Paul Skinner’s influence in the world of wine comes from the deep perspective of someone who is a soil scientist, agronomist, researcher, and innovator. After earning a bachelor’s degree in water resource management from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree in agronomy from Colorado State University, and a doctorate in soil science from U.C. Davis, he began to investigate and develop new and improved technologies for data collection, analysis, and interpretation that removed a lot of the uncertainty from vineyard management.
In 1994 he founded Terra Spase, a consulting service for vineyard owners and wineries, based on the idea that deciding what vines to plant, where to plant them, and how to manage them should be based on data and not guesswork. Terra Spase offers a variety of services related to soil and weather, including soil analysis and mapping, which allows viticulturists to farm in a precise way to optimize grape yields and the quality of fruit and wine they produce. In addition, Dr. Skinner currently holds four patents on high-tech, automated irrigation systems for vineyards and other horticultural crops.
As a viticultural consultant to the wine and grape growing industries, Dr. Skinner’s expertise has spread across the United States as well as into northern Mexico and China. Dr. Skinner enjoys fine-tuning the production of his Sequum wines, in which three of the grape varietals are grown on his own two-acre ranch, and continues to provide consultation to vineyards throughout California and internationally.
Dr. Skinner is a member of the American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Enology and Viticulture, Group of International Experts of Vitivinicultural Systems for CoOperation, Napa Valley Grape Growers, and Napa Valley Wine Technical Group.
He and his wife, Anita Davena, have three children, Jessica, Dominic, and Kristina, and live in the midst of their Kidd Ranch Vineyard in St. Helena, Calif. with their two Aussies, Athena and Sgt. Pepper.