The age of a wine vineyard is measured by growing seasons or “Leaves.” A vineyard becomes established and produces its first crop after being planted for three seasons on its “Third Leaf.”
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About Third Leaf Partners
Third Leaf Partners manages, operates, and advises winery, hospitality and lifestyle brands at all stages of development. Aaron Faust, Alex Pagon, and William Tigertt, the Managing Partners of Third Leaf Partners, have closely worked with a range of companies, including Freemans Restaurant (New York), Meadowood Napa Valley (St. Helena), Blackberry Farm (Tennessee), Freemans Sporting Club (New York, Tokyo) and Fellow Barber (New York, San Francisco). They have also successfully operated and grown wine businesses globally, including Sandhi (Rajat Parr), Leviathan (Andy Erickson), Mulderbosch (South Africa), and Domaine de la Côte (Rajat Parr), and currently work with wineries based in California, Oregon, France, and Italy, including Antica Terra (Maggie Harrison) and Gothic Wines (Josh Nadel). The Third Leaf team helps build, grow, and expand businesses in the following scenarios:
- New Entrants: Assist new industry entrants seeking to establish a business
- Growth: Plan and execute strategies to grow organically or through mergers or acquisitions
- Management & Operations: Provide professional management, sales assistance, and accounting for companies, freeing proprietors to focus on their core competencies
- Financing: Support and assist capital raising efforts (initial and follow-on investments), both to establish a brand and build on early success
- Turnaround/Rebranding: Assist businesses with plans to re-brand and/or re-launch their efforts
- Asset Purchase and Sale: Assess, structure, and execute the acquisition or disposition of assets, subsidiaries or adjacent lines of business
- Structuring: Offer solutions to help existing partners or founding principals retain or maximize ownership and control while expanding their businesses.
Aaron D. Faust
Aaron Faust is a Founding and Managing Partner of Third Leaf Partners. He oversees underwriting, investment strategy, and on-going management of Third Leaf’s portfolio. He serves on the boards of Blackberry Farm, a Relais Chateaux property in Tennessee, and ENTER.Sake, an independent producer of premium sake in Japan, and is a founder and director of Protea Financial, which provides accounting and bookkeeping services to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Prior to founding Third Leaf, he was a Founding and Managing Partner at Terroir Capital, which owns, operates and manages select high-end resort and winery assets globally. There, he served on the boards of the Independent Lodging Industry Association, a trade association for independent hotel owners and their management teams (~3,000 members), and the California Lodging Industry Association, as well as past investments, including Meadowood Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Reserve, Sandhi, Leviathan, and Mulderbosch.
Prior to Terroir, Aaron worked at CSI Capital Management, helping to oversee non-public investments, and before that, as a corporate attorney. Aaron received his undergraduate degree in Political Science with Distinction in General Scholarship from the University of California at Berkeley and is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the State Bar of California.- Aaron D. Faust, Managing Partner
Alexander G. Pagon
Alex Pagon is a Founding and Managing Partner of Third Leaf Partners. He leads Third Leaf’s beverage practice, which oversaw the successful turnaround of Evening Land, launched ENTER.Sake in the US and Europe as a category leader in the premium sake segment, and advises premium wineries, breweries, and distilleries in five states and four countries.
In addition to overseeing the Third Leaf team that assists wineries with strategy, sales, operations, logistics, and analysis, Alex is a founder and director of Protea Financial, which provides accounting and bookkeeping services to small- and medium-sized businesses in a wide range of industries, and Cellar Capital which provides inventory-based loans to small, growing beverage businesses with limited access to traditional bank financing.
Prior to founding Third Leaf, he led the effort to build a vertically integrated portfolio of international wine businesses, including Sandhi, Leviathan, and Mulderbosch, as the Chief Operating Officer and Lead Underwriter at Terroir Capital, which owns, operates, and manages select winery and resort assets globally. In addition to creating and overseeing the teams and systems necessary to produce, import, and sell Terroir’s wine internationally, Alex led the due diligence efforts for each acquisition and then directly managed the operations at each business until it could support a dedicated management team.
Before joining Terroir, Alex served as an intelligence officer in the United States Army, in which he commanded a company of 121 U.S. and South Korean soldiers and civilians and served as the aide to the commanding general of Special Operations Command Korea. He received his undergraduate degree with Distinction and Honors in Economics (with minors in Mathematics, Spanish and Portuguese) from Stanford University.- Alexander G. Pagon, Managing Partner