AppellationAmerica.com Begins Expansion with Top Leadership Appointment

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Industry Veteran, Michael Updegraff, installed as Chief Operating Officer.

Appellation America, the premier online wine portal for the North American wine industry, announces the appointment of Michael L. Updegraff as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Updegraff will be based in Appellation America's Napa office (opening in October).

Michael Updegraff is a twenty-five year veteran of the wine industry, who has made major contributions to some of California's most prestigious wineries, including Buena Vista Carneros, Swanson Vineyards, and Cliff Lede Vineyards. From national sales development to overall company management, he has repeatedly proven himself to be a keen strategist, capable of assembling world-class teams of industry professionals and leading them to collective achievement and corporate profitability.

"Appellation America's growth has been remarkable since the company was founded in 2003, but the organization will be expanding dramatically on all three divisional fronts (industry, consumer and editorial) over the coming months," reports co-founder and publisher Roger Dial. "Our business model, which is to facilitate a direct relationship between thousands of wineries and millions of wine enthusiast consumers, presents some huge logistical and organizational challenges. We needed an experienced and strong hand on the operational reigns, and we are confident that we secured the lynch-pin of managed growth and integration in Michael Updegraff."

"As a winery general manager and marketing consultant, I had been closely tracking Appellation America's trail-blazing innovations and quick emergence as the "go to" place for information about and the opportunity to purchase the amazing diversity of wines from American wineries," says Updegraff. "When the opportunity came to lead the charge on new initiatives and to manage the company's rapid growth plans, I was eager to sign on."

Appellation America is at the forefront of the shift of the wine marketplace over to direct-to-consumer channels. Its media division, AppellationAmerica.com, is the leading voice for place identity in the production and appreciation of North American wines. Our aim is to build a richer wine culture by defining and celebrating the amazing diversity of the many winegrowing regions of this continent.

Contact:
Adam K. Dial
Director, Appellation America (US) Inc.
(877) 345-WINE

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