Vintner Jamie Kutch, 33, started out with nothing. No grapes, no winery, no experience and no real idea whether his dream to make wine would work out. But it has.
At age 31, he opted to quit his job as a New York investment banker and stock trader and change careers. The wine siren beckoned and he decided that making Pinot Noir was his true calling, Sideways aside. He convinced his girlfriend of eight years that his plan made perfectly good sense, so in 2005, he abandoned the Big Apple, moved West to wine country and made his first wine, a 2005 Russian River Pinot Noir (www.jamiekutch.com).
Along the way, Kutch has immersed himself in wine full-time. He's worked at Kosta Browne in Sonoma. He’s scouted for vineyards using Google Earth’s interactive maps. He’s found growers and has handshake deals with several others, so he intends to grow beyond 2005’s miniscule production of six barrels.
Kutch’s wine is delicious—and remarkable, given that it's his first attempt at making wine. It’s fragrant, delicate, smooth, rich in flavor, impeccably balanced and long and complex on the finish. It won’t be easy to get, though, with only 151 cases. But the price is right at $39 a bottle.
Given his early success in making wine, it's no surprise that when Kutch decided to ask his girlfriend to marry him, he chose a romantic route with a grape tie-in: He put a box with a diamond ring on the sorting table and she found it. Kristen Green said yes.
John B Vlahos — Cupertino Ca. — March 15, 2007 5:18pm ET
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