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Les Bourgeois promotes Rachel Holman to CEO

HolmanThis year has been one to celebrate for Missouri wine-lover Rachel Holman. After establishing herself in a professional role at Les Bourgeois in 2005, Holman worked her way up and was recently named CEO of the Rocheport winery. “I am so glad I get to continue to work with the people I have always worked with, but now I am able to provide them with more,” Holman says. “Being able to make sure they have the resources they need to make their job easier has been amazing.” A new job title, a growing business, a recent marriage and ever-changing daily responsibilities have kept Holman’s life fresh and interesting. No two days are exactly the same for her. Some days, she works with engineers and architects to dream up new winery expansions or ensure all aspects of the winemaking process are properly functioning. Other days, she reviews production numbers or weekend recaps from on-site events. “Everyone here wears a lot of different hats, and that’s no exception for me,” she says. “Some days are a breeze, and other days I am here until midnight. My job is constantly evolving, but that’s the nature of the beast that produces 130,000 gallons of wine each year.”

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The decision to promote Holman was established after Curtis Bourgeois, son of the original owner, decided to take a backseat in running the business. Not only did Holman’s eight-year presence at the winery and heavy involvement on the Missouri Wine and Grape Board make her the perfect candidate, but she also possesses the most important characteristic of a successful CEO: passion. The knowledge she holds about wine and her love of Les Bourgeois are prevalent in her words and actions. “I want the business to move in a direction in which we can provide that wine culture and lifestyle that I think is really attractive to people while also staying true to the company’s family roots,” Holman says. “We want people to know that they can come out and have a myriad of different experiences here: an educational winetasting where they can learn the nuts and bolts of winemaking, a fabulous culinary experience at the bistro or a weekend getaway from Kansas City or St. Louis. I want to help bring that culture to people who aren’t familiar with it or feel it isn’t obtainable.”

The winery experience

For out-of-towners, a winery must-see is the A-Frame. It’s an environment that begs to be enjoyed, according to Holman. “There’s something for all of your senses,” she says. “It feels gorgeous, it’s a beautiful view, you’re tasting wine, and you’re relaxed. It can be intimate, but it can also be a group affair.” The A-Frame is also where Holman discovered her love of Les Bourgeois. “I watched the people who worked here as they interacted with guests and each other,” she says. “It was hard to tell who was working and who was just visiting. They all looked like they were having such a good time.”

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