Chef Geoff Kruth of The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant - Biography

Forestville, CA

August 2010
You’re not just a wine lover when you can blind taste a 1911 La Tache and place it in the right appellation and within 50 years of its vintage—that’s prodigy. Call him a genius, a know-it-all, or a master; it all boils down to Kruth being obsessed with wine.

Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth brings vitality, passion, and extensive knowledge to his role as wine director of The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in Forestville, CA. He has helped lead the restaurant to critical acclaim with a Michelin star and a host of top-notch ratings.

Kruth is on a short list of the top young American wine professionals. He was named “Rising Star of the Year” by the committee of the Star Wine International Wine Competition in 2006. In 2008, he became one of less than 150 people worldwide to have ever earned the designation of Master Sommelier. And in 2009 he won the StarChefs.com Napa Sonoma Rising Star Sommelier Award. Kruth is also the director of operations of the non-profit Guild of Sommeliers and has been the wine consultant for the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival in Hawaii for several years.

The former Sonoma resident graduated from Sonoma State University with a BS in Computer Science before moving to the Silicon Valley to pursue a career in the high-tech industry. A blossoming wine hobby became an obsession that lead to his enrollment in The French Culinary Institute's Classic Culinary Arts program in New York, where he honed his palate to taste professionally.

Prior to returning to Sonoma County and joining The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant, Kruth was sommelier at Balthazar Restaurant and assistant wine director for the Balthazar group in Manhattan, where he helped oversee more than $10 million in yearly wine sales and was responsible for wine list development, floor service, and staff training.

He counts among his mentors Fred Dame, the founder of the American Chapter of The Court of Master Sommeliers, who taught him to always make sure wine and the business of wine is about fun and pleasure. Kruth also credits Chris Goodhart, who he worked with while at Balthazar, for teaching him how to build a wine list that he believes in.