Although she is the descendant of four generations of Napa Valley grape growers, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Kendall Hoxsey would go into the wine business. In 2008, having earned a degree in history at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, Kendall returned to her home in Napa Valley to contemplate her next move. But when she filled in for a compliance manager on leave from Napa Wine Company, she found she liked the work, and that she knew more about her family’s vineyards and business than she thought she did.
“I knew our vineyards and I got to know our clients, and I learned how to work with TTB and understand the rules. I learned how wine is made by tracking each lot through the winemaking process,” says Kendall, the eldest daughter of Andy Hoxsey, founder of Napa Wine Company. While working by day in compliance, Kendall continued her studies at night, earning an MBA in Wine Business from Sonoma State University. “I like the business side of wine, and I wanted to show my family that I was serious.”
In 2012 a reorganization at Napa Wine Company opened up a position for Kendall and she was named Business Manager. Working closely with her father, she took on increasing responsibility, including the implementation of Napa Wine Company’s Vintrace cloud-based winery management software to facilitate wine tracking. Today, in addition to managing her family’s organically-farmed Yount Mill Vineyards in Yountville, Kendall oversees accounting, client contracts, government agency interface and special projects. “I’m very dedicated to the legacy of our family, and to continuing the path forged by my father and great-grandfather.”
Kendall is married to Jeff Onysko, who serves as assistant winemaker at Napa Wine Company and winemaker for her family’s wine brand, Elizabeth Rose.