After 14 years in the California wine business, I founded Burke to help boutique, family-owned wineries gain exposure, grow, and thrive. 

 As a native Californian, cherishing and respecting the land runs in my family. My grandfather was a landscaper, as was his father, and I love owning a business that is so closely tied to the soil. Truly passionate about what I do, I believe in those I represent, and it’s important to me that I help them to succeed. 

 In choosing which wineries to represent, I look for emerging producers who are forging their own path and who want to be directly involved in their business. Those in my portfolio are a young, enthusiastic, innovative, and an incredibly driven group of entrepreneurs who enjoy pushing the boundaries of winemaking while also respecting traditions and the land.

 It was while in school on the Central Coast that I fell in love with the wine industry.  After earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I moved to the Santa Cruz Mountains to work with Picchetti, a small family winery, and after that, at Row Eleven, a startup. Through these jobs, I experienced first-hand what it takes to make great wine, working in every aspect of the industry: planting, growing, harvesting, crushing, fermenting, bottling, storage, distribution, wholesale, and direct sales. 

 Eager to learn more about traditional sales outside the wine industry, I became District Sales Manager at ADP. From there, I joined Row Eleven where I helped to oversee production and also was involved with wholesale, traveling to different US markets and successfully helping to grow the brand and developing private labels. 

 In 2008, I opened Burke, representing producers throughout the state, with a focus on California’s highly dynamic and versatile Central Coast. I’m proud that my clients rely on me to understand the needs of the wineries, restaurants, and retailers who are looking for something new and different. My clients also count on the deep and trusting relationships with many area winemakers that I’ve forged over the years. 

 I believe that as a niche distributor, part of our value is diligently researching and understanding what our clients need and want in order to make the right match and then suggesting only the wines that are a fit, and as a result, we have a personal relationship with every winery we represent.

 My enthusiasm hasn’t waned since the day I opened my doors. If anything, it has only grown as I continue to meet more and more talented and dedicated winemakers who create outstanding and unique wine for the region. 

 

                                                                                                                                         -Shannon Burke