Founder & Chairman of Winebow, Inc.
Named one of the most influential wine personalities of the last 20 years, Leonardo LoCascio is America’s foremost authority on Italian wines. As Founder and Chairman of Winebow, Inc., America’s leading importer of premium Italian wines and a major importer and distributor of wines and spirits from around the world, Mr. LoCascio’s masterful knowledge of the wines of Italy is unsurpassed.
In 1980, Mr. LoCascio left a successful career in corporate finance to become a wine entrepreneur, giving up a position as a vice president at Citibank – a position he attained at age 30 – to launch Winebow. Prior to his four years at Citibank, he worked in corporate finance at Rockwell International and as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.
For over 30 years, Mr. LoCascio has been selecting wines for his portfolio with the same care he once brought to corporate finance. Along the way he has earned a reputation for uncovering the best wines of Italy, often looking beyond the obvious wine regions of Tuscany, Piedmont and the Veneto to discover hidden gems worthy of importation. He is especially proud of having introduced many Americans to the great wines of Italy’s southern regions.
Mr. LoCascio makes frequent trips to Italy throughout the year, scouring the countryside for undiscovered treasures. His meticulous selection process is geared to find wines that combine high quality and good value. The result is dozens of wines turned down for every one selected. The process tends to favor small to mid-sized wineries, often independent and family-owned.
Today, Winebow’s Leonardo LoCascio Selections, with over 60 prized Italian producers, is widely considered the most impressive Italian portfolio of any importer in the U.S. Indeed, the Leonardo LoCascio Selections logo on a label has become the de facto seal of approval for Italian wine enthusiasts.
Quarterly Review of Wines and The New York Institute of Technology honored Mr. LoCascio their 13th annual Professional Excellence Award in April 2010. In 2009, Winebow was named "Importer of the Year" at Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Annual Wine Star Awards. Earlier in the year, the Italian Trade Commission inducted Leonardo LoCascio into their Distinguished Service Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals who have devoted their professional lives to the appreciation of Italian wine in the United States. In 2008, Mr. LoCascio received the prestigious US/Italy Friendship Award by the National Italian American Foundation for his contribution to the cultural and social ties between Italy and the United States.
Born in Palermo, Sicily, Mr. LoCascio graduated cum laude from New York University with a BS in International Business and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.