Kurt Gollnick is Chief Operating Officer of Scheid Family Wines but at heart, he is just a farmer. He earned his BS in agricultural business management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and spent seven years as a vineyard manager in Santa Maria before joining Scheid Family Wines in 1988. Today, Kurt oversees winery operations and the management of 4,000 acres of estate vineyards. He has served on numerous boards including being a past Chair of the Community Foundation of Monterey County, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Central Coast Grape Growers and Monterey Grape Growers Association.
Kurt has long been an advocate of sustainable farming. Under his guidance, all 12 of Scheid’s estate vineyards are certified by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and Global Good Agricultural Practice, and more than 1,000 acres have been certified sustainable by SIP Certified, one of the wine industry’s oldest and most important third-party assessment programs. Kurt was also instrumental in the construction of the company’s towering 394-foot-high wind turbine that powers the entire winery operation and provides electricity for an additional 125 homes.
In 2012, Kurt was awarded the Ben Heller Award for Leadership and Courage by the Center for Community Advocacy to honor his work in improving the quality of life for farmworkers. He is a soccer fanatic and was a soccer coach for Notre Dame High School for many years. He also loves speed and once drove 135 mph in a 1999 Porsche Carrera on Highway 5 near Bakersfield. That’s one fast farmer.