B Cellars Co-Founder & Principal
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Jim Borsack, co-founder and principal of B Cellars, is a forward-thinking entrepreneur and marketing professional with more than 30 years of experience in the luxury goods industry.
Prior to launching B Cellars with business partner Duffy Keys, Jim was the co-owner and senior vice president of El Portal, a global chain of designer leather goods, handbags and luggage stores. His vision and marketing savvy helped to transform a single luggage store into a retail industry leader with 125 stores worldwide. In addition to his successes with El Portal, Jim also orchestrated the roll out of the entire Swatch Watch franchise business.
In 2000, Jim sold his ownership of El Portal and decided to devote all of his time to learning the craft of winemaking. He studied viticulture and enology at the University of California at Davis, specializing in the area of handcrafted, premium blended wines. In 2003, he met Duffy Keys at a barbeque and learned that Keys shared his great passion for wine. Shortly thereafter, the two co-founded B Cellars Winery. More than a decade later, with a permanent home in Oakville, California, their success continues to grow.
Jim is adept at foreseeing and catering to the needs and desires of the luxury consumer. His commitment to quality winemaking, along with his well-honed luxury-goods marketing expertise, laid a solid foundation for the creation of a world-class winery.
B Cellars Co-Founder & Principal
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Duffy Keys, co-founder and principal of B Cellars, enjoyed a 20-year run as a senior-level executive with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, playing a pivotal role in guiding the hotel management company and its branded residential businesses (Four Seasons Residence Clubs and Four Seasons Private Residences). During Duffy’s tenure, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts experienced tremendous growth and achieved status as the premiere luxury-lodging brand in the world. He oversaw operations, marketing, public relations, and finance for the company’s interests in the U.S., Canada, and the Asia-Pacific region, where he resided for more than six years.
In 2003, Duffy met Jim Borsack at a barbeque and learned that Borsack, a former luxury leather-goods retailer, shared his great passion for wine. Shortly thereafter, the two co-founded B Cellars Winery in Napa Valley. More than a decade later, with a permanent home in Oakville, California, their success continues to grow.
In addition to his role at B Cellars, Duffy heads Keys Associates, which he founded in 2003 to provide asset management, development, marketing and related consulting services in hospitality and residential real estate industries, with an emphasis on integrated developments.
Duffy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Hotel Management from Florida International University, and has studied viticulture and enology through the University of California at Davis.
B Cellars Master Winemaker
B Cellars’ master winemaker Kirk Venge comes from a long lineage of winemaking. Kirk is the protégé son of Nils Venge, a legendary Napa Valley winemaker whose wines consistently score above 90 points in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and other prestigious wine journals. His deep family roots in viticulture and his passion for the industry that ensued led him to be named one of the top twenty young winemakers in the world by Food & Wine magazine. Kirk’s heritage, love for winemaking, and unparallel paternal tutelage have all provided him with a foundation bound for success in the wine industry.
Prior to B Cellars, Kirk worked at Mumm’s Napa Valley for five harvest seasons and one season at Rapaura Vintners in Marlborough, New Zealand. In 1999, Kirk dove in head first and launched his own venture, Venge Vineyards, where his quest for doing something in his own right was realized. His hard work paid off at Venge; you could taste his perfectionism and philosophy of “making wine in the vineyard” in each and every bottle.
At B Cellars, Kirk’s unmistakable commitment to his craft is apparent. He works hand-in-hand with all of the vineyards with which B Cellars has become aligned, and is instrumental in the company’s overall winemaking operation, employing a multi-vineyard strategy and developing distinct flavors by blending wines from mutually complementary varietals.
Kirk graduated from the University of California at Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Enology.