From humble beginnings, Leslie started working in the family business, Standard Beverage Corporation, while he was in high school.
He quickly realized he had a lot to learn about business before he would eventually take over the company. The Midwestern values of humility, hard work, and honesty became his true teachers and the bedrock of his entrepreneurial life.
In addition to leading Standard Beverage, Leslie was undoubtedly a serial entrepreneur. He was never one to wait around for good things to happen. Instead, Leslie was determined to make them happen. He founded Leslie Rudd Investment Company, a privately-owned portfolio of luxury businesses that stemmed from his insatiable curiosity for food, wine and history.
Originating in Wichita, Kansas, but expanding into businesses throughout the heart of Napa Valley, California, the portfolio included the Rudd Oakville Estate, Edge Hill Estate, Oakville Grocery, Dean & DeLuca, Distillery No. 209, PRESS Restaurant, Vintage Wine Estates, Covenant Wines, and Rudd Farms, to name a few.