Kerry Damskey, of Terroirs, Inc.

[PHOTO: property of Damskey, Inc. All rights reserved.]

Indiana Jones of Wine… Making Gold from Dust!

I personally love adventure. I love travel. I love being brave to the point of fearlessness; even sometimes in what I love writing. This is evidenced by my first wine-blog dare: Everyone Has a Palate, published on February 2006. I had only just written my first blog post on December 29, 2005 ~ two weeks later I was on a tear. This was during a time when only known wine critics were defining what we should or shouldn’t like. When trying some of these wines, I didn’t always agree. That’s when I realized my palate was far different from some well-known authorities; so, I (dared) to take it on. I haven’t stopped daring, and neither has…


It’s the adventurous that get jobs done, which can be challenging. Still, there’s no growth without it. I’m not alone in my thinking and I learned that the first day Jose Diaz and I interviewed Kerry Damskey. Jose’s my technical partner; I interview and write, while Jose captures the moments digitally and edits the videos. On YouTube, you can find the six videos devoted to Kerry Damskey’s life highlights; however, not in the details for whom this man really is, so more follows after these videos.

Today, it’s about

…how Kerry Damskey got from here to there in his thinking and daring, and in his extraordinary paths to the world being his oyster. Another person I can visualize, in a similar category, is Michel Rolland; still, it’s impossible to compare the two gentlemen. While Michel is known for working on styles based on Bordeaux characteristics, Kerry’s work is not only on styles of varieties, but also on breaking boundaries in uncharted territories. Next, he works on how to achieve that character in god-forsaken areas, with absolutely no pre-defined, distinct differentiation yet to have been established. This is why Kerry’s been called a “Wandering Winemaker” and the “Indiana Jones of Winemaking.” San Francisco based wine writer Gerald D. Boyd referred to Kerry Damskey this ways, and it’s clearly due to his venturesome instincts and known implementations that have worked.

In an interview with Wine Business Monthly, as a Winemaker of the Month:

Kerry Damskey: “One of the most important questions I ask potential clients is how they plan to market their wine. It is critical to think about sales and distribution as well as creating great wine; and Wine Business Monthly is full of useful and relevant information about this aspect of our business.”

Last week, Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition officials drove from Southern California to Geyserville, to present Damskey with a Double Gold award for his Terroirs client 3 Corners. The 3 Corners [ONE VISION | ONE WINEMAKER | THREE TERROIRS] wine is made exclusively for the Costa Rica market. It represents Terroirs’ three geographical regions of the globe: Israel, California, and Costa Rica.]

Kerry Damskey is a wealth of knowledge and a forerunner in the “how-to,” breaking winemaking boundaries in India, Israel, China, Bulgaria, and Costa Rico while maintaining his family-owned Palmeri Winery, in Sonoma County, California. When asked to describe Palmeri‘s wine style, Kerry says, “they’re an expression of our family’s dedication – verging on obsession for small-lot wines driven by mountain terroir, native yeast fermentation, and attention to detail.” Palmeri is only available as Direct to Consumer, and the majority of Kerry’s domestic clients follow this model in selling their wines.

[PHOTO of the Damskey family trifecta comprising Terroirs, Inc. Left to right: Drew Damskey, Daisy Damskey, and Kerry Damskey]

Kerry Damskey’s Credentials

Damskey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Winemaking, from the University of California, Davis:

  • Graduated from the Intensive Program for Small Business, at the Stanford University School of Business
  • Candidate with the Institute of the Masters of Wine
  • Three-time winner of the Sonoma County Wine Sweepstakes award, and has received innumerable other awards for his wines, both the United States and abroad

In their own words: All work performed by Terroirs is done under the direction of Kerry Damskey. With his team, Kerry works with wineries to develop a next level approach to marketing strategies and communications. Through careful and constant marketplace evaluation, Terrors, Inc. helps clients reach out to early adopters, while maintaining brand integrity. Damskey leads his extraordinarily qualified team, to assist national and international clients in nascent wine regions, to gain a solid market-share. Accomplished through strategic vineyard and facility development, Terroirs draws upon supplier relationships in India, Asia, Europe, and Costa Rica.


Kerry Damskey Lectures Include “How To”

COLLABORATING: We work through custom growing and winemaking techniques with wineries and growers, to identify exclusive swatches of land holding the promise of world-class wines. When working with growers, we collaborate with our clients, by stewarding each vintage through the winemaking season. The aim is to guide our growers and oenologists in the creation of premium wines, reflecting the geological and climatic environment of their grapes.

STRATEGIZING: With our leadership and exceptional organizational skills, we provide a full range of strategic consulting services. This includes working with clients’ team to assure that their vineyards, wine production, and their wines are environmentally friendly reflecting the sensibilities and appropriateness for the site, the people, and the vision.

COORDINATING Operations Management: Terroirs works with clients to bring all the elements of vineyard and winery operations into alignment with the company’s goals. Strategies include implementing targeted business plans, operating policies, and staff development.

CLASSIFYING Winery Start Up and Expansion: A pioneer in developing vineyards, Terroirs builds wineries and implements site-appropriate wine styles. Clients have ranged from California to Rhode Island; as well as, India, Israel, Costa Rica, Bulgaria, and China.

EVALUATING with Due Diligence: A potential winery or vineyard acquisition needs assistance in the development of a purchase proposals. Our team is very adept and seasoned in this aspect of our work and provide how-to, in an educational setting.


Thank you to Wine Industry Insight for aggregating this story.

Also, thank you to Wine Business Monthly‘s Daily aggregation.