Kirk Venge’s solid foundation and passion for winemaking began at a very young age. Growing up in Rutherford, in the heart of the Napa Valley, his childhood memories are steeped in vineyard farming, winemaking and the fragrance of a wine cellar. Some of Kirk’s earliest memories are of helping his father Nils with basket-pressing Cabernet from the family’s Saddleback Vineyard and of manning the pump switch on late night barrel racking projects.
After graduating from St. Helena High School, Kirk pursued a degree in viticulture and oenology at the University of California. While at Davis, he honed his craft while interning with Mumm Napa Valley as experimental winemaker for five harvest seasons under the guidance of legendary sparkling winemaker, Gregory Fowler. The experience included yeast, malolactic and scion and rootstock trials as well as the making of premium Carneros Appellation Chardonnay and Pinot Noir table wines.
After college, Kirk spent the 1999 harvest working with Rapaura Vintners in Marlborough, New Zealand. After returning to Mumm for that Fall’s harvest, he decided to work alongside his father in developing a winery for the Venge Family Reserve wines. In doing so, two years later Kirk supervised the restoration and building of Venge Vineyards at the historic Rossini Ranch property in Calistoga. In May of 2008, Kirk acquired the label and branched out on his own.
Kirk’s talent and skill as a winemaker is reflected in the well-balanced wines he produces. His philosophy of “making wine in the vineyard” is on display in every bottle. His contention is that understanding the terroir of a specific vineyard - and the hidden potential of that site - is imperative to the quality of wine that particular vineyard can produce. He strives to share his ideas with Sky Devil’s grape producers and works with them to attentively develop that vineyard’s highest quality fruit. Kirk knows there is no substitute to absolute quality and that the best wines only come from the best grapes.
Gerhard Reisacher comes from an eighth generation winemaking family in Austria and has been in the Napa Valley since 1986. After gaining invaluable experience working at Monticello Cellars, Far Niente, Pine Ridge and Clos du Val, Gerhard founded Delectus Winery in 1995. Over the next two decades, his wines garnered numerous top accolades from renowned wine critics and found their way into many cellars of enthusiastic wine collectors. While the Delectus brand sold in 2016, the magnificent mountain vineyard remains with Gerhard and is now the foundation of Reisacher Estate and of Sky Devil Wines. He continues to craft wines in his hallmark style, producing balanced – yet powerful – reds that can be enjoyed in their youth or cellared for decades.