Jan Krupp hasn’t always been in the wine industry. His first career was in medicine — as a physician.
While at Stanford Medical School, a professor who instructed Dr. Krupp on how to care for critically ill patients also taught him how to make wine.
For 17 years, Krupp made wine as a hobby.
When the opportunity presented itself to buy a small piece of land in Napa’s Atlas Peak AVA, Krupp planted a vineyard, taking his hobby to the next level while still commuting to the East Bay to practice medicine.
“Within a few years, I began to develop Stagecoach Vineyard and my passion became my profession,” he said.
“It was a really enjoyable change of pace from the medical office and the intensive care unit.”
In 1998, he sold his internal medicine medical practice and the following year, Bart and Jan founded Krupp Brothers Winery. He sold Stagecoach to Gallo in 2017.
1. What was your first job?
Camp counselor at Beaver Lake Camp; Mansfield, Vermont.
2. What job would you like to try/not try?
Try: Senator. It seems like there are so many important things to be done in the country. If I could I would.
Not try: Auto mechanic. I’ve never been mechanical.
3. What is the biggest challenge the wine industry has faced?
Climate change has become an existential crisis for the Napa Valley as well as for most of northern California in both small and large ways.
During the past several years, we have witnessed a steady increase in temperatures, less rainfall, and for the past four years in a row, fires have become a real problem for all of us in the Napa and Sonoma wine regions.
4. What do you love about wine?
The way it makes food taste better.
It’s creative. You stretch your mind to buy the right grapes; to put the blends together…
5. Who do you most admire in the business world?
- Jeff Bezos.
- (CEO and founder of Zoom Video Communications) Eric Yuan.
6. Even though you’re not a practicing physician, do you ever raise your hand when there’s an emergency and someone calls out for a doctor?
I do raise my hand. Sometimes other people beat me to the punch.
I’ve had to save three or four people on airplanes (and) once on a bus tour. One was having a heart attack and two were having respiratory distress. They all made it.
7. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your life that you haven’t yet?
I hope to play a role in creating a more responsible, just government with a true public safety net, a strong public education for all children, an overhaul of our policing and criminal justice systems and a more democratic political system.
8. If you could change one thing about the wine industry, what would it be?
Our industry struggles under the weight of laws that vary by state, many of them so dated they are rooted in the Prohibition era. It makes selling our product extremely difficult.
I would like to see a set of national laws that we can all follow to streamline the process. It would help the industry be more successful and would also allow consumers more choice.
9. What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
Until my second marriage, I never watched TV except for the news or listened to pop music. My wife, Jan, (yes, we have the same name) likes to say she made me “real.”
In fact, years ago when Ryan Seacrest requested a tour of Stagecoach Vineyard, I turned him down, not knowing who he was. Now, I am a little more attuned to pop culture. “Breaking Bad” was one of my favorite shows, and I intersperse classical music, still my favorite genre, with artists such as Pink and Eva Cassidy.
10. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
No place else, since being here with a vineyard and a winery is my dream come true. However, if our politics deteriorate further, I would consider Vancouver or New Zealand.