Director of Sales
Steve Lister is Vina Robles’ Director of Sales, a position he has proudly held since 2016. An industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in the Central Coast, Steve brings a deep understanding of the wine industry and our local terroir to the forefront of everything he does.
After studying philosophy and political science at CalPoly University in San Luis Obispo, Steve initially planned to become a lawyer but – luckily for us – stayed hooked on the wine industry. “Every attorney I interviewed was miserable,” he recalls. “But at my jobs in wineries that wasn’t ever the case.”
Steve began his wine career while studying at CalPoly by working in local tasting rooms including Maison Deutz and Edna Valley Vineyards. Later, he spent time working in the wholesale sector before transitioning to a direct sales role at Justin Winery. Steve credits his experience at Justin for his knowledge of branding. “I really learned the value of strong branding at Justin,” he says. “It’s something I try to bring to the table every day at Vina Robles as we grow and expand.”
At Vina Robles, one of Steve’s biggest accomplishments was helping to launch our Arborist red blend. While touring our Jardine vineyard with Vina Robles founding partner Hans Michel, Steve was amazed at the story of our 300-year-old oak tree, and how our founders collaborated with an arborist to save the tree. “I asked Hans why we weren’t telling everyone that story,” Steve remembers. “I was so moved by that story, and that we saved this tree in 2014, that I came back to the winery and asked our marketing manager to research the name ‘Arborist’ for a wine, and to this day I am shocked it wasn’t already taken!”
Unsurprisingly, The Arborist remains one of Steve’s favorite Vina Robles wines. “It is a killer, versatile wine that pairs with so many foods,” he says. “The fact that we’ve been able to plant 20,000 trees in less than two years with this wine is pretty cool too.”
Steve loves telling the Vina Robles and Paso Robles stories to wine lovers everywhere, and is excited to resume traveling after nearly two years of sharing Vina Robles wine over Zoom. When Steve isn’t on the road, he enjoys playing tennis and taking hikes with his wife and three children.