Vineyard Team

David Gates

Senior Vice President of Vineyard Operations

David grew up on a one-hundred-and-sixty-acre farm in central Minnesota, and decided to escape the cold winters by coming to California for school. His love of plants and agriculture led him to UC Davis, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Viticulture, and met and married his wife, Donna. After an obligatory stint in Napa Valley he made his way to Ridge in 1989. David’s duties include managing the historic Monte Bello vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Whitton Ranch at Geyserville, and the Lytton Estate vineyards in Healdsburg, as well as assisting all Ridge growers in Sonoma, Napa, Santa Clara, and San Luis Obispo counties.

Will Thomas

Director of Vineyard Operations, Lytton Springs

Raised on a hillside vineyard by two parents in the wine business, Will worked his first harvest right out of high school and later went on to earn his B.S., M.S., and M.B.A. in Viticulture from UC Davis. He takes great pride in being an organic and sustainable winegrower, drawing on vineyard and cellar experience from his time at Merryvale Vineyards, Vineyard 29, Cakebread Cellars and Integrated Winegrowing. Since joining Ridge in 2011, Will keeps a vigilant eye on the century old field blends at Lytton Springs and Geyserville, where there is still at least one old variety waiting to be rediscovered. He and his wife Nikki reside in Napa with their two children, both of whom are harvest babies.

Kyle Theriot

Director of Vineyard Operations, Monte Bello

Born a third generation apple farmer, Kyle grew up on his family’s 400 acre ranch in the Aptos hills of Santa Cruz County. Working the land at a young age, he grew a devout appreciation for agriculture and the farming lifestyle. Academically, Kyle was drawn to the “Learn by Doing” philosophy at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. He received his Bachelor of Science in Wine and Viticulture with a concentration in Viticulture and elective focus in both Enology and Plant Protection Science. Kyle has been a part of the Ridge Vineyard Team since 2011, overseeing vineyard operations at Monte Bello. He lives back on the family farm in Aptos with his wife, Lisa, and two boys, Weston and Griffin.

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