How to Optimize your Winery’s Production Through Cloud-Based Software with Ashley DuBois Leonard

by Drew Hendricks
Last updated May 2, 2021

Legends Behind the Craft Podcast

Last Updated on May 2, 2021 by rise25

Ashley DuBois Leonard

Ashley DuBois Leonard is the Founder and CEO of InnoVint, a cloud-based wine production software that enables real-time data entry, allowing winemakers to get insight into their operations. Ashley is a winemaker-turned-technologist with a degree in viticulture and enology. After spending nearly a decade as a winemaker on the production floor, Ashley realized there needed to be a better way to manage the wine production. Instead of waiting for someone else to design a solution, Ashley created her own from scratch. Now, InnoVint is leading winemakers into the future with the most intuitive wine production software in the industry.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Ashley DuBois Leonard discusses how she got started in the wine industry
  • Ashley’s transition into the technology industry—and how that led to InnoVint
  • What challenges did Ashley face when building her own company?
  • How cloud-based software can benefit your business
  • The development of InnoVint’s team and how they’ve adapted to COVID-19
  • The future of wineries and vendors in the post-pandemic world—including InnoVint’s exciting new features 
  • Ashley talks about her mentors and what advice she would give others entering the industry 
  • Why Ashley is excited about Colorado wine

In this episode…

Is your winery looking for modern and efficient software to track production, capture real-time data, and manage workflow? If your answer is yes, this episode of Legends Behind the Craft is perfect for you! 

In her career as a winemaker, Ashley DuBois Leonard was searching for a better way to capture what happens on the cellar floor. She decided to create her own company and software, InnoVint, to help other wineries scale their business. Winemaking is not done behind a desk—and your management process shouldn’t be either. With InnoVint, you can access your data everywhere, from the cellar to the vineyard. 

In this episode of Legends Behind the Craft, Drew Thomas Hendricks talks with Ashley DuBois Leonard, Founder and CEO of InnoVint, about the newest software innovations that are giving winemakers a taste of modern technology. Ashley discusses her transition from winemaking to technology, the benefits of cloud-based software solutions, and how you can grow your business by adapting to a more progressive work model. Stay tuned!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

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Episode transcript

Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to the Legends Behind the Craft Podcast, where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry with your host Drew Thomas Hendricks. Now let’s get started with the show.

Drew Thomas Hendricks (00:14):
The Hendricks here. I’m the host of Legends Behind the Craft Podcast where I talk with leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry. From creative agencies who help wineries build meaningful connections with their customers, to today’s guest, Ashley Dubois Leonard of InnoVint, who works tirelessly to bring the wine industry up to today’s software standard. Today’s episode is brought to you by Barrels Ahead. At Barrels Ahead, we know that your business is unique and we work with you to implement a one of a kind strategy. One that highlights your authenticity, tells your story, makes your business stand out from your competitors. In short, we unlock your brand story to unleash your revenue. Go to today to learn more. Now, before I introduce today’s guest, I want to give a big thank you to last week’s guest Laurie Milllote of Outshinery.

Drew Thomas Hendricks (01:03):
Laurie and I, we talked about the importance of creating websites that are built upon empathy for your customers struggle. So check out last week’s episode to learn why it’s important to build your site through the eyes of your customer, rather than your product or service. I am super excited to have today’s guest on our show. Ashley Dubois Leonard, founder and CEO of InnoVint. Now, Ashley’s a winemaker turned technologist. After graduating with a degree of viticulture and enology, she spent nearly a decade involved in all aspects of wine production. During this time on the production floor, she realized there had to be a better way to manage the production flow. Not seeing an adequate solution and not being content to wait around for someone else to find one. She decided to create one from scratch. She founded InnoVint in 2013. Ashley and her team immediately went to work to create a solution built by wine makers for wine makers today InnoVint is the leading and I have to say most intuitive winery production software out there. Welcome to the show Ashley.

Ashley Dubois Leonard (01:57):
Thank you for having me. My pleasure.

Drew Thomas Hendricks (01:59):
Thank you for being on. Tell us a little bit about yourself and this journey. How did you make that transition from wine maker to technologist. But even before, what prompted you to become a winemaker?

Ashley Dubois Leonard (02:09):
Great question. I went straight into the viticulture and enology department at Davis from high school. Believe it or not, at 1819, I somehow figured out that I wanted to make wine for a living one family.

Drew Thomas Hendricks (02:23):
Did you grow up in a wine family?

Ashley Dubois Leonard (02:24):
Interestingly, I did not. My parents are not big high-end wine drinkers. They are kind of satisfied with their eight to $10 mid shelf Safeway selection. I was not exposed to it at home but it was more based on my science-based background. I loved sciences and I knew that I wanted to do something in the sciences. But I also had this artistic element to myself where I really tried to find a profession where I could express both, be it the data-driven side of me and the creative side of me. I think that’s what ultimately landed me at Davis and in viticulture enology.

Drew Thomas Hendricks (03:00):
Nice. Right after that, you went into wine making and you were there for quite some time.

Ashley Dubois Leonard (03:05):
I did. Yeah. I went through the four-year program, the undergrad program, and actually worked harvest along the way. At 19, I just by happenstance, met a gentleman, Michael Michaud, who had a small brand and introduced me to how to run a wine business, a winery business. And he did everything himself. He just took me by the arm and showed me all the facets of how to manage a winery, which was incredibly valuable at 19,20 years old. I got that exposure early and then worked harvest around California in the summer and fall before school would kick back in.

Ashley Dubois Leonard (03:41):
And then after college had three harvest under my belt and again, just through a bit of luck and through a mentor that I had built in Bill Bristow, the winemaker at Testarossa in the Santa Cruz mountains in the Bay area, introduced me to two gentlemen that were starting a wine brand. They had planted 22 acres of vines and needed their first employee to kickstart their brand and to spin up the hospitality department, to be their consulting winemaker with Bill Brisso at Testarossa. I got a lot of exposure early on in my career to all the facets of winery management.

Drew Thomas Hendricks (04:22):
Even that entrepreneurial. You went in and just helped build it from the ground up from your early years in wine-making.

Ashley Dubois Leonard (04:29):
Yeah. Exactly. Kind of have to find advisers and tap into a bit of schooling, but a lot of it’s just live and learn and absorb as much as you can from folks that have done it before. I feel like we did a pretty good job in the three years that I was there putting Black Ridge vineyards on the map.

Drew Thomas Hendricks (04:45):
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. It’s that figuring out a way to get it done. That’s sort of maybe why you were prompted as being a winemaker to see that there was a better way and your movement towards technology. Were you always in the years you spent making wine, what were some of the problems that you face that caused you to want to become a technologist?

Ashley Dubois Leonard (05:03):
A lot of times I was off site a lot. Working in all facets of the winery business, I was looking for information into the wine making process that was happening on site that I didn’t have access to. And this was back in the late two thousands when the software in the industry was pretty archaic. There are a lot of on premise legacy solutions that are just databases that would live in one person’s head or one person’s computer. I didn’t have access to that so I had to bug these wine makers for information. Hey, did you top my wines last week? Hey, what’s the recent rick’s reading in our penal block a right. I didn’t have any access to those. At the time I didn’t know anything about software. I didn’t know where it was going. I had used some of the tools on the market and was just a dissatisfied. Complimenting that, I was also living in Silicon Valley because I was working in the wine industry in the Santa Cruz mountains.