m/s Paul Gauguin

Guest Hosts

Kim Stare Wallace & Don Wallace

President & Partner, Dry Creek Vineyard
Kim Stare Wallace & Don Wallace

Kim Stare Wallace

President, Dry Creek Vineyard

As a small child, Kim Stare Wallace was wielding a shovel at her father’s side when he broke ground for Dry Creek Vineyard in 1972. Throughout her childhood, she watched from the sidelines as her father, David Stare pioneered Dry Creek Winery, which was the first new winery to be built in the region following Prohibition.  She’s been passionate about the wine industry ever since.

After graduating magna cum laude from San Francisco State University, Kim began a career in the fashion industry and later used her knowledge and expertise with design to help build Dry Creek Vineyard’s dynamic brand. However, in 1986, her father David Stare convinced her to come back to the winery as Director of Marketing.  One of her first achievements was the creation of nautical labels for Dry Creek Vineyard’s wines, an unprecedented move that has indelibly linked the winery to sailboats in consumers’ minds.

In the mid-1990s, Kim took on the increased responsibility of Vice President of the winery, involved in all decisions affecting the quality of the Dry Creek Vineyard experience. Her hands-on approach and desire to succeed meant she did everything from strategic planning to tasting and ranking multiple barrel samples, reviewing the annual budget, meeting with wine writers, planning promotional events, and entertaining key customers.

Today, Kim serves as President of the winery. Her vision for the future of Dry Creek Vineyard is clear: honor the past while striving to produce wines of outstanding distinction that consistently over-deliver and provide great enjoyment to wine drinkers.


Don Wallace

Partner, Dry Creek Vineyard

Agriculture is a natural way of life for Don Wallace, the product of four generations of a hard-working California farming family. Don’s interest in machinery took him away from the farm for 15 years while he pursued a career in international construction.

While he was on a project in Sonoma County in 1980, Don met Dry Creek Vineyard founder David Stare’s daughter, Kim Stare, whom he married in 1982.

With his father-in-law and wife in the wine business, Don’s next move was a stint among the vines at Murphy-Goode Estate Winery to “test drive” his new family’s industry. After one year, Don accepted his father-in-law’s offer to manage ranch operations at Dry Creek Vineyard in 1990. Don’s sphere of influence gradually grew to encompass every aspect of the business, including winery operations and sales, as well as vineyard development and acquisitions. Don took on the role of General Manager in 1999 and in April 2006, he was appointed President of Dry Creek Vineyard.  In January 2011, he transitioned into the role of Partner to focus on the winery’s sustainability efforts and vineyard development.

Together, Don and Kim are firmly committed to a “No Compromises” philosophy, producing appellation-focused, terroir-driven, varietal-defining wines. They are dedicated to all aspects of the business, from vine to shelf, with a goal to remain one of the last truly private, family-owned, iconic wineries consistently producing 90+ point wines. Named one of the Top 100 wineries of 2015 by Wine & Spirits Magazine, the Sonoma County family winery is also 100% Certified Sustainable.

Join us aboard The Gauguin for the couple’s presentation on Dry Creek Vineyard and a tasting of their excellent wines.

Kim Stare Wallace & Don Wallace

other guest hosts appearing on the m/s Paul Gauguin

Guest Hosts

Classical Musicians
January 22, 2022

Kai Gleusteen and Catherine Ordronneau have established themselves as one of the most important European violin and piano duos since they began working together in 1999. 

Art History Professor
Multiple sailings

Acclaimed academic, Fulbright scholar, author, teacher, lecturer, and art historian and curator Caroline Boyle-Turner is a perennially popular guest host aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. Join us aboard as she enriches your appreciation for our ship’s namesake and his circle of friends.

Owner/Winemakers, Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards
June 25, 2022

Robin and Danuta Pfeiffer are the owners and winemakers of Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards, an ultra-premium, sustainable, 70-acre vineyard with an international reputation for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Enjoy a wine lecture and a tasting of Pfeiffer Winery wines when Robin and Danuta join us aboard The Gauguin.

Food & Wine
Dr. Lindsay Whaley and Dr. Charles Urbanowicz, Smithsonian Journeys
September 7, 2022

Join the Tuamotus & the Society Islands itinerary on September 7, 2022, to experience two very special Smithsonian Journeys Experts on language and anthropology in the South Pacific. when Dr. Lindsay Whaley and Dr. Charles Urbanowicz join us aboard The Gauguin.

Distinguished Professor of Cultural Geography
September 24, 2022

The University Distinguished Professor of Cultural Geography at Western Kentucky University, Dr. David Keeling has visited more than 185 countries and studied a wide range of topics, from the geography of exploration and discovery to socio-economic change. Join us aboard The Gauguin as he shares his expertise in a series of fascinating lectures.