About Us

California and Asia – Now Connected

Boost Sales

Propel sales to the next level by letting our experts guide your entry into these emerging markets.

Expert Guidance

Our experts will light a path through the complicated process of entering these enormous markets.

In Place Infrastructure

We have spent the time and money to develop an incredible infrastructure to help California Wineries enter the market.

Brand Representation

We will expertly represent your brands to these enormous markets without you even having to take a trip around the world.

Who We Are In Short

We are a group of wine industry veterans with a passion for California wine. After spending a lot of time in East Asia and launching a successful wine distribution business, we decided that California wines should be better represented in this part of the world. We have decades of experience in the wine industry and a deep understanding of the Asian cultures. If we work together we can capture more market share for California wines in what is soon to be the largest wine market on the planet.

Become a Member
California Wineries Asian Trade show Presence 2011
10%
California Wineries Asian Trade show Presence 2013
15%
Predicted Growth in California Wine Sales in Asia over five years
40%
Red Wine Consumption Growth in Asia - Past 3 Years
95%

"Thanks to Alexis I have found a new sales channel in Asia."

Roger Lauer
We Are The California Wine Association
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Alexis Bell

Co-founder, Executive Director

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Alexis Bell founded the California Wine Association in the spring of 2014 in Hong Kong. Alexis is a Certified Sommelier with an in-depth background in all facets of wine and the wine market.  She acquired her knowledge of the wine industry from ten years of managing California and other western states for ten international brands, while based in San Francisco. In every case she built sales exponentially.  She is currently studying for her Advanced Sommelier exam.  Her broad experience in the wine industry covers sales, marketing, brand building and management. She has worked as a sommelier at Eno at The Four Seasons in Washington DC.

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Jong Lee

Co-founder, Chairman

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Jong Lee brings an impressive amount of substantive experience in principal investment, executive management, investment banking, and corporate law in Asia and the US in numerous sectors including technology, media, services, industrial, real-estate, food and beverage, and fine wine.

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Cody Larsen

Assistant Director

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Cody has a plethora of experience ranging from commercial real estate, consulting, private equity, health care, and wine sales. Most recently, he helps manage a California wine distributor based in Asia.

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Stephen D. Kreps, Jr.

Manager

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Stephen D. Kreps, Jr. has traveled many miles in his professional life…in more ways than one.

Born in Florida and raised in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, Steve’s “route to wine” was less than direct. While being raised around wine as his father pursued a career in wine sales, marketing and importing, Steve found a great interest in aviation.

A family trip to Napa Valley, California in the early 1990s, when Steve was 21, became key to his future as he developed a much deeper appreciation for grapes and wines as the family visited many of the Valley’s legendary wineries.  It was also on this trip, meeting and flying with his dad’s Navy buddy and respected vintner Tom Burgess in Tom’s aerobatics airplane, it greatlty influenced Steve to be a professional pilot.

He graduated University of Central Missouri with a B.S. in Aviation,  and took to the skies — running a flight school in St. Louis in the mid 1990s then working in Detroit for Contract Air Cargo, helming Convair radial engine airplanes, from 1999 to 2001.  Steve moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 2001 to fly for U.S. Airways until the airline filed for bankruptcy in 2003.  He then flew corporate jets for Flight Options until 2005. He has logged over 5,000 hours flying all over the Continental United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

When Steve came back down to earth, he landed in Napa to help his father and brother build the family business.  He learned a great deal about wine at the dining room table growing up, especially an appreciation for well-crafted fine wines from the U.S. and around the world.  Now he was able to combine that knowledge with the “people skills” he honed while working as a commercial and private jet pilot.

Steve started at Quintessential “learning the wine sales ropes” handling the company’s Northern California territory.  In 2008, he was tapped to run the newly formed Quintessential Distribution Company – the company’s first foray into self-distribution of Quintessential’s portfolio of 17 family-owned labels from around the world.

Among those labels are the Kreps’ family’s own Two Angels and Angel’s Secret wines.  Steve is one of his mother’s “two little angels” who were the inspiration for the beautiful label and high-quality wines, like Petite Sirah and Sauvignon Blanc, that are among the many fine wines Steve’s group of eight salespeople sell very successfully throughout California.

You could say that Steve has “taken wing” yet again, this time on the ground pursuing another passion with the same exuberance and determination that marked his years flying the friendly skies.

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Julie Ann Kodmur

Publicity

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Julie Ann has won awards for publicity and marketing campaigns she created and executed. She has launched a number of new brands—both ultra-premium and wide-distribution—as well as pursued initiatives for organizations including Zinfandel Advocates & Producers. She launched MerlotFightsBack.com for Swanson Vineyards, TaintFreeCorks.com for Oeneo Closures and NapaValleyValentine.com. She re-established The St. Helena Viticultural Society and directed publicity for Bonny Doon Winery.

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Gary Lipp

COHO Wines

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Gary Lipp started his Napa Valley wine career at Heitz Wine Cellars where he worked in production for the legendary Joe Heitz. He held major sales positions at the Robert Mondavi Winery in important markets including Chicago, and was the London-based European vice-president. Other positions included President of Chalone Wine Estates; Marketing Director of Jess Jackson’s fine wine group, Artisans and Estates; and Director of Sales and Marketing for Paul Hobbs and Paul Hobbs Imports. He worked in import-export before establishing a prestigious Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon producer, Coho Wines, which consistently scores above 90 points in the Wine Spectator.

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Johnathan Yi

DongA Group

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Johnathan Yi, Managing Director of DongA (sp) Group.  DongA is a major player in the Korean commodity, food and beverage sectors. It is also the Korean distributor for Ferrari and Maserati, and the largest importer of California wines in Korea through their Nara Cellars, Dana Cellars, PDP Wine and Dana Glass and Beverage  subsidiaries.

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Charles Lam

SOGO Department Stores

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Charles is a  former president and CFO Asia ex-Japan of the SOGO Japanese department stores. He also has operational and ownership interests in a number of Chinese and Hong Kong wine distribution companies.

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Rene A. Henry

Wine Consultant

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Rene A. Henry has had a diverse international career in public relations, sportsmarketing, housing and real estate, television and entertainment, higher education and federal service. He served Presidents Reagan, Bush (#41) and Clinton in senior positions in their administrations. His career includes the Olympics and  international sports, the Oscars and Emmys. He has authored nine books including Communicating In A Crisis and Customer Service: the cornerstone of success.  Both are available from Amazon in paperback and worldwide on Kindle and the latter also as an audio book.

104

Wine Tastings

1268

Working Hours

824

Cups Of Coffee

210000

Airline Miles

Local Presence

We are headquartered in Hong Kong; the wine capital of Asia.

Connecting Both Sides of the Globe

Are leadership group is a mix of native Californians and Asian natives.

Attract New Customers

We know how to gain new business. Become a member and let us bring in new customers.

A Luxurious Tasting Room

All of our members have access to our tasting room centrally based in Hong Kong.

Premier Wine Storage

We keep our members wine in pristine condition and utilize the latest enomatic machines.

Brand Protection

We make sure your brand's reputation is protected.

Passionate About California

We love California wines and share our enthusiasm with everyone we meet.

Online Presence

Our online network focuses on driving traffic to our members wineries

Trade Show Presence

We represent our members at trade shows across Asia.

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