I have a few thoughts on who wine's king of the hill is, and one clue about my choice as you consider yours: She is not a he.
When he was alive, Ernest Gallo was certainly king of the hill, heading up the world's largest wine company. Big distribution companies flex muscles in many states. Robert Mondavi, at the height of his career, was the most influential, at least in this country. For a long time, Ab Simon, when he ran Seagram Chateau & Estates Wine Co., presided over the largest importer of classified-growth Bordeaux and many of France's and Europe's finest properties.
No, the person I'm thinking of is a petite young woman who heads up one of wine's biggest sellers. Annette Alvarez-Peters heads up Costco Wholesale Corp.'s alcohol sales, the nation's largest retailer of said products.
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