LODI, Calif. — When the Lange family broke ground on their winery in 2005, they dove headfirst into the unfamiliar territory of winemaking. The evolution from growers to producers was a family vision under the leadership of twins Randall and Bradford, but the work to launch and lead the effort fell squarely on the shoulders of Randall’s daughter, Marissa Lange.
“The decision for me to lead the team happened organically, as things often do in a family business,” said Marissa. “When our family decided to move towards vertical integration, I left my position with Treasury Wine Estates and jumped on the opportunity to draft the winery’s five-year plan – the first business plan I had ever written – on behalf of the family. The plan led directly to the winery earning approval from lenders and me being named president of the business.”
Marissa’s propensity for embracing the unfamiliar came naturally early in life. Her first major life-changing decision was to leave Lodi to attend college on the East Coast.
“I was looking for the chance to experience a different culture and perspective – that may be commonplace now, but I went to college a long time ago!” Marissa said. “I learned a lot in my time there – to operate in a high-intensity environment, stretch and challenge myself, and ultimately trust my ability to succeed in unfamiliar situations.”
What began as an unfamiliar situation for the Langes, who had been growers for four generations, has turned into a large-scale operation under Marissa’s decade of leadership, spanning a 50,000-case stable of family-owned wine labels, a custom winemaking operation, a state-of-the-art bottling facility and bulk wine services for area winemakers.
“My advice is to take the time to broaden your horizons, develop the ability to think critically about your interests and give yourself the chance to perfect your ideas. Most importantly, you have to jump at the opportunities before they pass you by.”
About LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards
For five generations, the LangeTwins family has been a sustainable wine-grape grower in the Lodi appellation of California. The LangeTwins Winery produces a collection of brands including LangeTwins Reserve, LangeTwins Estate and Caricature.
—LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards
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