Wine on his mind

Jul 10, 2012, 08:59 IST | Deepali Dhingra

Kerry Damskey likens his approach to wines to that of a gem cutter. "You have to start with high quality raw materials, and be able to identify them

Then it’s like cutting facets in a diamond or emerald to show off what’s inside and highlight it,” he says. He should know. Kerry is counted among one of the best winemakers in the world. Kerry, who was in Mumbai recently, spoke to CS about his wine making philosophy:

Love for wines
I wanted to be a wine maker since I was 17. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area which is very close to the Napa valley, the wine country. My parents not just drank but also appreciated wine, and we drank wine at our dinner table, which was my first encounter with the spirit. I then enrolled at the University of California in the undergraduate programme for wine chemistry (Eonology). This was also the time when the California wine industry was starting to take off in the late 60s and the early 70s. My fascination with wine comes from it being a wonderful mix of science and craft. It’s a lot like being a chef but you are also a scientist at the same time.

India’s like home
I love India. I have been here over 40 times since 1995. My experience of India has been more or less Maharashtra based. So I know this region very well, not so much the rest of India. I come to India at least thrice a year now. On my first visit to India I was both surprised and exhausted. But now it feels more and more like home with every visit, I am very comfortable with the country now.

Less is more
My philosophy when it comes to wine is that less is more. When you start with very good grapes grown in the perfect climate and right region it’s not hard to make a wine. It is a real challenge to make wines in unfavourable conditions. It takes wine making know-how to create great wines but it’s been my experience that less input and just a lot of grapes to express themselves make a great wine.

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