Kathryn Hall

I had the pleasure of interviewing Vintner Kathryn Hall, owner of HALL & WALT Wines and former United States Ambassador to Austria. She is also a New York Times Bestselling Author of A Perfect Score.

Yitzi: What is your “backstory”?

“I have been lucky in so many ways. My greatest luck was being born into a family that was loving and supportive. I never felt that I was restricted by gender, but rather that I could accomplish anything. I always felt supported and loved. These are profound gifts leading to self confidence that parents can give in ways that no one else can.”

Yitzi: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

“One of my most interestings mornings was during my time as ambassador when I hosted Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and author. He discussed the importance of having a moral compass. His compassion was powerful.”

Yitzi: Are you working on any meaningful non profit projects? How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Yes, We have been helping to raise funds to support victims of the recent and devastating wine country fires in Northern California by making a pledge to match donations. It has been heartwarming to see the outpouring of support from all over the Country. We have helped raised approximately $500,000.

Yitzi: Wow! Can you tell me a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

We donated 261 rooms total at SENZA Hotel for those displaced by fires. Of that, approximately 20 were first responders from outside of the area needing to rest up to help aid in the relief. We were thrilled to be able to help them by opening our doors in Napa Valley — and woud do it again.

Yitzi: What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

· FORGIVE YOURSELF REGULARLY — I have spent far too much time wishing I had done something better.

· PUT YOUR FAMILY FIRST- I always knew and did this, but it is so important I want to list it here .

· PIVOTING IS PART OF LIFE AND BUSINESS — many times we have taken a new direction in our wine business. For example, transitioning from owning our vineyards to partnering with owners of some of the napa valley’s finest growers. This has brought us access to a higher quality of grapes that we could otherwise ever have achieved.

· REMEMBER THE Concept OF A SUNK COST- you do not need to continue a project just because you have made a large investment in it .

· THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR HAVING A TEAM at work comprised OF TALENTED, smart, dedicated people. They inspire you to work and be better. Plus they make your life so much more enjoyable.

Yitzi: Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

He is no longer loving, but I would have loved to have had a private breakfast with Nelson Mandela and ask him how he learned to forgive. His ability to rise above human conflict and unite a society would be such a help today.

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