How a family business sold their wine brand for $100M with Michael Houlihan artwork
The Smart Connector

How a family business sold their wine brand for $100M with Michael Houlihan

  • E65
  • 46:19
  • November 10th 2020

Michael Houlihan achieved a legendary exit from his $20M California wine business Barefoot, when he and his wife Bonnie sold it to E&J Gallo for $100M in 2005. 

This interview tells the story of their phenomenal rise to fame and fortune. 

Today Michael is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Barefoot Spirit, How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand and The Entrepreneurial Culture, 23 Ways to Engage and Empower Your People. 

From humble beginnings in a laundry room of a rented farmhouse to the boardroom of the world’s largest wine company, E&J Gallo, Michael and Bonnie learned many valuable lessons about business growth and success, which they love to bring to startups and Fortune 500’s, helping them build their brands and develop great cultures. 

Michael and Bonnie are regular contributors to The Business Journals in 43 cities nationwide, Entrepreneur, and contribute articles & interviews to INC, CEO Forum, Forbes, and other major business publications. 

Their new audiobook is presented is a theatrical format with Hollywood actors playing the parts, original musical score, sound effects and more! They also host Business Audio Theatre where they tell the stories of other founders to boost turnover and increase engagement. Listen to the free chapter here:

Michael and Bonnie are regular guests on radio, television, and podcasts. They present together with a fresh, authentic, and fun style that entertains, educates, & motivates.

ABOUT THE HOST: Jane Bayler is a serial entrepreneur, investor, event host and business relationship expert, with a 20 year history in global media and marketing. Having grown and sold a £6M brand identity business to US communications group Interpublic, she currently helps entrepreneurs scale up their businesses and lives through brand marketing and property investment. Buy the best selling Smart Connector book, about entrepreneurial relationship success, here: ( UK, US). Join the Smart Connector Facebook Group here: ( Visit Jane's website ( Subscribe to Jane's YouTube channel: (

The Smart Connector

Jane Bayler is the Smart Connector, a passionate entrepreneur who helps overlooked and undervalued entrepreneurs step into their power and generate consistent and scaleable revenues from becoming the go-to brand in their sector. This podcast blends Jane’s personal wisdom and experience with stories and tips from her fascinating entrepreneurial guests, who are building super exciting businesses and brands across multiple sectors. The podcast interviews are organised into two strands: Entrepreneur Spotlight, which focusses on the mechanics of scale up and the ‘how to’ of business success, and the Connection Central series, the livestream marketing focused interviews which were originally broadcast via Jane’s Smart Connector Facebook Group. Book a call with Jane here to discuss her digital marketing platform, flagship Leader They Love Programme or 1:1 mentoring services: Connect with her on Linked In: or on all the social media platforms. Visit her website here: Thanks for checking out the Smart Connector podcast. Please like, rate and subscribe if you enjoy it, and let us know which episode is your favourite!