William P Foley II, Vintner
Vintner, William P. (Bill) Foley II, established the Foley Family Wines in 1996, with the acquisition of Lincourt Vineyards
in the Santa Ynez Valley appellation of Santa Barbara County. Taking its name from Bill and Carol’s two daughters, Lindsay and Courtney, Lincourt Vineyards quickly established itself as a highly regarded producer of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
From there, Bill founded Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery
, a specialist in Burgundian varieties located in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation of Santa Barbara County. The acquisition of Las Hermanas Vineyard, formerly known as the iconic Ashley’s Vineyard soon followed. Also located in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, this esteemed vineyard has provided fruit not only to the Lincourt Vineyards program, but also to critically successful wineries such as Brewer-Clifton, Samsara and Tantara.
With the acquisition of Merus
in the Napa Valley, Bill added one of the most coveted “cult Cabernets” in the United States to the FFW portfolio.
Bill bought Firestone Vineyard
in 2007. Long considered a destination for visitors to Santa Barbara County’s wine country, Firestone produces an array of Bordeaux-influenced wines in competitively-priced categories.
The addition of Three Rivers Winery
expanded the Foley wine portfolio into the Pacific Northwest. Located in Walla Walla, Washington, Three Rivers Winery is recognized for producing Rieslings and Bordeaux variety wines. Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery
in Sonoma, California, which Bill acquired in 2009, became the company’s central headquarters. This pioneering winery, founded in 1904, is one of the most historic producers in the state producing wines from the county’s top AVAs including Sonoma Valley, Carneros, Alexander Valley and the Russian River Valley.
2009 saw additional growth in Napa Valley for Foley Family Wines. A partnership with renowned restaurateur and vintner Pat Kuleto brought Kuleto Estate
into the portfolio, adding a highly acclaimed Napa Cabernet producer on a remarkable estate situated high in the eastern hills adjacent to the famed Pritchard Hill growing area.
2009 also expanded the reach of Foley Family Estates to New Zealand with the purchases of the New Zealand Wine Trust. The deal included 247 acres of vineyards in the heart of Marlborough, production facilities and a number of brands including Vavasour, Goldwater, Clifford Bay and Dashwood.
In August of 2010, Bill added one of California’s premier Sonoma county properties to the portfolio: Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery
. Founded in 1972, this 1,236-acre estate in the Chalk Hill appellation of Sonoma County includes 277 acres of vineyards, a winery, hospitality center, culinary garden, residence, stables, equestrian pavilion, sports fields, fishing and swimming ponds, guest houses and wilderness areas. The winery makes limited quantities of celebrated Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, as well as Estate Red, a proprietary Bordeaux blend.
In addition to being a passionate, adventurous vintner, Bill Foley is Chairman of the Board of Directors for Fidelity National Inc. (NYSE: FNF), number 435 on the Fortune 500 roster, and a leading provider of title insurance, specialty insurance and claims management services.
FNF’s three primary operating segments include Fidelity National Title Group, one of the nation’s largest and most respected title insurance companies; Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Group, a nationwide provider of specialty insurance products; and Sedgwick CMS, the leading North American provider of innovative claims and productivity management solutions.
Bill also serves as Executive Chairman of Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE: FIS), number 481 on the Fortune 500 roster, and a global provider of core processing for financial institutions; card issuer and transaction processing services; mortgage loan processing, as well as mortgage-related information products and outsourcing services.
Under Bill’s leadership, FNF was selected in 2004 by Forbes as one of the 26 Best Managed Companies in the U.S. The company has repeatedly been named to Fortune’s list of America’s Most Admired Companies, Forbes’ list of America’s Best Big Companies and selected for Barron’s list of Best Companies for Investors.
An avid and accomplished golfer (Golf Digest’s Top 20 Executive Golfers in the World, 2006), Bill received his B.S. degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Bill served in the U.S. Air Force, where he attained the rank of Captain. He received an M.B.A. degree from Seattle University and earned his J.D. degree in 1974 from The University of Washington School of Law.
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