Kim Stare Wallace of Dry Creek Vineyard in Healdsburg wins a North Bay Business Journal Women in Business award.
Education: San Francisco State University, Consumer and Family Studies/Dietetics
Tell us about yourself and your company: Established in 1972 by my father, David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard is Dry Creek Valley’s flagship winery located in the heart of Sonoma County, California. Throughout my childhood, I watched my father pioneer Dry Creek Vineyard, the first new winery to be built in the region following Prohibition, and champion Dry Creek Valley as a world-class wine growing appellation. As a teen, I worked in the office, cellar and on the bottling line, as well as accompanying my parents on countless sales trips, business dinners and wine tastings. From this early start, I grew up with a passion and understanding of the wine industry.
Today, our premier, family-owned winery is celebrating 46 years of winemaking and I am firmly committed to a “No Compromises” philosophy, producing appellation-focused, terroir-driven, varietal-defining wines.
We are proud to be one of the last truly private, family-owned, iconic wineries consistently producing 90+ point wines.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?
In 2017, our family winery was issued a U.S. Patent related to printing sustainable sourcing information on our wine cork closures. The innovative closure is laser printed with detailed information about the source of cork material, including the age of the cork forest, the harvest date of the trees and the sustainable habitat these remarkable forests provide to the Iberian Lynx and Spanish Imperial Eagle.
I developed this new idea in an effort to provide transparency and authenticity of the winery’s extensive portfolio.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
In 2015, Dry Creek Vineyard was named a “Top 100” Winery by Wine & Spirits Magazine. This incredible recognition as one of the top 100 wineries in the world was the culmination of a decade of hard work and dedication to reinvent the winery and refocus the portfolio to showcase the terroir and distinction of Dry Creek Valley.
What is your biggest challenge today?
The biggest challenge facing our family winery is the increasing corporatization of the wine industry. Every day it becomes more challenging to get the mind share of our distributors and accounts in the wholesale market. With all of the virtual brands popping up on the shelves and on wine lists, it is also a challenge to stand out to the consumers as an authentic, heritage brand.
What words that best describe you?
Resilient, tenacious, focused
As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?
In my life, both personal and professional, I have taken on great challenges at a ‘young age’. I went to college young, married young, and joined the winery at a young age.
I traveled the world as the spokesperson of Dry Creek Vineyard, many times addressing those who were 20 or 30 years older than I was, and usually were male. As time went on, I became the vice president, and later president of the winery, and had seniority over those who were older than me.
Throughout it all, I felt the need to prove that I was a capable and dynamic leader, which has, in turn, led to the success of our family winery.
Kim Stare Wallace
Dry Creek Vineyard
3770 Lambert Bridge Road, Healdsburg 95448
Read more profiles of 2018 Women in Business winners: nbbj.news/wib18winners