Chapter 6. Leveraging Quality: Clos du Bois Combines Elegance and Efficiency

MENTION AN UPSCALE WINERY IN CALIFORNIA’S SONOMA COUNTY—SAY, CLOS DU BOIS—AND WHAT COMES TO MIND? CHANCES ARE IT’S RICH, MELLOW WINES, LOVINGLY HAND-CRAFTED BY PATIENT ARTISANS WHO TRIM THE VINES, HARVEST THE GRAPES A BUNCH AT A TIME, SELECT PRECISELY THE RIGHT BLEND FOR PRESSING AND FERMENTING, AND AGE THE ELIXIR IN OAK BARRELS UNTIL IT’S PERFECT ON THE PALATE. THAT IMAGE IS THE WINE MAKER’S MARKETING MAGIC, AND MUCH OF IT—ESPECIALLY THE MELLOWNESS OF THE WINE—IS SPOT ON. BUT IN TRUTH, CLOS DU BOIS IS ALSO A PRIME EXAMPLE OF A BUSINESS THAT HAS ACHIEVED MAJOR EFFICIENCIES WITHOUT SACRIFICING QUALITY.

Frank Woods, the founder of Clos du Bois, never intended to get into ...

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