First Costa Rica Winery Launched

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    Napa Valley wine consultant Kerry Damskey has pioneered Costa Rica’s first commercial winery.

    Damskey told he planted 4ha of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Grenache in December 2011.

    The winery and vineyards are located above the small city of Copey in central Costa Rica, at an altitude of 2000m.

    ‘Costa Rica will present a challenge but you can always adapt to local conditions and the high altitude site shows great promise for grape growing’, Damskey said.

    Damskey’s team have also been experimenting with five other varieties, including Zinfandel and Merlot.

    Their first commercial vintage will be released in 2015.

    About Kerry Damskey

    KERRY came into winemaking only as a result of a conspiratorial plot on the part of his father. (Dad) Damskey always secretly wished he himself had found the path to winemaking. While KERRY was busy digging in the dirt, his dad laid the groundwork to indoctrinate young KERRY from the very beginning. As the impressionable young man came of age, (dad) introduced him to good quality wines and plied him with legends of the vine.

    KERRY fell for it. While in college, he lived in a chicken coop at Matanzas Creek Winery and became involved in the layout of the original vineyard. The conspiracy worked.

    Like Andre Tchelistcheff before him, KERRY believes wine is made in the vineyard and the winemaker is merely the “midwife” in the artisan process of winemaking. “It’s the winemaker’s job to articulate a definable style for a wine but you don’t create an identity – that must come from the grapes,” says KERRY.

    Today, with more than 30 years of winemaking experience, KERRY is recognized on four continents for his acuity and focus in creating brilliant wines. Through his winemaking consulting practice, Terroirs, Inc., he oversees custom winegrowing, winemaking and vineyard acquisition. In addition to California and Washington, KERRY consults for wineries in India, China and Bulgaria.

    KERRY DAMSKEY holds a B.S. in fermentation sciences from the University of California, Davis, is a graduate of the intensive program for small business at Stanford University School of Business, and is a candidate of the Institute of the Masters of Wine.

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