David Cordtz & Dr. Ari Smith Cordtz are serial entrepreneurs who have founded 4 separate gold medal award winning beverage companies in Sonoma County, two alcoholic and two non-alcoholic. David and Ari grew all of these companies from -0- to nationwide and international distribution.
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David Cordtz is known for his flavor profiles and is a seasoned beverage professional. His experience includes 20 years as an international award-winning commercial winemaker and nationally acclaimed hard cider maker. During his tenure as a winemaker, he won over 150 gold medals nationally as well as a gold medal from the prestigious “de l’Office International De La Vigne Et Du Vin” of France in 1984 for his 1980 Cordtz Brothers Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. The competition is considered the “Olympics of Wine”.
His career included:
Production Manager, Fetzer Vineyards
Quality Control, Schramsberg Champagne Cellars
Vice President of Sales & Winemaker, Cordtz Brothers Cellars
After leaving Cordtz Brothers Cellars, David spent seven years as the Cider Maker and National Sales Manager for a leading brand of Hard Ciders. His formulations won national awards including 1997 North American Brewers Association Gold Medal Award (Apple), and the 1998 Barley Corn Magazine number one of all the Ciders available in the United States, including imports (Pear).
In 1999 he became the founder and CEO of the Sonoma Sparkler brand (sparkling juices), which was nationally and internationally distributed as the premium brand in the category.
With his product line on the market less than two years, the entire line was awarded gold and double gold medals at the prestigious 2001 Sonoma County Harvest Fair. His brand went on to become a finalist in two categories at the coveted Fancy Food Show 2004 Awards, Outstanding Product (Sonoma Sparkler Pear) and Outstanding New Beverage (Sonoma Sparkler Peach). After 10 years, he sold the Sonoma Sparkler brand to a NASDAQ traded company.
David went on to become Founder and CEO of Vibranz, Inc. a functional beverage (Organic Probiotic teas) in September of 2009. His line of beverages won a gold medal (Best of Expo 2010-Teas) at the Natural Products Expo 2010. He left Vibranz in January of 2011 to form Sonoma Beverage Formulation Consulting.
David has formulated beverages for numerous startup companies as well as NASDAQ traded companies and some of the largest grocery store chains in the world. He has specialized in functional beverages.
In January of 2013 David founded Sonoma Cider. In December of 2013 Sonoma Cider was named one of the “Ten Hottest Startups of 2013" by Forbes Magazine. Sonoma Cider has won numerous gold, double gold and triple gold medals.
David is also on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Association of Cider Makers (USACM) and is the committee chair for creating and establishing the Cider Expert Certification Training Program for the United States.
Dr. Ari Cordtz
Dr. Ari Smith Cordtz is a serial entrepreneur and specializes in setting up the sales and client support departments for startup and early stage specialty food and beverage companies. Prior to Sonoma Beverage Formulation Consulting, she was Vice President and Co-Founder of Vibranz, Inc., producers of organic functional beverages (probiotic teas). During her tenure at Vibranz, she led the team that secured distribution in over 1400 upscale stores in less than 13 months. Preceding Vibranz, Ari served as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing and was Co-Founder of Sonoma Sparkler(sparkling juices, 1999-2010). During her tenure at Sonoma Sparkler she was responsible for growing brand sales from -0- to over 3,000 upscale independent stores. She also secured international distribution in China, the Philippines, Canada, the Caribbean & Kuwait among other countries.
Known as a pioneer in the field of electronic meetings, Ari held the position of National Sales Manager or V.P. of Sales for several companies, including: Info-Media Corporation (1980 – 1983), one of the first companies to offer email and chat system software commercially available.
She continued on to the field of audio and video conferencing, serving as Vice President of Sales of Teleconferencing Systems International (Elk Grove, Il 1984 – 1987) and National Director of Sales as well as corporate board member for Business TV Guide, (Altadena, CA 1988 – 1991). She then moved into the arena of corporate training and development serving in executive positions with various companies.
Always the seeker, she left the corporate world to complete graduate work, earning a Master’s of Divinity (1994) and in 1998 completed her Doctorate of Divinity from Emerson Theological Seminary. Her undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Science in Human Relations and Organizational Behavior, from the University of San Francisco.