Tim Carl, Knights Bridge Winery
Tim Carl, Knights Bridge Winery

Tim Carl was born to be a winemaker.  The problem is, someone forgot to tell him that. This is the story of Tim Carl’s strange and interesting journey of exploration which ultimately led him back to his Napa Valley roots.

Tim is a native of St. Helena, California. He is a 6th generation California grape grower.  His family history can be traced back to Northern California grape-growers in the mid 1800’s.  His wife, Lynn Carl, is from Rutherford, California and is a 4th generation grape grower.  Tim’s father encouraged him to make his first barrel of wine when he was just seven years old.    It’s not surprising that Tim would follow the five generations before him to become a winemaker. What is surprising is the path he took to find his destiny.

French Chef.  As a young man, he began cooking in restaurants in Napa Valley, California where he grew up, as well as cooking in both Scotland and Italy. His education as a chef included working with well-known chefs like Gary Danko, Masa, John Ash and various others.

Navy Quartermaster.  Tim earned the financial assistance he needed to go to college by joining the U.S. Navy.  He spent two years at sea on the USS Long Beach, a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser. His main tour of duty was in the Persian Gulf during the Persian Gulf War.  He earned an Honorable Discharge, 3 medals of distinction and a Medical-Assistant certification.

PhD Geneticist.  Tim obtained a college degree in Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Oregon. He continued his academic career at University of Colorado pursuing a PhD. in science, and then on to  a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard where he studied genetics. 

Business Consultant.  Tim joined McKinsey & Company where he worked on strategy, growth and operation assignments at Fortune 500 Companies. He left McKinsey to join Putnam Associates, a strategy consulting firm located in the Boston area, where he provided strategic consulting services to leading Biotech and Pharmaceutical companies.

Winemaker.  Tim gives full credit to his wife Lynn for his return to his roots.  She noticed that no matter how busy he was in his academic pursuits, he always had time to make wine in their basement.  She finally had a heart-to-heart talk with him and suggested they return to their roots in Napa to make wine.  Tim studied wine making at University of California, Davis and went on to become the Managing Partner of Knights Bridge Winery.

Tim was invited by Spec’s fine wine buyer, Nate Rose, to come to Houston  in April of 2014 to introduce his wines to Houston wine lovers.  He presented wines from the Huge Bear label, the French inspired Pont De Chevalier label, and the flagship Knights Bridge label.  The highlight of the evening was the Knights Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon “Dr. Crane”.  However, the Houston crowd particularly liked the Pont De Chevalier Knight Valley Chardonnay made in the French style.

Tim Carl, Houston Wine's Mary LaGarde, and Spec's Nate Rose
Tim Carl, Houston Wine’s Mary LaGarde, and Spec’s Nate Rose

Tim is a great teacher.  He shared with the Houston crowd  his wine tasting tips, his ideas for rack of lamb and halibut recipes to go with his Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines, and even a poem he wrote.  Oh, did I forget to mention that he’s also a poet.  The phrases “Restless Mind” and “Renaissance Man” come to mind when you spend time with Tim Carl.  Tim attributes his varied interests and talents to nothing more than mere ADD.  No matter his other interests, one thing remains clear.  Tim is a natural born winemaker.