“I am a golfer who makes wine,” Cristie Kerr announced Saturday morning at the Wine Experience. But Kerr is not just any golfer, and she’s not making just any wine.
Kerr’s 23-year golf career began at age 18. Her 20 career wins include two LPGA majors, and she has thrice reached Women’s World Golf’s No. 1 ranking. Along the way, she fell in love with wine. “In the early 2000s, we had a tournament [in La Jolla, Calif.],” Kerr said. “And I would play my practice rounds at 6 in the morning because all I wanted to do … was to go wine tasting. Because golf is boring, but wine tasting is fun. And wine keeps you sane, but golf … if you've ever played golf, well, you know what I’m talking about.”
Starting with the 2006 vintage, Kerr teamed with Suzanne Pride Bryan of Pride Mountain Estates to create Curvature, a Napa label specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and benefiting breast-cancer research. (Kerr’s mother, diagnosed in 2002, is a breast-cancer survivor.) Through Curvature and her foundation, Birdies for Breast Cancer, Kerr has raised more than $4 million.
In 2013, Kerr Cellars was hatched with star California winemaker Helen Keplinger. “We had a kinship, because of my meticulous attention to detail,” Kerr said. “It's almost annoying at times how perfect I like to get everything. If anybody has ever seen me putt, they know what I’m talking about!”
“It's commonly misconstrued that celebrities cannot make great wine. But I think that perception is changing,” Kerr said, presenting her Kerr Napa Valley Reserve 2013 (93 points, $150), a Cabernet-Merlot blend. “I hope that you'll taste this and see the quality in the glass.”