Google.

Featured Speakers:

  • Andrew Waterhouse ‘77, Director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine & Food Science at UC-Davis
  • Joe Sweeney, Academic Director of the MBA Programs; Assistant Teaching Professor Management & Organization at the University of Notre Dame
  • David R. Duncan ‘88, Proprietor/Chairman & CEO of Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars

View Event

Meet the Speaker: David R. Duncan '88

It’s a rare day that you find David Duncan ’88, family-owner of Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars, sitting in his office.

Instead, you’ll likely spot him between vineyard rows, sporting a hard hat at a winery construction site, or chatting with customers at the tasting room bar. He chuckles, “I’d rather be driving a forklift than writing emails.” David’s hands-on commitment to continuous improvement, coupled with his characteristic approachability and good humor, have fueled Silver Oak and Twomey’s evolution over the last two decades.

Early-on his father, Ray Duncan, co-founder of Silver Oak Cellars in 1972 with Justin Meyer, introduced David to the family business. David got his first taste during his MBA at the University of Denver (’94), when he built a financial model for the company. Soon after, in 1999, David, his father and brother Tim Duncan founded Twomey Cellars, the Duncan Family’s brand and producer of Merlot, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. In 2002, David officially joined Silver Oak and today leads both Silver Oak & Twomey Cellars as Chairman & CEO. Along with his brother, Tim Duncan, who oversees domestic and international sales as Chief Revenue Officer, David has advanced the company to become one of Napa Valley’s most recognized and renowned producers.

In 2006, a fire destroyed the Silver Oak Napa Valley Winery in Oakville, leaving the family with the decision to either salvage the facility or rebuild from scratch. David saw the silver lining: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a space ideally suited for the production of Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon and the enjoyment of visitors. The new winery—the first commercial winery in the world to be LEED Platinum certified—crystallized the pillars of David’s leadership approach and set the stage for Silver Oak’s culture of industry leadership and firsts.

From the fire also rose David’s unwavering focus on quality and continuous improvement: “We’re not in pursuit of more, we’re in pursuit of better.” David constantly seeks out prime vineyard sites to add the portfolio and encourages employee innovation—like the development of Berry Sensory Analysis, a pioneering and rigorous approach used to determine when grapes are at peak ripeness. The same attention to producing exceptional wines also applies to sustainability. All of Silver Oak and Twomey’s vineyards are certified under Napa Green and The California Sustainable Winemaking Program, a criterion viewed as central to both land stewardship and wine quality.

In 2015, David’s commitment to excellence was a leading factor in the company’s decision to purchase The Oak Cooperage in Higbee, Missouri, making Silver Oak the first North American winery to own and operate an American oak barrel cooperage. Owning a cooperage gives Silver Oak complete control over the quality and supply of the American oak barrels that are a key factor in the style—aroma, flavor and texture—of Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon.

Never resting on his laurels, David has his eyes set on the future of the company, most notably the building of Silver Oak’s new winery in Alexander Valley, opening in 2017. Inspired by the re-build of the Oakville winery, David and his brother Tim set out to find the perfect site to grow exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and provide a first-rate, unrivaled customer experience. Like Oakville, the new winery will use cutting-edge technologies and will be applying for Platinum LEED certification.

Even with his hands-on commitment to Silver Oak & Twomey, David finds time to be a community leader. A Napa Valley Vintner (NVV) board member, David was Chairman of the NVV Board in 2015 and co-chaired Auction Napa Valley in 2014—it’s highest-grossing year. In 2008, David and his brother Tim also co-chaired the NVV’s Premiere Napa Valley, a wine auction for the trade. He served as board member and past Chairman of the St. Helena Hospital Foundation; in 2016 his fundraising efforts led to a banner year for the St. Helena Hospital Gala. David was co-chair of the Capital Campaign for the St. Helena Montessori School, is Board Member of the First Western Trust Bank in Colorado, and is past Chapter Chairman and member of the Northern California Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. When not making wine, David plays guitar and sings with the Silverado Pickups, a band he co-founded with his friend and fellow vintner Jeff Gargiulo of Gargiulo Vineyards.

An industry spokesman, David appears on behalf of Silver Oak & Twomey and the California wine industry on CBS This Morning, CNBC, Bloomberg News, FOX News; his quotes appear in national publications including Entrepreneur, Associated Press and Wine Spectator.

David lives in St. Helena with his wife Kary, an MD with a private dermatology practice, and their three children.

Meet the Faculty: Joe Sweeney '06, '12 MBA

(Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

Joe Sweeney ’06, ’12 MBA is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Management & Organization Department. His primary teaching focus is within the Meyer Business on the Frontlines Program with a focus on international partnerships and further development of new courses to serve partners closer to Notre Dame’s campus.

Joe’s passion for utilizing the tools of business to serve communities suffering from some of the world’s toughest challenges was honed in the field, first as a student in Egypt, and later as an advisor to student teams serving in Ghana, Tunisia, and Colombia. His work has explored key sectors such as agriculture, mining, and renewable energy, focusing on job creation and setting the economic conditions for growth. As an instructor, his teams have explored additional challenges including remote supply chains, human trafficking, business education, and illicit economies.

Prior to joining the faculty at Notre Dame, Joe served in multiple roles within Mendoza’s MBA program staff, focusing on recruitment and experiential learning. Joe is a Double Domer with undergraduate majors in Political Science and Arabic Studies, as well as an MBA from the Mendoza College of Business. His professional career includes multiple roles in the wine industry, including production, marketing and management of luxury brand portfolios from Oregon, New York, New Zealand, Argentina, France, and California. In addition to professional interests, Joe enjoys traveling and is an avid amateur photographer.

Meet the Faculty: Andrew Waterhouse '77

Andrew L. Waterhouse ’77 is a third generation Californian, but moved frequently while growing up, including some years abroad.  He attended the University of Notre Dame where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, and then UC Berkeley for his PhD in organic chemistry. In 1991, he moved to the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis where his research program delved into wine oxidation as well as various aspects of wine chemistry, with an emphasis on phenolic compounds.  His graduate students and post-docs are winemakers, researchers and faculty across California and elsewhere around the globe. He is currently a Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture and is Director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at UC Davis.

The Silver Oak Culture

Shaped by a spirit of creativity, humility and collaboration, the Silver Oak culture helps deliver the exceptional Cabernets you know and love. To learn more about the Silver Oak team, visit their website.

Sustainability & Silver Oak

Sustainability is Silver Oak’s long-term strategy for leading a healthy and thriving business without compromising the next generation’s ability to use and enjoy the natural resources around us.

As a family-owned, multi-generational winery, their environmental stewardship and social responsibility extends from their vineyards and wineries to their tasting rooms, from their Missouri cooperage to the greater American winegrowing community. To Silver Oak, operating with a thoughtful approach at every step of the winemaking process is not only the right thing to do; it results in better wines.

Learn more about their sustainability efforts and certifications here.

Wine "How To" with Silver Oak Cellars

The experts at Silver Oak Cellars walk share some of the secrets to enjoying wine, from how to travel with wine to how to keep red wine cool on a warm summer day, to what to do when you don’t have a corkscrew on hand. For more information about Silver Oak, visit their website.

How to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew

Stuck somewhere with a great bottle of wine but no corkscrew? Learn a few creative techniques for opening a wine bottle without a wine opener. The last one is the best!

How to Decant Wine

Decanting Cabernet becomes important when a wine is at least eight years old, or if it’s a young wine and you’d like to expose some air to it. Learn the proper technique for decanting a wine.

How To Keep Red Wine Cool on Warm Summer Days

In this fun video, Vanessa, a member of our winemaking team, provides some great quick tips for keeping your favorite red wine cool and protected on warm summer days. Enjoy!

How To Open a Large Format Bottle

You’re surrounded by your favorite people, and it’s time to open up that special wine you’ve been holding onto. But how do you open such a large bottle? Silver Oak Alexander Valley Winemaker Christiane Schleussner is here to show you how with a 6L.

How To Pack and Travel With Wine

John and Erin share their tips for how to pack and travel with wine so you never have to leave home without your favorite bottle ever again. Enjoy!

How To Use an Ah-So Wine Opener

Special occasions bring together good company and meaningful vintages. Whether celebrating a birthday with a birth year bottle or honoring a wedding anniversary, be sure to open these older wines with care. Our Napa Valley winemaker, Laura Oskwarek, shows you how to use an ah-so to get the job done.

back to top