Vintner Bill Foley established the Foley Wine Group in 1996, with the acquisition of Lincourt Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley appellation of Santa Barbara County. Taking its name from Bill and Carol’s two daughters, Lindsay and Courtney, Lincourt Vineyards quickly established itself as a viable, dynamic brand.
From there, Bill founded Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery, a premiere Pinot Noir and Chardonnay house located in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation of Santa Barbara County. Highly regarded by leading wine critics and sommeliers, this Burgundian-influenced portfolio has become a flagship property in the South Central Coast.
The acquisition of Rancho Las Hermanas, formerly known as the iconic Ashley’s Vineyard, followed thereafter. Also located in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, this esteemed vineyard has provided fruit not only to the Lincourt Vineyards program, but also to critically successful wineries such as Brewer-Clifton, Samsara and Tantara.
The Hospitality, Event and Wine Club departments of Foley Family Wines are headquartered at Firestone Vineyard, which Bill acquired in 2007. Long considered a destination for visitors to Santa Barbara County’s wine country, Firestone produces an array of Bordeaux-influenced wines in competitively-priced categories.
The historic Sebastiani Vineyards property, in Sonoma, was aquired in 2008. Founded in 1904, Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery was one of only 10 wineries to remain open during Prohibition. Today, the winery produces handcrafted wines from the diverse viticultural regions of Sonoma County.
Merus, in the Napa Valley, is Bill’s nod to his love of benchmark California Cabernet Sauvignons of merit and elegance. Considered by many to be the most coveted “cult Cabernets” in the United States, Merus has added breadth and depth to the FWG portfolio.
By adding Three Rivers Winery to the Foley Wine Group, Bill has now expanded his thoughtfully composed wine portfolio into the Pacific Northwest. Located in Walla Walla, Washington, Three Rivers Winery is recognized for producing Rieslings and Bordeaux-influenced wines.
In 2009 Bill announced that he finalized a partnership agreement with famed restaurateur Pat Kuleto’s Kuleto Estate, a remarkable property high above Pritchard Hill in Napa Valley. Foley Family Wines acquired a controlling interest of the brand and the winery parcel of approximately 22-acres of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties. Pat Kuleto will retain the remaining 700-acre property and provide grapes from the nearly 150-planted acres, as well as continue to be the face of the brand.
In addition to being a passionate, adventurous vintner, Bill Foley is Chairman of the Board of Directors for Fidelity National Fincancial Inc. (NYSE: FNF), number 264 on the Fortune 500 roster, and a leading provider of title insurance, specialty insurance and claims management services. FNF’s three primary operating segments include Fidelity National Title Group, one of the nation’s largest and most respected title insurance companies; Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Group, a nationwide provider of specialty insurance products; and Sedgwick CMS, the leading North American provider of innovative claims and productivity management solutions. Bill also serves as Executive Chairman of Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE: FIS), part of the S&P 500, and a global provider of core processing for financial institutions; card issuer and transaction processing services; mortgage loan processing, as well as mortgage-related information products and outsourcing services.
Under Bill’s leadership, FNF was selected in 2004 by Forbes as one of the 26 Best Managed Companies in the U.S. The company has repeatedly been named to Fortune’s list of America’s Most Admired Companies, Forbes’ list of America’s Best Big Companies and selected for Barron’s list of Best Companies for Investors.
An avid and accomplished golfer (Golf Digest’s Top 20 Executive Golfers in the World, 2006), Bill received his B.S. degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Bill served in the U.S. Air Force, where he attained the rank of Captain. He received an M.B.A. degree from Seattle University and earned his J.D. degree in 1974 from The University of Washington School of Law.
Paul Warson came to Firestone Vineyard in October of 2009 after spending the previous fourteen years in the Napa Valley. Paul was most recently winemaker for Trefethen Family Vineyards, where he worked for the last nine years. Before that, Paul spent nearly three years at Chateau Potelle on Mt. Veeder working for the Fourmeaux family. Prior to that Paul worked for Rosemount Estate Winery in New South Wales, Australia and Newton Vineyards in the Spring Mountain District of Napa Valley. Exposed to a broad range of wine making styles and philosophies, Paul brings a unique perspective to the winemaking team at Firestone Vineyard.
Having been raised in Los Angeles, Paul caught the wine bug early on in his education, and it wasn’t long before he graduated with a Fermentation Science degree from the University of California, Davis.
Paul is an avid gardener, an excellent cook, and a home improvement nut. But, for the most part, he spends his non-winemaking time with wife Leah, daughter Alexa, son Nate, and dog Hanna in their home in the Santa Ynez Valley.