Episode 14: Sheryl WuDunn & Daughter Caroline Kristof Discuss Bi - Coastal Family Brand
Updated: Jan 1
An intergenerational conversation about growing grapes and cider apples on Kristof Farms from Yamhill, Oregon and New York City.....
Authors note: This is the second intergenerational episode and also the final episode we filmed for our first season. The first intergenerational episode, #11, featured Et Fille Wine brand owner Jessica Mozeico and her mother Mona Mozeico. Regina commented on the commonalities that both of these mother/daughter duo's shared and I agreed. Our mission statement, "cheers to change, highlighting diverse people in the wine industry" was our goal and we were pleased to end with our mission statement at the forefront. See you all for season 2 starting on Martin Luther King Day, January 18th, 2021! Look for us on Spotify coming soon.
Caroline Kristof, General Manager of Kristof farms, often rises with the sun to work on the Yamhill, Oregon cider apple orchard and vineyard property. The New York City native and recent Harvard graduate doesn't mind; some of her fondest recollections were visiting her grandparents farm as a child. Now she is living with her grandmother and establishing the new family cider apple and grape growing venture guiding the brand's evolution, where 11 acres of Pinot Noir and varieties of premium cider apples dot the farm's bucolic slopes.
Caroline traveled the world with her two brothers and her parents, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn who co-wrote "Tightrope, American's Reaching for Hope." Caroline recalls learning fortitude on many unconventional journeys included visiting a dump in Cambodia on Christmas break and blending into a crowd at a packed Mosque wearing a burka.
While we were interviewing the mother/daughter duo, it became apparent that courageous behavior was a family dynamic; along with flexibility in the spirit of authenticity and adventure. Sheryl recently co-founded FullSkyPartners with two others, advising young companies in healthcare and technology. Instead of the traveling the world for a post-graduate gap year, when the pandemic hit Caroline pivoted and instead choose to build the fledging cider and vineyard family brand. And there was a practical consideration too.
"Our cherry orchard failed, as fewer Americans were eating cherry pie, so we had to convert into another crop. I am allergic to hazelnuts, another candidate, but in the end, a vineyard and apple orchard won out because we got really excited about making wine and cider. We also wanted to try to help local workers, to help the local economy as much as possible, and we hope to give a lift to our local town, Yamhill, as the vineyard and orchard grows," said Sheryl.
Those dreams include developing a marketing strategy for the limited release first round of cider which Caroline plans to take to the marketplace in summer 2021 and establishing the brand dynamics for the first vineyard production in 2022.
"Reaching for your dreams is important, but adjusting the course of those dreams is essential," said Caroline during the interview. See the full episode on the Wine Sisters: Cheers to Change YouTube channel by clicking on the You Tube Link above.