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Dutcher Crossing

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Dutcher Crossing

Dutcher Crossing Winery represents an authentic and enjoyable experience for wine-lovers who visit the beautiful Dry Creek Valley. The perfect blend of award-winning wines, gorgeous wine country views and warm hospitality await visitors.

Proprietor Debra Mathy can often be found welcoming guests with Dutchess, her Golden Lab, sidekick and official greeter. Winemaker Kerry Damskey’s small-lot, select vineyard approach to winemaking can be learned and enjoyed in the tasting room. In short, Dutcher Crossing offers the timeless qualities of an artisan approach to life.

Debra Mathy

Debra Mathy is an adventurer, and her journey to become the proprietor of Dutcher Crossing Winery is her most memorable quest. “My destiny was to be a business woman and own Dutcher Crossing Winery,” she stated. “It has been a long road, but I’m here, heading happily forward.”

An educator by training, Debra has always loved wine. Her first trip to Europe, when she was in high school, initiated her taste buds to the savory beverage. She went back to Europe many times throughout college and graduate school, developing a passion for wine, German whites in particular. “I remember sitting in an Austrian weingarten near Vienna,” she reminisced. “I fell in love with the region, culture, cheese, bread and wine.”

A number of years later, with her father’s guidance, she started pursuing her dream of owning a winery. “My dad was a successful businessman in Wisconsin, and he wanted to help me realize my dream if it was feasible.” she explained. “He was insistent that I approach my goal with a business focus. We embarked on our quest to find a winery that had it all—premium wines, community focus and excellent business potential.” In between her teaching job in Colorado, she and her father made multiple trips to various wine regions in Oregon, Washington, California and Europe. During one visit, she saw 33 wineries in four days.

In 2001, they hired an Australian wine business consultant to help with the search for a suitable winery and vineyard. They continued to gather data and finally narrowed the search to St. Helena and Healdsburg. “It took a lot of time to find the right place. I called upon all my connections and scouts,” she recalled. In 2006, her father passed away after battling a long illness. Within months, Debra visited Dry Creek Valley to speak with the founders of Dutcher Crossing Winery.

“It was Winter Wineland in January of 2007,” said Debra. “I made an offer and escrow closed in less than 40 days, on March 7. It was a very personal journey, from start to finish.” Although not there with her in person, she knows her father would be proud of the winery she chose, fulfilling their longtime dream.

Today, Debra and her team are moving forward. She enjoys close working relationships with her staff, winemaker and growers, considering them as part of her winery “family.” Representing Dutcher Crossing’s future direction, a new label showcases a vintage high-wheel bicycle as a commemoration of the journey and the road ahead. “The last Christmas present I received from my dad was this high wheeler,” said Debra, an avid cyclist and lover of bicycles. “The icon represents Dutcher Crossing Winery’s pursuit of small-lot winemaking, attesting to the guiding power of my father’s imagination, and the timeless qualities of an artisan approach to life.”

In addition to completing wine and viticulture courses at U. C. Davis, Debra Mathy graduated with a B.S. in education from the University of Arizona and a Masters degree in nutrition from Colorado State University. She is also an athlete, owning a unicycle, eight bicycles and the magnificent 1900s high wheeler. A bicycle is her first choice of transportation, and she often bikes the vineyards. Debra can almost always be found during business hours to greet and say hello to visitors. Her golden lab, Dutchess, is her tail-wagging sidekick, winery dog and official greeter. Their friendliness and enthusiasm reflect the overall culture of Dutcher Crossing.

Read Debra's Blog "Rooted In Dry Creek" CLICK HERE


Meet Debra Mathy, Proprietor of Dutcher Crossing Winery. CLICK HERE


The long wait for our winery dog is finally over, Dutchess, a golden lab, arrived in the USA via Air China on October 24th, 2007. Yes, you haven’t read this incorrectly-Air China. Debra adopted Dutchess from Taiwan. The question would be why, and her answer is--Why not? Debra has always intended on learning Taiwanese so what better  way then to start off with the commands of “Sit!” and “Let’s go!” Dutchess’s journey ended by two Founding Club members driving her up to Napa from Los Angeles. She stayed with our winery’s friend, Wayne Lackey, from Wine Country Helicopters until her mom came to pick her up. She saw Napa and decided Sonoma was the place to be. We couldn’t agree more.

Sunday, October 28th, 2007 was her debut at the winery. She LOVED the attention and quickly took to her role as official greeter. She was tail-wagging, happy to see everyone. If you don’t see her wandering around with Debra, just knock on the office to say hi. She stays close to mom and sleeps under her desk. Dutchess has one request for visitors--“Anyone have an English/Taiwanese dictionary my mom can borrow?”

Kerry Damskey - Winemaker

Kerry Damskey bounds into a room and within moments, knows the names and affiliations of everyone present.  He is charismatic, energetic and leaves a lasting imprint on everyone he meets. Kerry personifies joy and lust for life.
A self-described “mountain guy,” he is driven by the alchemy of great wines and a lifelong pursuit to capture the essence of hillside grapes through the artistry of winemaking. Specializing in small-lot wine production, his goal is to maximize the assets and uniqueness of each vineyard. At Dutcher Crossing Winery, he and proprietor Debra Mathy have established relationships with esteemed growers in Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys for the winery’s vineyard designated wines—all made from hillside fruit. “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,” said Kerry.
A strong advocate of blending, Kerry is advancing a new category in California with his Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah wines. Although the blend has been done for decades in Australia, it is a new concept in California. “The brightness and aromatics of Syrah are the perfect complement to the rich denseness of Cabernet Sauvignon,” said Kerry. “At Dutcher Crossing Winery, our signature wine is a vineyard designated Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah blend, the first of its kind in Dry Creek Valley.”
“In addition to our vineyard designated wines, our Proprietor’s Reserve is a concept where we utilize more of our estate vineyards; where the sum of the individual varieties and vineyards is more interesting and full than any single one. These wines highlight the art of blending,” he explained. The Proprietors Reserve wines are artfully created from grapes grown on Dutcher Crossing estate vines and other carefully chosen valley floor vineyards. These wines are serious yet innovative and approachable.
With 30 years of experience as a winemaker, Kerry has definite preferences in addition to his unique blending techniques. “With our reds, everything is fermented in small, open-top tanks and punched down by hand. This gentle process eliminates the need for fining, resulting in elegant, full-bodied wines with soft tannins,” stated Kerry. He also believes in native yeast fermentations for most of his wines. “When wines that are fermented with cultured yeast are compared with wines made with native yeast, they are almost always more interesting.” 
Like all the greats in their respective fields, Kerry has winemaking and the vine in both his blood and his family roots. Through a series of serendipitous adventures, including a stint of living in a former chicken coop while helping plant the original vineyards at what is now Matanzas Creek Winery, Kerry found himself studying in Davis, with all his enthusiasm and joy for life. Things have blossomed from there into many ventures in vineyards and wineries around the world. With Dutcher Crossing, it is a passion for the region in which Kerry calls home, the unique blending that Debra Mathy fully embraces, and the quest for those perfect mountain vines that intrigue him and keep him lusting for both life and the perfect glass of wine.
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.


Nick Briggs - Associate Winemaker

Nick Briggs’ roots in winemaking run deep, spanning much of California’s varied wine country, and most of his life. His winemaking journey began when he was very young, working in a family friend’s vineyard and winery, doing whatever tasks he could and participating in more and more as he grew in that environment. By age 16 Nick was actively working in the cellar. When he moved south to pursue a degree from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, he continued making wine as a hobby using local grapes from the nearby Etna Valley. While attending college Nick was offered and accepted an internship at a large winery in Ceres, Ca. This exposed him to winemaking on a much different scale, processing hundreds of tons in a single day. He also learned first-hand performing chemical analyses of wines in both of the onsite laboratories. He completed the internship, and subsequently his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business (with a minor in Fruit Science) in 2005. Following the lead of Nick and other wine industry oriented students like him, Cal Poly SLO has since developed a strong Enology program.

Nick then looked north to the Napa Valley, the recognized hub of the California wine industry. A temporary harvest position lead to a fulltime gig making some of Napa Valley’s premier Cabernets using grapes from the most sought after vineyards in the world. During his tenure as an Assistant Winemaker in Napa, Nick also learned how to craft wine from many other high quality varietals including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Syrah.

Nick joined the Dutcher Crossing team in the spring of 2012. Since then he has worked with Kerry and Debra to make some of the best wines Dutcher Crossing has released. Nick has been able to learn the characteristics of Dutcher Crossing’s many vineyards and their well-established style of processing grapes. Contributing his unique experiences Nick and Kerry have formed a relationship that continues to push the quality of wine forward and simultaneously allows them to explore new techniques and ideas.

Nick can usually be found behind the scenes conducting the day to day processes required to make wine. But he is also a presence out front at events or in the Tasting Room discussing the traits of each wine and getting to know the customers and friends of Dutcher Crossing. Nick, his wife Kelly and their Lab, Remy, have settled in Dry Creek and are thrilled to continue their journey in the friendly environs of Dutcher Crossing!

Antonio Silvia - Director of Export

Antonio Silvia, Founder and Managing Director of Wineteam, Inc., is an entrepreneur and wine expert stemming from generations of Italian winemakers in his native country of Italy. He moved to California in 1989 to San Francisco, Napa Valley and then San Diego. Antonio founded Wineteam, Inc. a partnership of wineries with fifteen years of experience managing a successful international export company of wines all around the world. Antonio is an Export Committee Member of the Wine Institute of California, ZAP member (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers), Family winemakers and several other California wines organizations. He works also with FAS (Foreign Agricultural Service) and the Wine Institute of California participating in wine seminars and trade shows. A resident of Southern California, when Antonio is not traveling, he can be found spending time with his wife and two children

Lorraine Babb - Accountant

Lorraine keeps both sides of her brain in top shape by doing the accounting for Dutcher Crossing and working as a fiction and poetry writer/teacher in her “spare” time. She lives in Forestville with her husband, her toy poodle, Gogie, and two psychotic cats, Jelly and Cosmo.

Kali Hoffert - Wine Club/Shipping Manager

Kali, born and raised in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, is a recent graduate of Sonoma State University. She has grown up around the industry and has now found a 'behind the scenes' opportunity in our office. If Kali isn't greeting you with a smile at our wine club events, you will hear her on the phone, assisting with member services.

Brittany Galvan - Executive Asst. to Proprietor

A Sonoma County native, Brittany was raised with an appreciation for local wines from a grandfather she accompanied to work each summer at Chalk Hill. This influenced the desire to plant her feet, and cultivate her knowledge of fine wines at a growing competitor like Dutcher Crossing.

Leslie Oberdorfer - Administrative Asst.

Leslie and her family moved to Sonoma County from Juneau, Alaska in 1986 and began her career in the wine industry in 1989. She enjoyed her experience in the tasting room from a hospitality perspective so much, that she eventually transitioned into administration to get a behind-the-scenes impression. Leslie cannot imagine leaving Sonoma County, where the weather is wonderful and the wine is divine.

Matt Coit - Shipping Coordinator

Born and raised in Middletown, CA, Matt got into the wine industry in 2010. Beginning in production, he later moved to the tasting room. In his spare time, he tours as the drummer in his band Manzanita Falls. Matt is excited to continue his career in the wine industry at Dutcher Crossing.

Josh Kennedy - Property/Operations Caretaker

Born and raised in Healdsburg, Josh's extensive experience in metalwork, home design, and tile, makes him our "go to" guy when anything needs fixing. More importantly, he is the San Francisco Giants #1 fan.

Andres Flores - Caretaking Assistant

Usually an annual addition to the Harvest crushpad crew, Andres has recently relocated to Northern California to become a permanant member of the Dutcher Crossing family. When he isn't immersed in some project at the winery, you can find him at the local salsa club, soccer field or lake fishing with Matt and Nick.

Becky Thompson - Tasting Room Manager

Born and raised right here in Healdsburg, she has grown up surrounded by the wines of Sonoma County. Becky graduated from Chico State and moved back to join us here at Dutcher Crossing. Beginning her work here in events, she is now a full-time addition to the Dutcher Crossing family as the Tasting Room Manager. Not only is she familiar with the area but also the wines specific to Dry Creek Valley.


Ryan Morales - Tasting Room / Customer Relations Associate

Born and raised in Gresham, Oregon but a resident of Sonoma County for the last three years as a student-athlete playing baseball for Sonoma State University, Ryan received his BA with a concentration in Wine Business and Marketing.


Mario Spadoni - Tasting Room Associate

Born and raised in Windsor, Ca, Mario started working with Dutcher Crossing during events and is now a key member of our tasting room staff. He is currently pursuing an education in wine business management at the SRJC. Welcome Mario!



Miranda Hagedorn - Tasting Room/Events Associate

Miranda was born in Portland, Oregon and raised in Healdsburg, Ca. Working in hospitality since graduating Healdsburg High in 2007. Started working summer wine events at Dutcher Crossing, and is now a full time tasting room employee. You can often catch her spending her free time with her mini short haired wiener dog Ziggy.


Krissy Atterholt - Tasting Room Associate

Krissy was born and raised in New Richmond, Wisconsin. She went on to pursue her BA in communication and journalism at the University of St Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Interested in the wine industry, Krissy recently moved across country to continue learn wine the Dutcher Crossing way!


Megan Ferreira - Tasting Room Associate

Megan was born and raised in the agriculturally rich California Central Valley. She graduated from Fresno State with her BA in Communication. Megan relocated to Sonoma County and joined our team at Dutcher Crossing to begin pursuing her passion for agriculture and the wine industry. She plans to expand her knowledge on the wines of Dry Creek Valley and use her previous marketing experience to help Dutcher Crossing reach new heights.

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