When he was eight years old, Kirk rode on a tractor with his granddad and knew he wanted be a farmer. After receiving his degree in Plant Science from Fresno State University, Kirk worked on a large cotton farm in Corcoran.
He loved the farming but not the flat terrain and brutally hot summer temperatures. So after six months as a cotton farmer, he moved back to his native Sonoma, where his path toward grape growing and wine began as a vineyard foreman at Sonoma-Cutrer. Twenty-six years later with hundreds of lessons learned and countless thousands of hours spent in the vineyard, Kirk applied his vast knowledge of farming in the Russian River Valley to develop the vineyards of Emeritus. He carefully matched clonal and rootstock selections to specific vineyard blocks, considering planting density, sun orientation and soil types, with the goal of dry farming to enhance grape quality and full maturity.
Kirk has been a member of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers Board since its earliest days and twice served as President. He was chosen as Sonoma County Agri-Business Person of the Year in 1997 and is an active supporter of numerous Sonoma County charitable organizations. A true farmer, Kirk lives on the Emeritus Vineyards ranch with his wife, Debbie, and sons, Riggs and Tye.