Ted Baseler
Emeritus President & CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates


Ted Baseler retired from an acclaimed 34-year career at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, where he was appointed President and CEO June 2000; a position he held until retirement in 2018. Ted is among an innovative group of Washington-born leaders who grew an industry to world class prominence, for the betterment of the Washington wine industry and Washingtonians who were supported by the industry’s economic impact. Ted’s tenure as CEO was the most successful in winery history.

Ted was a tireless Ste. Michelle champion whose vision for strategic acquisitions, capital investments and the development of an imported wines division placed the company among the world’s best in industry rankings.

As an architect of the company’s expansion throughout Washington, Oregon, and California, he created a ‘String of Pearl’s business strategy, where each winery ‘pearl’ was granted authority to make qualitative decisions in the vineyard and winery. This commitment to brand authenticity furthered the close partnership with the Antinori family which later expanded to include joint ownership of Napa icon Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.

Ted’s tenure is equally notable for his unwavering commitment to community service. He was the chief advocate for building the Washington State University Wine Science Center and worked tirelessly to win support and secure funding for the $23 million project. He previously served as chair of the Washington Wine Commission, chair of the Napa-based Wine Market Council, and director of the Washington Wine Institute. He also served on the Challenge Seattle, Washington Business Roundtable and the Seattle Children’s Hospital board.

Ted had a personal passion for higher education initiatives, including launching a diversity scholarship program assisting students in-need. In 2006, Governor Chris Gregoire appointed him to the Washington State University (WSU) Board of Regents, his alma mater, where he served for 15 years, including as Chair from 2011-2012. In addition to being a champion for the Wine Science Center, Ted lobbied for funding and approval for the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine which addressed the dearth of new doctors.

Numerous industry, business and professional organizations honored Ted with pinnacle awards, including “Lifetime Achievement” (Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits), “Man of the Year” (Wine Enthusiast) and “Executive Excellence” (Seattle Business). The Puget Sound Business Journal ranked him among the ‘Top 35’ most influential business leaders of the past 35 years.

Born in Oregon and raised in Washington, Mr. Baseler received his undergraduate degree from Washington State University and a Masters in Journalism Science from the Medill School at Northwestern University.

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