Wilson Daniels Team Spotlight: Allisun Groat
In our Wilson Daniels Team Spotlight, we take a look at the team members that make this biz what it is. Get to know Allisun Groat, North Central Regional Manager, who has been with Wilson Daniels for just over a year, is CMS Level 1 certified, a mother of two, and loves Chablis.
WHAT YOU WERE DOING BEFORE WILSON DANIELS: I was the GM for a boutique California Pinot Noir producer, Spell; who’s proprietors live in Minneapolis, so I ran the distribution, direct to consumer and all the shipping and logistics from Minnesota. Before that, I worked for a small MN distributor, World Class Wines, as a brand manager and trade relations (I was pretty much a jack of all trades) and started selling when the company was purchased in 2010 by SGWS – it all adds up to 18 years in the business, which has flown by!
IN THREE SENTENCES OR LESS, EXPLAIN WHAT YOU DO: I manage the “fly over” states – Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa and the Dakotas, spending most of my time in Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Madison. We all make fun of each other’s accents (which basically are the same) and talk about cheese, highly extracted red wine (the bigger the better!) and the weather. I educate the sales people and consumers on wines that broaden their horizons and get them into varietals that they didn’t know existed.
WHAT GOT YOU INTO WINE? DID YOU ALWAYS HAVE A PASSION FOR IT? I majored in History and French, which sort of naturally pointed me in the direction of wine, even though my intentions were to get into something in the legal or political world. I studied abroad in Strasbourg my junior year of college and visited a few wineries in Alsace and then traveled to New Zealand and Australia on a working visa in 2000 and was introduced to the wines of Margaret River, Barossa and New Zealand and things evolved from there.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH WILSON DANIELS ? In the past year I’ve been fortunate to have had a few producers to my “fly over” region – Valter & Nadia Fissore of Elvio Cogno, Giovanni Genio of Villa Russiz and Patrick Aledo from Pierre Sparr – it’s been such a great experience getting to spend one-on-one time with them and show them how great the Midwest can be outside of Chicago!
WHO IS YOUR MENTOR? My GM at WCW, Dieter Kamm, who first hooked me into this business. My first job at WCW was at the front desk, a job I took after college while I looked for a “real job” – after just a couple months he quickly got me involved with tracking and goals and all the analytics and territory management and turned my temporary job into a “real” one.
WHAT WOULD YOUR COLLEAGUES BE SURPRISED TO KNOW? I lived out of a 1982 Ford Falcon for 6 months while traveling around Australia and New Zealand when I was 23. Also, I’m always cold and I have about 15 different pom hats that I wear all winter… which may not be all that surprising.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WINE? WHY? Chablis. It’s bright and lively and just plain delicious. ?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE DRINK THAT *ISN’T* WINE? Black coffee and Kombucha.
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT, YOU KNOW, WHEN NOT IN THE OFFICE? The North Shore of Lake Superior. Really, anywhere that’s near water.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME? I “like” driving my two children around (Jack and Kate) to baseball, hockey, basketball, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, church and school. I “LOVE” squeezing in a Barre or Cardio class when I can, gardening and keeping my house super tidy. I’m a total neat freak.
October 12, 2018