Founder, Cristie Kerr Wines
Cristie Kerr is one of the most accomplished professional golfers of her generation, with two Major Championships and 19 LPGA titles to her name. She is a widely recognized breast cancer spokesperson whose foundation, Birdies for Breast Cancer, has raised millions of dollars to help fight the disease. Her passion for wines began in 2003 while playing in the Napa Valley and visiting its fabled vineyards. In 2008 she created Curvature Wines, a partnership with Suzanne Pride Bryant, co-owner of Pride Mountain Vineyard and a breast cancer survivor. Proceeds from Curvature benefit breast cancer programs and the wines received numerous accolades, including being served in the White House at affairs of State.
Cristie launched Kerr Cellars in 2013 with winemaker Helen Keplinger, featuring wines produced from the most prestigious California vineyards.
Winemaker, Kerr Cellars
Helen Keplinger has been the Winemaker for Kerr Cellars since early 2013. She is widely recognized as one of the top winemakers in California. After graduating from UC Davis with a Masters Degree in Enology she worked with industry all-stars Heidi Barrett, Kathy Joseph, Michel Rolland, and David Abreu to name a few. Helen proceeded to build her resume as the winemaker at some of the most recognized wineries in California including Cellers Melis (Priorat), Kenzo Estate, Fort Ross, Sarocka, Scully, Arrow & Branch, Bryant Family Vineyards and Grace Family Vineyards. In 2006 Helen started Keplinger Wines with her husband DJ Warner and since then, Keplinger Wines has sold out of every vintage they produced and received incredible reviews along the way. Helen was named “Winemaker of the Year” by Food and Wine magazine in 2012 and in 2014 she graced the cover of Wine Spectator magazine’s June issue. The cover story described Helen’s work as “one of the most exciting and innovative wineries to emerge in California in years.”
Winemaker, Curvature Wines
Sally Johnson, Pride Mountain Vineyards’ winemaker since 2007, has a history of crafting world-renowned wines displaying equal parts finesse, concentration and elegance. Sally’s winemaking philosophy begins with an insistence on excellence in the vineyard throughout the growing season. Meticulous hand harvesting and sorting of both grape clusters and individual berries ensure that only the most ideal grapes are fermented into wine. In the winery, Sally’s goal is to make wines that represent a specific place, expressing all of the intensity and individuality of the site on which they are grown. Pride’s wines are sourced from the Pride family’s estate atop Spring Mountain, but for Curvature, Sally has expanded her focus to include some her favorite vineyards on the Napa Valley floor as her fruit source. Sally’s family has also been touched by breast cancer – two of her aunts are survivors.
Executive Vice President, Kerr Cellars
Matt Lane is a native Australian with an unparalleled passion and commitment to wine. He brings his extensive experience in Australian, American, Canadian, and European wine industries to Kerr Cellars.
Matt holds an impressive collection of accolades. Named the South Australian Sommelier of the Year in 2001. He’s also twice won the exclusive international Vin de Champagne award for South Australia. Matt has guest lectured at prestigious Universities including Adelaide, Harvard, and Stanford. He earned distinguished fellow honors as a wine education instructor at Johnson & Wales culinary school. Matt is an alumnus of the University of California, Davis. Dedicated to wine, he now undertakes the rigorous program at the Institute of Masters of Wine. He is an accredited professional wine judge with awards of distinction including WSET, Wine and Spirits Education Trust of London, and the Court of Master Sommeliers, USA chapter. He is a 21-year veteran of wine supplier and wholesale management systems in the USA.
As the Kerr Cellars Executive Vice President, Matt focuses on global distribution, sales, events, marketing strategies, and directing Kerr Cellars & Curvature Wines into the next exciting chapter. Matt is an avid golfer, loves Champagne (aka: ChampagneLane), and resides amongst the vines in the tranquil Napa Valley.
General Manager, Cristie Kerr Wines
Curtis Hecker abandoned a successful career as a Financial Advisor to pursue another passion and a new career in wine, and he has never looked back. Curtis spent six years in wholesale wine distribution in Arizona while pursuing his Sommelier education with the Court of Master Sommelier. He relocated to Napa and was integral in growing retail sales at distinguished brands Merryvale, ZD Wines and Alpha Omega before joining the team as General Manager / Director of Sales at Kerr Cellars. In addition to management for several Napa wineries, Curtis’ culinary interests and talent as a chef regularly receive press and acclaim in Napa.