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From Fairways to Vineyards | Kerr Cellars: Exceptional Wines Rooted in Passion and Purpose | ICONIC LIFE

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From Fairways to Vineyards | Kerr Cellars: Exceptional Wines Rooted in Passion and Purpose

Photography courtesy of Kerr Cellars

Kerr Cellars hero shot

Kerr Cellars

LPGA golfer Cristie Kerr shares the story of how she swung herself into the world of wine and started Kerr Cellars, a highly acclaimed winery in Napa Valley. 

There’s no question that the world of wine is set on a foundation of sophistication and luxury. Kerr Cellars wine is a prime example of refinement and quality at the highest level. What started as a mission to raise money for breast cancer research blossomed into a distinguished winery with a goal of excellence and merit in every bottle. 

Cristie Kerr, LPGA golfer and founder of Kerr Cellars, fell in love with wine while on tour and visiting Napa Valley in 2000. Her passion for it grew stronger as she continued to travel around the world and indulge in wine from various countries and cultures, learning about the winemaking process and what separates a good glass of wine from a great one. 

"I wanted people to judge the wine for what it was (is), not for who I was."

“Being a professional golfer, you get to travel around the world,” Kerr says. “On tour, I was able to learn about wine from South America, France, Spain, Australia, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and almost to the farthest reaches of the world. Wherever I would go for golf tournaments, I’d learn about wine in the local environments and heightened my love for wine.”

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Kerr was inspired to embark on a wine journey herself to curate impeccable wine appreciated and recognized for its unparalleled quality. In 2007, Kerr teamed up with Suzanne Pride Bryan of Pride Mountain Vineyards to create Curvature Wines with the sole purpose of donating one-hundred percent of the proceeds towards breast cancer research. 

“Being able to go to all these different places and see how people make their wine and how hard they work was really inspiring to me,” Kerr says. ” When the Pride family asked us to come out to their winery, my husband, Erik, and I couldn’t believe somebody showed interest in wanting to do this with us. In May 2008, Erik and I met with Suzanne Pride Bryan, and she almost tried to talk us out of getting into the wine business.

“When I told her I wanted to make 100 cases of a very high-end Napa Valley Cabernet and give 100 percent of the proceeds to cancer research, she looked at me and said, ‘ I’m a breast cancer survivor.’ It gave me chills. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it shook our family to the core. When Suzanne found out I wanted to raise the money for research, it changed the direction this whole conversation was headed because it was not headed in a direction where we would have our start in wine prior.” 

Curvature Wines delivered beyond the initial goal, and the brand raised more than $350,000 for breast cancer research. 

“I was so surprised by Curvature’s success,” Kerr says. ” We raised so much that we created a grant for breast cancer research at Stanford Hospital from the profits.”

The continued success of Curvature Wines solidified confidence in Kerr about the viability of a for-profit wine brand, and thus, Kerr Cellars was created. Established in 2013, Kerr Cellars has grown to offer a variety of wines sourced from vineyards on the Sonoma Coast and Napa Valley and offer a wine club. Kerr Cellar’s philosophy hones in on the importance of quality over quantity, with all its wines receiving a score of more than 93 points. Its most esteemed wine is the 2019 Wappo Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, receiving 97 points from accredited wine critic James Suckling. 

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“You don’t cut corners. You source from the best vineyards to make the best wine. You use the best glass, make a beautiful label, use the best capsules,” Kerr explains. “I didn’t name the wine after myself because, as a professional athlete, I wanted people to judge the wine for what it was (is), not for who I was.”

Kerr Cellars vineyard

With recognition from Wine Spectator and its wine poured for diplomats at the White House, Kerr Cellars has established a reputation for opulence and luxury. Kerr’s passion for wine not only changed the lives of others with her foundation, which Curvature continues to contribute to but also made her a driving force in the niche community of fine wine.

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