Joe Ciatti

Joe Ciatti has more than forty years of wine industry experience, a deep network of industry influencers, and a long track-record of high profile vineyard and winery transactions in California, Oregon, and Washington. At Zepponi & Company, Joe’s long term relationships and proven track record of successes have proven to be an asset during negotiations. His understanding of the wine industry aids in creating mutually beneficial opportunities for both buyers and sellers.

Joe’s grandfather, Giuseppe Bagnani, owned Sonoma County’s Geyser Peak Winery in Alexander Valley for several decades after Prohibition ended. Joe’s early accomplishments included establishing Joseph W. Ciatti Company and growing it into the world’s largest brokerage of grapes and bulk wines, with offices around the world. In 2005, he became Chairman and CEO of Vintage Wine Trust, a real estate investment trust that was devoted to vineyard and winery properties. Joe received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon.

Matt Franklin

Matt Franklin has nearly twenty years of corporate finance advisory experience, including mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financing, valuations and technical accounting. Matt has been an advisor on numerous beverage alcohol industry transactions and has completed more than 100 business valuations and valuation-related consulting projects. Matt was previously a managing director at a boutique investment banking firm in San Francisco where he provided sell-side and buy-side transaction advisory services to food and beverage companies. Matt also worked for KPMG’s Investment Management Services Group where he provided assurance and advisory services to investment banks, private equity firms, mutual funds, hedge funds and broker/dealers.

Matt’s professional credentials include certified public accountant (CPA) and chartered financial analyst (CFA) charter-holder. Matt also holds the following securities registrations as a representative of Finalis Securities LLC: Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 79 (Investment Banking Representative), and Series 63 (State Securities Representative).

Kevin O’Brien

Kevin O’Brien has experience advising businesses in the beverage, consumer packaged goods and manufacturing sectors. His beverage experience has been focused in the wine, beer and distilled spirits industries.  

Prior to joining Zepponi & Company, Kevin was the Director of Business Advisory at Irvine & Company, a leading beverage alcohol accounting and consulting firm in the Pacific Northwest.  Kevin worked with numerous winery, brewery and distillery clients on corporate advisory matters, including financial modeling, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to his work in the Pacific Northwest, he was an investment analyst for a San Francisco-based consumer product focused private equity firm where he completed debt, equity and acquisition transactions in the food and beverage industries. Kevin began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers working within the firm’s private company group providing assurance services to various wine, manufacturing and retail clients.

Kevin has presented on various accounting and finance related topics at the Wine & Spirits Daily Summit, American Craft Spirits Association Convention, Craft Brewers Conference, and Oregon Wine Symposium.  He is also a lecturer for Sonoma State University’s Global Executive MBA in Wine Business. Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Portland and holds a certified public accountant (CPA) license.

Mario Zepponi

Mario Zepponi has extensive experience performing valuations and negotiating and structuring purchase, sale and lease transactions. Mario has served as a transaction advisor to several companies, including beverage alcohol brands, winery estates and parties seeking to create strategic alliances. Prior to forming Zepponi & Company, Mario practiced law as a corporate, real estate and food and beverage attorney. He has extensive expertise in advising on asset, stock purchase and joint venture transactions, buy-sell agreements, leases, sourcing and processing agreements, sales and marketing agreements and succession planning issues.

Mario received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and his law and MBA degrees from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He has served on several business and community non-profit advisory boards.