From Wall Street to Winemaking

His face has graced the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine (May 2012), his wines have made the list at some of the top restaurants in the country (The French Laundry, Gary Danko, Daniel, Per Se), and his story reads like a fairy tale complete with the happy ending.

When Jamie Kutch left Wall Street for winemaking in 2005 he never looked back. After completing his ninth harvest it’s pretty clear his bet paid off. When I sat down with Kutch last month I asked him about the 2013 harvest. His response: “I couldn’t be happier.” When you watch the video and hear Kutch’s story you will see when Kutch says “I couldn’t be happier,” he isn’t just talking about this year’s harvest.

I have found in my own life that happiness is often found by taking the road dreamed about, but rarely traveled. Leaving the rat race for the real world of Sonoma County might sound like an easy choice, but when you give up something secure for something uncertain there is nothing easy about it.

In these changing times, many people are looking for ways to reinvent themselves, to be relevant and to find something real. For Kutch, that search started and ended with a bottle of wine. For many people a bottle of wine is just something to put on their dinner table, a way to impress their friends, or something they uncork to unwind from their own rat race. However, for Jamie Kutch a bottle of wine is a way to connect to people, a way to share his story and a symbol of what can happen when you let go of the Risk/Reward Ratio and go after what you really want. Kutch caught his shooting star and now his star continues to rise.

After only nine harvests it might be a little too soon to start talking about legacy, but like John Lennon once said: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” Kutch isn’t letting life happen to him. He’s planning for the future, and hopes his wines and his legacy will remain long after he is gone.

“I’m trying to make age-worthy wines. I would want my legacy to be a bottle that is discovered 25 or 30 years from now and opened and said wow that’s an incredible bottle of wine. No children yet but we are working on it. I wouldn’t mind having a little one picking up the reins if they desire someday and continuing the brand and the legacy of Kutch Wines.” – Jamie Kutch

Recent Wine Reviews

The Wine Advocate’s Antonio Galloni says McDougall Ranch 2011 is “clearly one of the most impressive wines of the vintage”

2011 Kutch McDougall Ranch Pinot Noir 95 pts. The highlight among these current and upcoming releases, Jamie Kutch’s 2011 Pinot Noir McDougall Ranch is drop-dead gorgeous. Savory herbs, dried flowers, black cherries and licorice all jump from the glass in this deep, layered wine. The 75% whole clusters come through only in the bouquet, as the fruit is so intense, they are barely noticeable on the palate. The balance of fruit, acidity and tannin is exceptional. I can’t wait to see how McDougall Ranch ages. It is clearly one of the most impressive wines of the vintage.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jay McInerney compares 2011 Kutch Sonoma Coast with Domaine Dujac

2011 Kutch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Very primary red-fruited nose which continues on the palate – A Punch & Judy show of dueling sweet and sour cherry flavors, complicated by an undertow of grape stems. Like a Dujac Morey-Saint-Denis.

The Prince of Pinot says: 2011 McDougall Ranch was “The clear favorites of the group” calling the wine “Extraordinary”

2011 Kutch McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Dark purple color in the glass. Very aromatic with hi-tone purple berry and black cherry, exotic spice, confectionary and floral aromas. Full-bodied and intense, with gentle tannins and an attention-grabbing, long finish. Extraordinary.

For more information on Kutch Wines visit their website:

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