‘in vino veritas’ proves crafty maxim for vintner Kerith Overstreet of La Jolla

Kerith Overstreet jokingly calls herself “a triple threat” — Bruliam Wines co-founder, medical doctor, and mom to three young kids. After retiring from general surgery (to pursue pathology) and then medicine (to have babies), she taught herself to recite “Goodnight Moon” in 27 languages. Knowing she couldn’t very well sit around quaffing wine all day without due cause, she said she jumped headfirst into winemaking. Her final baby, Bruliam Wines, was established in 2007.

Kerith Overstreet

Bruliam, an amalgamation of her kids’ names (Bruno, Lily, and Amelia) was founded with a devotion to craft world-class wines and a mandate to donate 100-percent of its proceeds to charity. Since its inception, Bruliam Wines has garnered national acclaim and a local following — all while funding some 30 local and national charities chosen directly by Bruliam fans.

Overstreet is a near-native and La Jolla Country Day School “lifer.” A strong advocate for arts education, she is a New Children’s Museum board member and opera lover.

What brought you to La Jolla?

I moved to La Jolla with my family in 1978. I’m about as close as it gets to a La Jolla native.

What makes this area special to you?

I love that La Jolla retains a cozy, small town feel despite San Diego’s massive urban sprawl. More likely than not, I run into friends when I’m browsing local boutiques, shopping for groceries, or just grabbing my morning coffee. And the love flows both ways. I am truly honored and touched by the many fabulous, local restaurants that have embraced Bruliam Wines.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

OK, can we please just fix the potholes?

Who or what inspires you?

Passion and smarts!

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, who would you invite?

1) Jane Austen. Her keen social observations and snarky critiques are still sharp, relevant, and hilarious. 2) Tiger Mom. Her childrearing mojo makes me feel ineffectual and pathetic. But she’s oddly compelling. If she can convince a child to practice violin for four hours, she must have some pretty solid homework strategies. 3) Denyce Graves. I am an opera fanatic and longstanding supporter of San Diego Opera. 4) Helen Turley. She’s polarizing, controversial, intensely focused, and wildly passionate winemaker. 5) Raj Parr. He’s the superstar sommelier du jour at the core of the “wine balance” debate. He’s my pop culture pick. Plus you’d get free wine service. 6) Thomas Keller. If you’ve ever tasted the Salmon Cornet ice cream cones, you’ll relate. He’s at the top of his game and still pursues perfection daily. 7) Hilary Clinton. She’s brilliant, dedicated, and loves a good handbag. She’s a woman who inspires you to be better. 8) I’d be remiss if I excluded my husband, Brian. Hi, honey!

What you are reading?

I recently finished “Vertical,” Rex Pickett’s follow up to “Sideways,” but I’m even more excited by my new “Wine Science” textbook (Jackson, 2008). I plan to brush up my wine chemistry before Bruliam’s fall harvest.

What is your most-prized possession?

My family.

What do you do for fun?

I run. I also love to cook, and feed my friends and family.

Describe your greatest accomplishment.

The day I received a 92-point rating from Wine Enthusiast for my 2009 Santa Lucia Highlands Doctor’s Vineyard pinot noir. This score signified real critical acclaim from someone besides my mom. On that day, my dream became not only a reality, but also a successful one. I still pinch myself when I look around and see how I’ve channeled my passion for wine, science, philanthropy, and writing into a career.

My passion is my career. I love waking up and going to work and knowing that for every Bruliam bottle sold, a charitable organization benefits, too. But really most importantly, the success of Bruliam Wines has shown our children that you can create your own path and that giving back to society is a hugely rewarding experience.

What is your philosophy of life?

Do what you love (and drink what you like). But always give back.

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  1. Charlene Seidle helps lead Jewish Foundation efforts and resources
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  3. Find Sonia Olivas where an occasion calls for the harp
  4. Jocko Marcellino keeps the music playing for fans of Sha Na Na
  5. Jeffrey Macelli can’t say enough about his beloved Bird Rock community

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=43882

Posted by Staff on Jun 14, 2011. Filed under 10 Questions, Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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