Wine is a pleasant accompaniment to dinners and parties, but the abundance of choices and prices can be daunting.
It took Michael Houlihan, a 1968 political science alumnus, and Bonnie Harvey to significantly reshape California’s wine industry when they created Barefoot Cellars in 1986, nurturing it into one of the nation’s top brands. They recently shared their story with College of Business Administration classes.
Their principle of “follow your opportunity passionately” underlies their ongoing success as entrepreneurs, taking a chance on assuming a winery’s debt with the idea of starting their own business. “We thought at the time, because we were so ignorant, that we’ll just take the bulk wine and bottle it up and go to the supermarket and ask them what kind of label they want on it,” Houlihan recalled.