After making wine since 2002, Rick Kaiser (and his wife Theresa) started their business, Kaiser Family Winery, in 2013.
At the winery Kaiser wears at least three hats including winemaker, vineyard manager and cellar rat.
What does he love so much about wine?
“I love the sociability aspect of it,” said Kaiser. “It brings people together; it puts you in a good mood.”
Kaiser Family Winery is based in Calistoga.
1. What was your childhood ambition?
To be a family doctor who did house calls.
2. What’s a common question you get about being in the wine business?
“Are you associated with Kaiser Hospital?” I joke around sometimes (and reply) “If I were would I be doing this?”
3. You and your wife are also both Certified Public Accountants. Do the accounting and wine industries have anything in common?
Both have discipline and structure in common. You follow procedures and protocols. Those are things that are important.
4. You’re originally from the New York area. Do you miss anything about New York or the East coast?
Ahhhh, I miss some of the New York attitude. It’s hustle and bustle; a little more direct. Obviously California has better weather.
5. What’s new at your business?
I’ve got a rosé that I’m going to release shortly called Subsidiary. And I’ve got a malbec port called The Closing Entry.
6. All of your wines are named after accounting terms?
Absolutely: Deduction, Refund, Compilation, Reconciliation, Opening Entry, Adjustment, Bottom Line…
7. What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
The combination of fires, climate change, and COVID-19.
8. If you could change one thing about the wine industry, what would it be?
Get back to where tasting rooms are free/inexpensive and used as marketing, not as a profit center.
9. What’s on your to-do list?
Rack wine, seasonal marketing ideas, finish wine cellar, design home addition, get a permanent permit for outdoor seating at restaurants, keep the nose above water through pandemic, find a new apartment for work, finalize mother’s estate, complete continuing education requirements for CPA license, etc.
10. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
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