2021 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year
January 12, 2022
We are excited to announce the 2021 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year awardee, Billy Grant; Biz Dev Head & Partner at McPrice Myers Wines!
This award, bestowed by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (PRWCA), annually recognizes one of their own who has exemplified the spirit of Paso Robles Wine Country with outstanding leadership and vision in promoting the region. This award is voted on by industry peers on a yearly basis.
A special Where Wine Takes You podcast features Mr. Grant where his history and current endeavors will be discussed in making him the 2021 Paso Robles Wine Country Industry Person of the Year.
The Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year is typically honored at an annual winter gathering of the PRWCA membership. In 2022, a celebration will happen when outdoor events can coincide with warmer temperatures. Billy Grant was nominated and named the 2021 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance membership which represents 400+ companies including wineries, vineyards, and associated businesses.
William R. Grant, better known as Billy, has been involved in the Paso Robles Wine Industry since 2002. In the past 20 years, Billy has served as partner, investor, consultant, and resource to wineries, vineyards, and affiliated businesses in the Paso Robles area. Affectionately known as the loudest guy in the room, Billy has been earnest in promoting the Paso Robles Wine Region by increasing market reach for brands with creative and unconventional approaches.
“I’m a serial entrepreneur and seeing other entrepreneurs and businesses thrive is what I love the most about getting involved. I’m a true believer in the saying: a rising tide lifts all boats,” notes Billy Grant. “My passion for Paso is rooted in the sense of community and true nature of what we do here.”
Billy saw early success in the banking industry as founder of an electronic payment systems company in the Bay Area. He caught the wine bug in Napa while entertaining bankers and clients. In 2002, he invested in making a little Naked Chardonnay with his childhood friend Christian Teitje and partner Susan Mahler (Sam) of Four Vines Winery – and the rest is history. Billy’s high-energy sales approach and business acumen helped build Four Vines from 8,000 cases to 120,000 cases in six years with a successful exit for the brand and its partners. One morning in 2008, he met Janell Dusi while she was driving her tractor and picking grapes. Together 14 years now, Billy works with her on growing and developing J Dusi Winery. Many a Saturday you will find him holding court on her winery’s patio.
In 2017, Billy joined McPrice Myers as a consultant and is now “all in” as a partner and heading up business development.
“Working shoulder to shoulder with Mac at McPrice Myers has been a highlight of my work in Paso. Mac embodies the authenticity and renegade nature of Paso Robles winemaking. I couldn’t be more excited about selling Paso Robles coast to coast once again,” says Grant.
“The state of Paso Robles Wine is strong, and getting stronger by the day,” says Billy. “When I first began, people would ask, ‘So what part of Napa is Paso Robles?’ I would joke: the very very southern part. It’s finally getting harder to find people who have not experienced Paso Robles wines, thanks in large part to the Lohrs, Hopes, and now the Daous. A big difference from 2004!”
Additionally, over the years Grant has consulted and served on a number of boards and committees that bring opportunity to those in need within the agricultural community.
Episode 41 of Where Wine Takes You (WWTY) will feature Billy Grant along with McPrice “Mac” Myers and is sure to get into more depth on Billy’s history, what brought him to Paso Robles, and all his endeavors leading up to his partnership with the McPrice Myers brand. The WWTY podcast is a long form experience that features an intimate journey with owners, winemakers, growers, and personalities as they discuss the places and wines that have shaped the Paso Robles Wine Region. Where Wine Takes You is always an interesting and educational podcast that tells the stories of our unique and authentic wine country. New episodes are released every two weeks.
Congratulations to Billy, we are thrilled to honor you as our 2021 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person!