First as winemaker and president of Fetzer Vineyards, and now as CEO of Truett Hurst, fourth-generation winemaker Paul Dolan has always been a pioneer leading the industry towards a more sustainable future. While at Fetzer, Paul proved to the California wine industry that wineries and grape growers can preserve and enhance their environment, strengthen their communities, and enrich the lives of their employees without sacrificing the bottom line. He introduced Bonterra, the first nationally distributed wine made with 100 percent organic grapes, placing Fetzer at the forefront of organic viticulture. Paul’s experiences at Fetzer led him to publish “True to Our Roots- Fermenting a Business Revolution” that set forth the simple but powerful management principles that enabled Fetzer to become one of America’s best- known wineries and an exemplar of sustainable business practices.
I believe it's time for business, one of the most powerful forces on Earth, to become a positive force for change. We already know that we can create tremendous wealth and technological progress. The new possibility for those of us in business is to preserve that progress and wealth for the generations to come.
Through his leadership at the California Wine Institute, Paul introduced the Code of Sustainable Wine Growing and chaired the Institute from 2006 – 2007. He also served on President Clinton’s Council on Sustainability, Businesses for Social Responsibility, and The Climate Group, was Chairman of the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance, and received the Environmental Business Leader of the Year Award from the California Planning and Conservation League in 2006.
Paul’s greatest passion, however, is regenerative winegrowing at his family-owned Dark Horse Ranch, east of the Russian River in the foothills north of Hopland. It has been a family project and a labor of love to convert 70 acres of grapes into a multi-faceted certified Biodynamic® vineyard and regenerative farm. He is constantly seeking to enhance his understanding of the restorative capacity of the soil and the farm, and its relationship to the restoration of the health of the planet’s ecosystems. Paul’s multigenerational family continues to be his daily source of inspiration.