Please forgive yourself if you don’t yet know the name Kyle Theriot. You will. He’s new here at Ridge; our new Monte Bello Viticulturist.
It’s an extraordinary job, done only by extraordinary individuals. Rarely will you encounter such a singular cross of low-down, dirty, funky agrarian authenticity, and high-brow, tech-nerd, number-crunching, software-savvy obsessive compulsivity, as you will when meeting a real-deal viticulturist. They may rarely, if ever, be on the cover of Wine Spectator, or win awards, or give speeches at fancy dinners, but take my word for it, good wine is simply not made without them.
Kyle is stepping into an intense gig; in more ways than one. Monte Bello isn’t just any vineyard, either by legend, or reality. It’s a great deal of pressure, and a tremendous amount of work. That the powers-that-be here at Ridge believe in Kyle the way they do says volumes about the caliber of his character.
Now add to all the above another trait; an artist’s eye.
I bug viticulturists. I always want stories, pictures, videos, you name it, if it’s from the vineyard, I want it. But it’s not their job to amuse my wishes. Most don’t. I have been very fortunate here, however, to have developed great partnerships with the gang in the vineyards. They’ve been very supportive, very helpful, and they’ve bequeathed a lot of experience and knowledge. Kyle has been here just a short while, but I am already inheriting from his benevolence, and as I said above, his is no ordinary eye. I told him I would love a picture of bloom (when it happens). He sent me this:
Which is but one vine from the Gate Block at Jimsomare. Which looks like this:
And I told him I’d love to see a picture of some of the younger Cab Franc vines. I got this:
Please join me in welcoming Kyle Theriot to the Ridge Vineyards team. Lord knows, we’re happy to have him.