Our history begins high above Sonoma Valley on the western slope of the Mayacamas Mountains. Dave and Ayn Coleman founded a boutique winery that quickly grew to include a family of wine brands focused on premium California appellations. With a passion for design, Dave was a trend setter focused on innovation within the wine space. Some of his accomplishments include designing the first California wine labels to use gold foil, designing adjustable top fermentation tanks, and establishing our renowned custom label program.
While Dave was focused on California, Bruce Cunningham saw an opportunity within the emerging consumer direct sales channel – bringing his customers wine from the exotic wine regions of Australia. Thus, Aussie Wine Direct was born. As the company grew, the focus shifted to include other relevant regions of the wine world, and our name changed to AWDirect.
Kim Cunningham joined the team, bringing engineering and corporate leadership experience to the team. As AWDirect emerged as a wine branding company with broad customer appeal, Kim focused on processes and organization to create a well-oiled machine.
This was a landmark year for us, as we merged with Sonoma Estate Vintners. Together, we run a boutique mountaintop winery, a 65,000 square foot warehouse and bottling line, import bulk and finished wine from around the world, have vast brand development experience with a customer focus on consumer direct as well as a broad national three-tier network. The innovation that our founders have brought to the wine industry continues today, under the leadership of Bruce and Kim Cunningham. From 1979 until now, relationships with our customers, suppliers and employees has been what drives us… oh, as well as our love for wine.
With an undergraduate degree in Wine Marketing Studies from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, Bruce attended business school, becoming focused on the packaging and production side of the wine industry. Upon relocating to New York, he foresaw the growth consumer direct sales would experience. Leveraging his industry experience and Australian contacts, he dove head first into business, launching Aussie Wine Direct. This business model focussed on brand development of Australian imports for the wine club channel of the US market. Seeing immediate success, Bruce quickly expanded his range of wines beyond Australia, focussing on relevant wine regions from around the world. Bruce founded Aussie Wine Direct in 1996 and is now the General Manager of AWDirect, currently serving all sales channels of the wine industry.
When AWDirect relocated to California in 2004, Kim set out to create efficiencies for a growing sales and marketing team. Drawing upon her talents as an engineer and techno geek, along with her experience in global management, Kim helped AWDirect grow into the company that it is today. She is credited with developing our team of energetic, challenge-driven people who have the right “moxie” to keep our well-oiled machine running smoothly.