Winemaker, Bacio Divino Cellars
Kirk is the son of Nils Venge, a legendary Napa Valley winemaker whose wines consistently score above 90 points in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and other prestigious wine journals. His deep family roots in viticulture and his passion for the industry that ensued led him to be named one of the top twenty young winemakers in the world by Food & Wine magazine. Kirk's heritage, love for winemaking, and unparallel paternal tutelage have all provided him with a foundation bound for success in the wine industry.
Country born: United States
Education: Kirk earned his degree in viticulture and enology at the prestigious University of California, Davis, graduating in 1998. During his college years he was eager to begin hands-on winemaking experience and with the help of Hugh Davies of the Schramsberg Winery family, found a harvest intern position as an experimental winemaker at Mumm Cuvee Napa Valley. Working under the guidance of celebrated wine guru Greg Fowler over five harvests, Kirk participated in a variety of viticulture and winemaking research trials, many focusing on Carneros Appellation Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production, in addition to Mumm sparkling wine.
Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years
Superior vineyards, site, soil, and vines are the foundation for great wine, shaping the destiny of the winemaker. A lifelong passion and respect for the natural world inspires Kirk to cultivate premium wine grapes with the ambition to produce world-class wines.