Kendall-Jackson president Rick Tigner donned a disguise earlier this year — quite a good one, evidently — and as TV cameras rolled he played the role of a visitor keen to learn how K-J makes wine.
Rick Tigner, the president of Kendall-Jackson, dressed down for the filming of the episode of CBS' "Undercover Boss" that will be aired Jan. 29.
Tigner's now come clean about what was really going on. The camera crew was with CBS's popular "Undercover Boss," and Tigner was the first winery chief to dress down, make up a ruse and infiltrate the inner workings of his company's operations for the sake of good television.
The "Undercover Boss" episode featuring his discoveries will be aired on CBS at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Tigner has said that going incognito and talking to K-J employees about their work and the hugely popular wines it produces was great fun, very educational and also quite emotional.
The shooting was done in June, only a couple of months after K-J founder Jess Jackson of Geyserville died from complications of cancer at age 81. Under his leadership, the winery became one of the largest and best known in the world, one of its distinctions being that it helped turn Americans onto chardonnay.
Jackson's widow, K-J chairman and owner Barbara Banke, and his children, Katie, Julia and Christopher, all were present for the filming of the "Undercover Boss" episode.
The people at K-J are sworn to secrecy about the specifics what Tigner says and does in the show. But winery officials did say that the boss will "reveal aspects of the winemaking business rarely seen by those outside of the vineyards … as he explores all aspects of handcrafted winemaking, from vineyard to bottle and everything in between."
Tigner worked for Miller Brewing Company, Gallo and Louis M. Martini before joining K-J 20 years ago. He was promoted to president of the company in May of 2010.
It should be fun just to see him don the get-up that apparently allowed him to walk right past close associates without being recognized.
Can you even imagine having your top boss in the room and not knowing it's him? Oh, the possibilities.