Dry Creek Vineyard 2019 Wine Hosts’ Bios
Kim Stare Wallace, President
Kim Stare Wallace was raised in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. Throughout her childhood, she watched from the sidelines as her father David Stare pioneered Dry Creek Vineyard, the first new winery to be built in the region following Prohibition. As a teen, she worked in the office, cellar and on the bottling line, as well as accompanying her parents on countless sales trips, business dinners and wine tastings. From this early start, Kim grew up with a passion and understanding of the wine industry.
After graduating magna cum laude from San Francisco State University, Kim began a career in the fashion industry that would greatly impact her later role at Dry Creek Vineyard. Joining the winery in 1986 as Director of Marketing, one of her first achievements was the creation of nautical labels for Dry Creek Vineyard’s wines, an unprecedented move that has indelibly linked the winery to sailboats in consumers’ minds. Without a doubt, Kim can be credited for the creation of the winery’s dynamic brand imagery that lives on today with every bottle of wine produced.
In the mid-nineties, Kim took on the increased responsibility of Vice President of the winery, involved in all decisions affecting the quality of the Dry Creek Vineyard experience and winery operations. She has seen the California wine industry mature through its ups and downs and is determined that her family winery will stay in the family.
Today, Kim serves as President of Dry Creek Vineyard. Her vision for the future of this dynamic family business is clear – honor the past while striving to produce wines of outstanding distinction that consistently over deliver and provide great enjoyment to wine drinkers worldwide. Kim is actively involved in several boards including the Sonoma County Vintners and the Save the Bridge group that has formed around preserving the historic Lambert Bridge.
Quite literally raised in the vines, Kim cannot recall a time when wines, vineyards, and vintages were not the focus of daily conversation. Some family traditions never change. Kim and her husband Don live with their teenage son, Spencer, while daughter Taylor is off to college. Their home is nestled among the vineyards near the winery.
Don Wallace, Partner
Agriculture is a natural way of life for Don Wallace, the product of four generations of a hard-working California farming family. Don’s interest in machinery took him away from the farm for 15 years while he pursued a career in international construction. While he was on a project in Sonoma County in 1980, Don met Dry Creek Vineyard founder David Stare’s daughter, Kim Stare, whom he married in 1982.
With his father-in-law and wife in the wine business, Don’s next move was a stint among the vines at Murphy-Goode Estate Winery to “test drive” his new family’s industry. After one year, Don accepted his father-in-law’s offer to manage ranch operations at Dry Creek Vineyard in 1990. Don’s sphere of influence gradually grew to encompass very aspect of the business, including winery operations and sales, as well as vineyard development and acquisitions. Don took on the role of General Manager in 1999 and in April 2006, he was appointed President of Dry Creek Vineyard. In 2012, Don decided to take a well deserved sabbatical to pursue some outside interests as well as an extended list of honey do’s at home!
When Don wasn’t frequenting the airways promoting Dry Creek Vineyard and regional sales programs around the country, he was an active industry advocate. Don was at the forefront of the sustainable farming movement in California. His work on sustainable issues has led him to take up a variety of important causes including salmon habitat restoration along the Dry Creek as well as water conservation issues in Sonoma County. He is a fellow of the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy. Don served as the Vice President for the Dry Creek Valley Association, and has also served on the Board of Directors for the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley, the Sonoma County Vintners, and The Wine Institute of California.
Despite business trips and long work days, Don’s primary focus has been his two children, Taylor and Spencer. From coaching Little League to addressing homework issues at the kitchen table, Don prides himself on being a hands-on Dad. In addition, he still finds time to pursue an array of interests. Don is a passionate gardener and gourmet cook, enjoys mushroom hunting and duck hunting and, naturally, is an avid sailor.