Bion Rice, CEO and director of winemaking at Sunstone Vineyards & Winery in Santa Ynez has announced his resignation from the family business after eight years at the helm.
According to a winery representative, as of September 2019 Rice relinquished control of the business to his family and new investors.
Rice will focus on his Artiste Winery brand with wife and business partner Anna, as well as continue to develop his new consulting firm Cultivate Growth Advisors.
“The decade ahead is going to bring exciting opportunities," said Rice. "I look forward to expanding my abilities and sharing my experience and capabilities to help people grow and prosper in their business and personal lives."
Sunstone Vineyards & Winery was established in 1992 by Rice's parents, Fred and Linda Rice.
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Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks promises to bring a fresh mix of participating restaurants, wineries and hotel options to the table that offers foodies and adventurers alike two weeks of specially curated $20.20 menus and discounted lodging.
In January 2011, after the passing of Linda, in the midst of family crisis coupled with the severe effect of the economic recession on the business, eldest son Bion Rice stepped forward to assume the role of CEO.
Rice was responsible for all aspects of winemaking, operations, marketing, sales, events, finance and accounting.
According to the winery's representative, under his direction Sunstone's business operations stabilized, laying the foundation for growth and success which attracted investors.
There’s no shortage of good restaurants in Solvang and the several small towns around it, nor great tasting rooms. Judging by the growth of Los Olivos alone, over two dozen wine tasting rooms there offer excellent Santa Barbara County grown wines.
Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News.