Josh Hackler, 23
Josh Hackler grew up working in his father's restaurants, getting an insider's view of the industry and developing a passion for wine. In college, eager to return to Spain after spending a day there as a 14-year-old on a family trip to Europe, he spent a semester abroad in Oviedo, Spain. There, he frequented a restaurant known for its wine and became friends with one of the owners, who had connections in the Spanish wine industry.
When he returned to the U.S., Hackler was determined to start a business that would allow him to combine his passion for Spain and its wine—without competing with large wine importers. The result is Spanish Vines, the boutique label he founded in 2006 that now sells its five wines wholesale to restaurants and stores. To build awareness for the label, Hackler maintains a Web site promoting Spain that he says will include forums and vlogs by the end of Sept. Hackler is optimistic about distribution, emphasizing a push to restaurants in Manhattan and several states in the Southeast, and says revenue for his two-person business has quadrupled since Jan.