Colorado Wine Industry Development Board Names New Executive Director

Broomfield, Colo. — The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board (CWIDB), a Governor-appointed board that is part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, is announcing the appointment of Kyle Schlachter as the Board’s Executive Director. Schlachter previously served as the Marketing Coordinator for the CWIDB and steps into the role of Director following the retirement of the Board’s former Director of 23 years, Doug Caskey. Schlachter also currently serves as the Mayor of the City of Littleton.

“Kyle’s knowledge of the wine industry and his proven ability to lead make him the perfect fit for the role and for the future of Colorado Wine,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “Kyle has been an ambassador for the Colorado Wine industry for more than a decade and we are looking forward to what he can accomplish in his new role.”

Bringing to bear 13 years of experience with CWIDB as Marketing Coordinator, Schlachter will now be responsible for promoting viticultural and enological research aimed at developing maximum yields and quality from Colorado lands suitable to the production of grapes for commercial wine production. He will also work to promote the integration of the Colorado wine industry as a component of the state’s tourism program and will serve as the leading advocate and resource for the state’s 160 winemakers.

“Stepping into the leading role at the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board will allow me to continue working with Colorado’s wine growers, vintners, sommeliers, and other industry partners to grow and develop our state’s dynamic wine industry,” said Kyle Schlachter, Colorado Wine Industry Development Board’s new Executive Director. “We produce world-class wine in Colorado and I am eager to help our producers let the world know!”

Prior to joining the CWIDB, Schlachter worked at a small wine and spirits retailer while in graduate school, while also teaching math and science courses at the University of Denver and at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. Schlachter has contributed to the wine industry as a writer, with work published in the wine industry’s most prestigious publications including Wine Spectator, Decanter, and Sommelier Journal.

In August 2017, Schlachter was selected by Wine Enthusiast as one of the 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in the United States for being an ambassador for his state’s thriving wine industry. In 2021, he became Littleton’s first popularly-elected mayor.

Schlachter was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Denver, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. He earned his Masters of Science in Geography from the University of Tennessee.

The CWIDB was created in 1990, at a time when there were only seven wineries and fewer than 100 acres of grapes planted in Colorado. Today, there are more than 160 licensed wineries and nearly 1,000 acres of grapes in the state. According to a 2017 study by WineAmerica, Colorado’s wine industry contributes more than $300 million to the state’s economy annually. With additional resources, programming for the CWIDB has expanded to encompass wine making competitions, consumer advertising, public relations, media tours, and extensive production and varietal research.

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