Race to the Top: A DITL with Kevin Buckler

Kevin BucklerPhoto Credit: Romain Maurice

Interview by Violet Camacho

Photography by Romain Maurice

Shot on location at The Fontainebleau Miami Beach 

Kevin Buckler is a man with two passions: fast cars and fun. And how does he bridge these two very distinct passions together? Through his two companies, Adobe Road Winery and The Racers Group. Running one successful business is a feat in itself, but Buckler is not one to shy away from a challenge. He rather flawlessly runs two, rotating between crafting award-winning wines and running his ever-expanding motorsports company. After selling his first real estate development company back in the ’90s, Buckler recalls that after the sale he said to his wife, “If I ever work that hard again, I want to do it around what I love.” And that he did—first, with his motorsports company, TRG—The Racers Group—and second with Adobe Road Winery. After starting TRG, Buckler quickly accelerated the company to the top of the industry, building one of the most successful teams both on and off the track. He first began as a racer, helping the company win all its marks in the big races, such as the 24 Hours of Daytona (twice) and 24 hours of Le Mans, and in 2004, transitioned from athlete to owner. Today, this has transpired into a multifaceted sports operation—Buckler is currently the CEO of Aston Martin Racing for the U.S., and also runs a vibrant Porsche program, club racing and more. The winery came about later in the late ’90s and became official in 2002. Now, Adobe Road Winery is regarded among the highest of small boutique brands, having just received its twelfth 90+ score from the Wine Spectator and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, as well as securing a place at prestigious events like the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Best of the Best and Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience—which puts the brand as one of the top 250 wineries in the world. Buckler states, “The two worlds just came together in the most amazing collision in the last couple years, combining into the most unbelievable and effective marketing machine for corporate entertainment and lifestyle.” It’s hard to imagine how one man does it all—but it truly is what Kevin Buckler is all about. To find out how, here’s a look at a day in the life of the man of many passions, trades and talents when he’s not out on the road racing or traveling:

4:45-5 a.m.

I wake up. I’m an early riser, and I’ve always been that way—I just don’t feel like I’m getting it done if I’m not the first one in and the last one out of work. So, if the clock is saying 5 in the first digit, I’m already falling behind.

5:15 a.m.: 

I jump onto my emails to see if anything is burning down at the beginning of the day. I do this for some time to make sure I answer all emails and am communicating with everyone.

7 a.m.: 

I get in the car and head to the office. Once I get there, I do a little more work until everyone starts to roll in.

8:15 a.m.: 

Everyone has arrived to the office so I check everything out, and then head over to the gym in the office. I work out daily—I’m not a freak about that stuff, but I just like to keep myself fit as an ex-athlete. It is my sanctuary to get 45 minutes in each day.

9 a.m.:

I go back to the office and start the day. We usually alternate between the winery and the racing division where we have a team meeting and discuss all marketing opportunities. For the winery, there’s about eight people that sit in on that. For the racing side, the competition is divided from marketing and PR communications. I usually do opposite days where I stay on top of it with each team.

11 a.m.: 

I like to be hands-on, so I either go out in the shop if it’s racing, or go to our tasting room out in Petaluma, which is only about 2 miles away—when I’m there, I try to hit the tasting room every day if I can. What I’ve found is that it’s valuable for me to be there, not only to see what’s happening and check on how our project is developing, but also to help make sales because people like having the owner there.

3 p.m.:

I go back to the office and work. I generally stay pretty late.

7 p.m.:

I leave the office if it’s an earlier night. When I get home, I catch a quick dinner then get right back on my laptop. Both my wife and I do the same thing and pretty much work until we go to bed.

9:30-10 p.m.:

My wife and I go to bed to recharge for the next day.