|| Richard Childress
Richard Childress is one of the most respected car owners in NASCAR racing. His
winning experience in NASCAR and business acumen has put him on the short list
of top owners in the sport. In 2009, Richard Childress Racing (RCR) is celebrating its 40th anniversary in NASCAR with more than 180 victories, including the first organization to win championships in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series.
Richard's newest venture, Childress Vineyards, is
located just five miles from the RCR headquarters
complex, but his passion for wine stems back to
the camaraderie he experienced when NASCAR
began racing in California.
Richard began his career as a driver in 1969 with
the No. 3 car, but after eight seasons, he decided to
concentrate on the management and operations of
the team and put a young Dale Earnhardt behind the
wheel of the now famous black Chevrolet. Together, Richard and Dale made racing
history with six NASCAR Winston Cup Championships.
Richard purchased his first car, a 1937 Plymouth, at age of 17 for $20 and built
his racing empire from a one-car garage into today's RCR operation which fields
four four teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and two in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
RCR employs 300 people at it's headquarters in Welcome, NC, that includes corporate
offices and a "Fan Walk" that offers the public a free glimpse of the race shop
operations plus the 47,000 square-foot RCR Racing Museum, featuring nearly 50
race vehicles, the original race shop, memorabilia, trophies, and an entire
section devoted to Richard's interest in wildlife and outdoor conservation.
Like the RCR operation, Richard's vision for his signature winery is nothing
less than the best. He wants to produce world-class wine and provide a distinct
tourist experience in his native North Carolina for all who come to visit.
Greg is Richard's partner who has been influential in constructing Childress
Vineyards from an idea to reality. The two became friends through their mutual
interest in big game hunting, wildlife and outdoor conservation and many trips
Greg comes from an Italian family where
winemaking has been passed from one generation
to another. His family name, Gianni, is the moniker
for the vineyards at his farm in Summerfield, NC,
that produce Sangiovese grapes for Childress
When he's not at the winery, Greg runs Johns
Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning, a
company he founded 35 years ago in Greensboro,
NC, which now employees 53 people to service
residential and industrial clients in the
Mark is General Manager and Winemaker of Childress Vineyards, overseeing the
35,000 square-foot winery operations and 65 acres of vineyards.
One of the most award-winning winemakers in
America today, Mark has received hundreds of
medals and his wines have been twice named
to the 50 Best Wines of the World.
A native of Long Island, Mark has been making
wine commercially since 1986. He came to
Childress Vineyards from the East Coast wine
making region of Long Island, an area he helped
establish. There, he rose from cellarmaster to
winemaker/general manager and director
of vineyard operations at Pindar Vineyards for
650 acres of vines and production of over 100,000 cases annually while simultaneously
running it's sister winery with production of 30,000 cases.
Mark is qualified in all aspects of wine production from grape growing
to winemaking as well as marketing. He has consulted worldwide with various wineries,
barrel cooperages, producers and importers.
Mark holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in biology from State University of
New York, plus degrees in Classical Literature from Hofstra University and International
Relations from Columbia University. He is frequently called to judge wine competitions,
participate in industry symposiums, and teach winemaking and viticulture.