mamamabel-270x300Michael Houlihan, Co-Founder of Barefoot Wines, came back exhausted from a sales trip to Southern California in late 1993.  He told Bonnie Harvey, the other Co-Founder of Barefoot Wines, and her mom, Mabel Hurd, it was a disaster because the stores were stocking up for Christmas and New Years.

“We sell wine,” Michael said. “And everyone’s buying Champagne.”

“Why don’t you have a Champagne?” Mabel said. Mabel had been a Rosie-the-Riveter welder during World War II, helping build liberty ships in the Portland shipyards. In late 1987, Mabel was living in Sandy, Oregon, in the foothills of Mt. Hood, growing and selling organic blueberries. They asked Mabel to come live with them in Sonoma County, to help them grow their new business, Barefoot Wines.

“I can barely sell wine,” Michael said. But he thought, you know, why don’t we have a Champagne? “What would I call it, anyway?”

Mabel barely paused. “Well, I’d call it Barefoot Bubbly,” she said.

It took a few years. Barefoot’s sparkling wine didn’t hit the market until 1997. A year later, Michael and Bonnie toasted Mabel on her 80th birthday with their Champagne named Barefoot Bubbly.

Thanks to the winemaking mastery of Jennifer Wall, Barefoot Bubbly became a reality and an American favorite! And her friend Mabel would be very proud to see the champagne she named become the toast of the town, heck, the toast of the planet!

Barefoot Bubbly will be the Official Champagne for the Times Square, New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, viewed by 3 billion people worldwide. Barefoot Bubbly is the first American champagne in years to toast this very American celebration. And we are especially proud of the fact that it was originally named by Bonnie’s mother.

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact