Todd “Dr. Toad” Williams, our friend and founder, always managed to bring
laughter and vitality to our daily life at Toad Hollow. His passion for wine
and vision of “wine for the masses” led him, with his wife Francine and his
good friend and colleague Rod Strong, to create this winery in 1993.
Todd’s big arms embraced everyone he met and his magnanimous nature created
Williams' larger-than-life personality could be counted on to fill a room. At
times, Todd was described as a hell-raiser but never lost the hard work ethic
and Southern manners he learned as a boy growing up in rural Versailles, Kentucky.
He was an extraordinary man - kind but outgoing and very much a people person. Todd,
like Mark Twain, never worried about letting the truth get in the way of a good
story. His storytelling gave him the ability to attract unusual people. It was
often said of Todd that he never met a stranger.
Todd got into the wine business after years of having owned bars and
restaurants all over the world, because he felt that too many people were
intimidated by wine. His mission was to strip away the mystique and make wine
inclusive. Todd believed that wine should a part of people's everyday lives,
not just something that was celebratory. He believed that wine should be fun
and he loved sharing that experience with everyone he met.
We continue Todd’s vision for our business, now with Francine “Frankie”
Williams at the helm. Keeping his dream alive, our motto remains “Fine Wines at