Rick Tigner, President, Kendall Jackson Wine Estates, the largest family owned luxury/ultra-premium wine company in America, goes undercover this Sunday in the third episode of Season Three of Undercover Boss.
This is the first time the CBS show has focused on an alcoholic beverage company. It’s also rare for a major wine company to put its day-to-day dealings under such a public microscope.
“My thought was the positives will outweigh the negatives,” Tigner said at a screening of the show held for journalists in San Francisco. “When you’re that exposed you’re always a little nervous. There were naysayers.”
It helped that the project, which has been in the works for a year, got a “thumbs up” from company founder Jess Jackson. Jackson died last year, right around the time the episode was being filmed. So for Tigner, the experience was a chance for him to get a fresh perspective on the 5-million-case ($500 million a year) company, which has not escaped unscathed from the economic downturn, laying off some employees and freezing 401K plans.
To explain away the cameras, employees were told that ‘Jake” was appearing on a reality show about people considering a mid-life career change. ‘Jake’ is not the Texas grocery store manager contemplating a career change that the team believes him to be. He’s actually Rick Tigner, president of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, working incognito on the popular reality TV show “Undercover Boss.” The episode premieres Sunday Jan. 29.
Always nice for wine to get some limelight for a change! This should actually be fairly interesting, and will probably be one of the only TV shows focused on wine that I potentially can sit through.
I’m also going to wait until I’ve actually seen the show before I make any jokes :)