It’s not a surprise to find Tim Duncan out of his car at the end of Silver Oak’s driveway, unassumingly offering a guest a helping hand shooting a photo. “Some people will only make it here once,” Tim Duncan. “It’s our job to make that one time a great memory.”
For more than thirty years Tim’s humble nature and unrelenting focus on the customer experience have been driving forces behind the culture and success of Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars. Today, along with brother and fellow owner David Duncan, Tim develops business strategy for both wineries and brings his personal passion for building relationships to his role overseeing domestic and international sales.
A son of Ray Duncan, co-founder of Silver Oak in 1972 with Justin Meyer, Tim’s teenage years were spent Silver Oak’s original dairy barn, dragging hoses and rinsing barrels. With summer jobs behind him, he officially joined Silver Oak in as California Sales Manager, cutting his teeth selling wine to restaurants and retail accounts. “I had a map and a car, and just started calling on accounts,” says Tim. “Early-on I learned that if you focus on selling wine and miss the needs of people, you’ve missed the point.”
Tim’s keen understanding of the customers and accounts that drive Silver Oak’s business thrust him into strategic roles. In 1999 he worked with his father Ray and then-winemaker Daniel Baron to start Twomey Cellars – which originally produced Merlot from vines at the family’s Soda Canyon Ranch – and in 2002 influenced its movement into Pinot Noir production. Tim has spearheaded both wineries’ expansion into international sales. Along with his brother David, Tim promotes continuous improvement throughout both wineries, a principal that defines the company’s culture.
Even in his personal pursuits Tim’s interest in building relationships is a hallmark of his style. An avid live music fan, in the early 1980s he befriended the Grateful Dead. Over the years, Tim’s friendship evolved into a leadership role with the band’s charitable arm, the Rex Foundation. As board member for eight years and president for four, Tim works with the group to proactively support creative endeavors in the arts, sciences and education. “Through my work with the Rex Foundation I get listen to people’s stories and help those in need. It’s rewarding to channel the energy surrounding the Grateful Dead into positive change.” In addition to his work with the Rex Foundation, Tim’s community leadership includes four years as President of the Board at the Sonoma Academy and Chairman of Premiere Napa Valley.
Tim lives in Sonoma with his wife Roo. Together they have five children, two of whom – Matt and Haley – have joined the team at Silver Oak and Twomey.