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Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

Kermit Lynch was born and raised in California. From his youth he remembers that his father and uncle worked for a winery, but he has no memory of anyone in his family drinking wine.

The Lynch family was rich in preachers, too, but at communion they served Welch’s grape juice, even though, as Kermit points out, Jesus turned water into wine, not grape juice.

In 1972 he opened a retail wine shop and later began importing and distributing nationally. In 2000 he was named Wine Professional of the Year by the James Beard Foundation, in 1998 the French government presented him with the Ordre de Mérite Agricole award, and in 2005 named him Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. His book, Adventures on the Wine Route, won the Veuve Clicquot Wine Book of the Year award, and is still in print 21 years later. His second book, Inspiring Thirst, was published in 2004.

In 1988 he planted his little terraced hillside near Bandol with Mourvèdre vines. The juice now goes into Domaine Tempier’s famous La Migoua cuvée. In 1998 he purchased the historic Domaine Les Pallières in Gigondas in partnership with his friends the Bruniers of Vieux Télégraphe.

With his wife, photographer Gail Skoff, and their two children, he lives part of the year in Berkeley, and part in Provence, “near enough to Domaine Tempier that I can fill up the trunk of my car whenever I need to.”

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