Cristie Kerr’s initial meeting with Suzanne Pride Bryan, co-owner of Pride Mountain Vineyards, didn’t last long. The idea of making a wine that helped fight breast cancer went down as smooth as a Cabernet.
Bryan had undergone cancer treatments alongside her father, Jim, founder of Pride Mountain Vineyards. Father and daughter held hands during chemotherapy; Jim lost his battle with bladder cancer in 2004.
Suzanne related instantly to Kerr’s passion. Their partnership came naturally as Kerr’s mother, like Suzanne, is a breast-cancer survivor.
In summer 2009, Kerr worked with Pride Mountain Vineyards winemaker Sally Johnson to create Curvature’s first edition, a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon that went on sale
The name Curvature is a play on Kerr’s name as well as a celebration of a woman’s curves. To that point, Kerr wanted a full-figured wine, polished with Merlot and Petite Sirah.
All proceeds from the sale of Curvature go toward breast cancer research and the care of its survivors. Production will be limited to around 300 cases.
Like many things in life, Kerr discovered wine through golf. When the Samsung World Championship was played at Hiddenbrook Golf Club in Vallejo, Calif., from 2000-02, she toured several wineries.
“It was the first time I had really been in that region, and I just fell in love,” she said. “The vines, the rolling hills, the climate, the people, the restaurants. It was really peaceful.”
Kerr’s wine interest was strengthened when she met, and later married, Erik Stevens, who manages her career. It’s not surprising to hear that Kerr’s attention to detail in wine tasting rivals that of her golf game.
“She’s very particular about everything,” Stevens said. “Her shoes, her golf-ball line, everything. She’s particular about her taste as well.”
While Kerr’s enthusiasm for the project has been great (she’s studying to be a sommelier), producing a signature wine has been no easy task. It took six months to get a license.
A passionate grinder in golf, Kerr now studies the path of a grape – from vine to glass – like she does a putt. She finds the entire winemaking process fascinating.
“I like everything about it,” she said. “It’s kind of an art, just like playing golf is an art.”