Director of Vineyard Operations
Kirk Grace knew from an early age that he wanted to be a farmer. But it wasn’t until he graduated from Cal Poly with a B.S. degree in Crop Science that he decided to work in viticulture.
After college, Kirk worked at St. Supery Vineyards and then Bettinelli Vineyard Management, overseeing project planning, designing pest control programs and developing new vineyard acreage. In 1997, he joined Robert Sinskey Vineyards as Vineyard Manager. In his nine years there, Kirk designed and implemented a plan to manage all of Sinskey’s vineyard operations in house.
He was hired in 2006 as Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ Director of Vineyard Operations. In this position, Kirk oversees Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ 142 acres of estate vineyards. Under his leadership, these estate vineyards – FAY, S.L.V. and B.R.V. – became Napa Green certified in 2010. “At Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, we take a qualitative vs. a quantitative approach,” says Kirk. “Numbers are an indicator, but growing premium grapes and making fine wine is really about being in tune and in touch with the plant. You’ve got to be on the ground.”
Kirk is active with several sustainable viticulture groups and programs, including the Napa County Farm Bureau Organic Growing Group. He is also an advisor with a UC Davis Sustainable Practices study.