2013 Honored Guests



Silver Oak Cellars was founded by Ray Duncan and Justin Meyer with a dedication to producing one varietal only: Cabernet Sauvignon. With two wineries, one devoted to their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and one to their Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, they have remained steadfast to this commitment for forty years. Using fruit from selected vineyards in both appellations, they age their wines in 100% American oak barrels made to their exacting specifications at their cooperage, A&K, in Missouri. Extended bottle aging ensures that their high quality wines are drinkable upon release, a hallmark of Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon.


As one of Silver Oak’s earliest and longest-serving employees, Tim Duncan was and continues to be an integral part of Silver Oak’s growth and success, and has fostered close relationships with the winery’s restaurant and retail accounts that have lasted until today. As the Executive Vice President, he works closely with his father, Ray, and his brother, David, adhering to the principle of continuous improvement and high standards of quality that have been the hallmark of the winery since the beginning.

Silver Oak has a longstanding connection to EcoleBilingue de Berkeley. The Duncan children all attended EB; the eldest, Matt Duncan, a 2004 graduate now working alongside his family at Silver Oak, describes their relationship with the school. “EB began with family friendships and an attraction to French culture, and participating in the wine auction as a sponsor and graduate of EB seems to bring the connection full circle, allowing for Californian wine to support French education.”Silver Oak and the Duncan family have been generous supporters of EcoleBilingue for many years and we are honored to count them among our friends and guests.




Soon after founding his eponymous retail shop in 1972 in Berkeley, California, Kermit Lynch began exclusively selling his own imports from French and Italian winegrowers, purchasing wines directly from the domaines and focusing on small producers whose wines expressed the authentic style of their native region. Over the past forty years, Kermit has maintained a steadfast ethic and vision behind his import process, choosing to eschew trends and finding success in building long-term relationships with his producers.Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant is now a household name as an importer, retailer, wholesaler, and distributor of fine wines from France and Italy.


Kermit Lynch has had so much success at bringing notice to small, artisan producers that he has won two James Beard awards and was knighted by the French government in 2005 with the prestigious Legion of Honor. In addition to having two books published, Adventures on the Wine Route (1988, VeuveCliquot Wine Book of the Year), and Inspiring Thirst (2004), his passion for roots music has driven him to record three CDs so far. Kermit and his wife, photographer Gail Skoff, divide their time between Provence, France, and Berkeley, California.

Kermit Lynch’s support for EcoleBilingue de Berkeley dates back to the days when his children were students there. With the family dividing their time between California and France, a bilingual school was a natural choice. Anthony Lynch, who graduated from EB in 2004 and currently works for the family business, explains “EB certainly helped make the transition easier and enabled me to attend school in two countries simultaneously!” We are proud to feature Kermit Lynch as our guest of honor and thankful that his son will continue the family tradition of supporting EB.