Imported bulk threatens 60,000 acres California vines


In the early 1990s, while working in what was essentially the research and development arm of Silicon Valley Bank, Rob McMillan began looking into industries that were historically ‘under-banked’ and might represent an opportunity for his employer to stake a claim and build a significant presence.

‘The first idea I came up with was mortuaries', chuckles McMillan. ‘I presented all the data to the managing committee, and they only had one question for me: “Who’s going to want to work for you?”’

Fortunately for the California wine industry, McMillan was sent back to the drawing board with the instructions to...