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Meet Our Winemaker

Meet winemaker, Tony Leonardini. How he came to be a winemaker is nothing short of pure destiny. When he was 13 years old, his family purchased a winery called Whitehall Lane, where he worked alongside his father throughout high school and college. When he was in his late teens, he began experimenting to create his own wine. After earning his business degree, he started “Little Lion Wine Company” and released his first wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon called “Volunteer.”

Much to his surprise, “Volunteer,” was flying off the shelves in Tennessee due to the fact that Tennessee is known as the “Volunteer State.”  John Hooper, owner of Tennessee Wine & Spirits and his GM, Gary Carr, took notice. It wouldn’t be long until Tony, John, and Gary went into business together, and that is how BNA Wine Group was formed. BNAWG is headquartered in Nashville with offices and operations based in Napa Valley, California.

BNA Wine Group has successfully grown brands through the years, but the pillar of their success is the Butternut brand which, as a result of their Chardonnay, has elevated itself to one of the top twenty brands in the Super Premium wine category in the U.S. quite the ascension from the initial “Volunteer” release. Tony, John, and Gary are a strong triumvirate.  From the beginning and not selling one bottle of wine, their intense commitment, passion, and expertise has cultivated BNAWG and Butternut into category leaders. Their future is bright. Come along for the journey going forward! Your palate will thank you!

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