Julie Ann Kodmur is a second-generation Californian who was born in San Francisco and grew up in La Jolla. As an eighth grader she was the runner-up in the state spelling bee who went on to edit both her high school and college newspapers. One of her pivotal experiences as a Stanford undergraduate was a junior year in Florence. She lived in New York City for ten years after pursuing master’s level art history course work: during that time she directed Sotheby Parke Bernet’s first U.S. wine auction and worked for Frederick Wildman & Sons and Renfield in public relations and marketing positions. Seagram Classics moved her to northern California in 1988; she spent a decade as Director of Public Relations for the company, with responsibility for a large portfolio of American and European wines. Today she lives in St. Helena with her family.
She has won awards for publicity and marketing campaigns she created and executed–including a program for Bandiera Winery in 1988 (using flower labels as the basis for edible-flower themed events with an author in walled gardens across the U.S.) and a program which achieved a spot in The Guinness Book of World Records for The Monterey Vineyard (the largest wind sock in the shape of a wine bottle) and an award for a cause marketing program in 1994 for Sterling Vineyards. She has launched a number of new brands—both ultra-premium and wide-distribution—as well as pursued initiatives for organizations including Zinfandel Advocates & Producers. She launched MerlotFightsBack.com for Swanson Vineyards, TaintFreeCorks.com for Oeneo Closures and NapaValleyValentine.com. She re-established The St. Helena Viticultural Society and directed publicity for Bonny Doon Winery’s Death of The Cork campaign.
Since 1995 she has also written articles for a wide range of outlets—The New York Times, Town & Country, The Wine Enthusiast, The Wine News, Quarterly Review of Wine, American Journalism Review, Editor & Publisher and Appellation. She served as editor for The Napa Valley Wine Library Report for five years. In the spring of 2009 she served as a judge for The American Wine Blog Awards. She occasionally teaches public relations and journalism classes at Pacific Union College. She has been a panelist on publicity and marketing topics at numerous wine industry seminars and symposia.
In 1997, she founded her one-man shop offering marketing and publicity consulting services (www.julieannkodmur.com) and today her clients include Buccella, Jericho Canyon Vineyard, Rutherford Grove Winery, Smith-Madrone Winery, Phifer Pavitt Wines, Hawk and Horse Vineyards, Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort, The Grade Cellars, Firewater Partners, Wine Leverage, Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company and on a pro bono basis, R.L.S. Middle School, Nimbus Arts and The Cameo Cinema.