Wines & Vines: Foursight Winemaker a "Textbook Sucess Story"

Foursight Winemaker Joe Webb was featured as a "textbook success story" in Wines & Vines. Follow this link to read the full story.

Sonoma Wine Grads Talk Careers

By Jane Firstenfeld

'...Joe Webb Joe Webb, SSU wine program grad, GM of Londers and co-owner/winemaker of Foursight. Joe Webb, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in wine business strategies in 2005, before the Wine MBA program was established, is a textbook success story. Now general manager of Londer Vineyards and co-owner/winemaker at Foursight, both in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley, Webb worked his way through school, transferring to SSU after meeting Kristy Charles, now his wife, at Cuesta College on the Central Coast.

“While at SSU, I worked in the tasting rooms at Sebastiani and Landmark Vineyards in Sonoma,” he recalled. “I was supporting myself through school, so being able to work and attend classes was extremely helpful.” SSU’s program, he said, “did a great job of preparing me to run a small winery and manage the back end of a business that, without programs like this to lay the groundwork, you would have to work for decades to master.”

The most important thing he learned from the program, he said, “was a great look into how the wine business differs from other industries. The wine business is made up of so many family enterprises it is often very difficult to set benchmarks and goals, as well as realistic financial projections,” because family-owned businesses do not release financial statements. As a partner with his wife and her family in Foursight, he is acutely aware of this information shortage. Webb commented that even with his academic and professional experience, logistics, accounting and taxation have been tough to master. “Logistics plays a huge role in the wine business, from production to sales, and has disastrous consequences if all goes wrong,” Webb observed. ...'