Your Haas Network
Kathryn Hall, MBA 08
Vintner, Hall Wines
St. Helena, Calif.
Kathryn Hall, MBA 08, returned to Napa Valley in 2001 after serving four years as the United States Ambassador to Austria. By 2005 her Napa Valley winery, HALL Wines, was growing at a brisk pace, with plans underway for a second winemaking facility. An accomplished attorney and businesswoman, Hall enrolled in the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program to learn to manage a booming business.
"I learned a lot about business throughout my career but to handle the winery's rapid growth I felt I needed additional skills," says Hall, who completed her economics degree from UC Berkeley in 1968 and who earned a juris doctorate from UC Hastings College of Law in 1971.
Hall began her career as an assistant city attorney in Berkeley. She went on to develop and administer one of the nation's first and largest affirmative action programs for Safeway Stores, manage her family's 63-acre vineyard in Mendocino County, and produce Walt Vineyard wines for a decade.
Hall co-founded the North Texas Food Bank, was the director and vice president of the Texas Mental Health Association, and was a member of several federal advisory committees including the National Advisory Council for Violence Against Women.
But Hall's most memorable experiences come from her assignment in Vienna. As ambassador, she worked with central European countries on landmark treaties establishing a compensation program for Holocaust survivors and victims' relatives, as well as treaties that advanced tolerance, diversity, and respect for human rights.
Today Hall is building a different type of landmark: a new winery in St. Helena designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry. The 120,000 squarefoot project is topped by undulating wood trellises in Gehry's signature style and will be green certified, with the facility meeting a number of environmentally sustainable construction standards.
Hall says, "We farm organically, our new facility will be green, and with our new building we will have state-of-the-art winemaking capability. Frank Gehry's inspirational design allows us to combine our goal of making great wine in a responsible way with our love of architecture. Now the challenge is to build the HALL brand and put these Haas-learned skills to work!"