Kyle MacLachlan: actor and producer… of wine!
By Frank Rousseau, our correspondent in Los Angeles, posted on 03 February 2022
Over 30 years ago, the ‘Twin Peaks’ legend was born. Today, the mystery/horror/drama dreamt up by writer Mark Frost and director David Lynch remains as enthralling as ever! The unconventional beauty of Kyle MacLachlan, alias FBI agent Dale Cooper, and the haunting music composed by Angelo Badalamenti probably have a lot to do with it.
How have you seen TV change in recent years?
When we launched ‘Twin Peaks’, the Internet and social media were not as popular as they are today. That didn't stop the series from being a huge success. Not only did it influence actors and directors, but it also encouraged scriptwriters, producers, studio and TV station managers to be adventurous!
Do you feel that David Lynch has made you grow artistically?
Absolutely no doubt! The first time I met David, I was 23 years old. I was a naive and inexperienced young man. However, I immediately felt that I was in the presence of one of the greatest geniuses of his time, an extraordinary artist. And ‘Twin Peaks’ was his masterpiece! The high point of his career! David was able to create a world of his own. He was able to transpose his world through films, a series and also photography. David's world is not restrictive, it is expansive! It’s important to remember that when ‘Twin Peaks’ first aired, it was like something from another planet. No one before had revolutionised TV so much! No one before had produced a programme of this quality in this format!
Changing the subject, what made you decide to go into wine production?
I was dividing my time between New York and Los Angeles and there came a point in my life when I thought it was time to settle down. I grew up in Washington State with a father who loved to go to vineyards. When you think of wine in the United States, you immediately think of California and Napa Valley. However, I can assure you that the wine from the Columbia, Yakima and Walla Walla valleys is really interesting. Washington State is the second largest wine producing state in the US. I have always enjoyed drinking wine, ever since I was at university. One day I felt I needed to get back to my roots. I took a few weeks off and went on a wine tour to Walla Walla and Lowden and some of the surrounding areas. It was, as they say, an epiphany moment. I decided to start making my own wine with a childhood friend. The wine has been called ‘Pursued by Bear’ since 2005. The name refers to Shakespeare's “Exit, pursued by a bear”. I initially considered starting the business in California, but I soon realised that it was a bad idea. In Napa, the competition is very fierce!
Are you very involved in the winemaking process?
I am very involved because wine is not something you can do on the side or in between projects. It's a real labour of love. I'm there for the harvest, the blending and the bottling.
Is it true that you and David Lynch love to talk about wine when you get together?
David is a true wine enthusiast like me. He drinks mostly red wine. He's a real connoisseur. Just to share a little story, he was the one who gave me my first bottle of very good Bordeaux. I had just auditioned for the film ‘Dune’. It must have been 1983. He was desperate for me to discover Château Lynch-Bages, a famous wine estate in Pauillac, in Gironde. David has no connection whatsoever with the property, he just thought it was funny that a wine had part of his name. Anyway, he had just given me one of the greatest wines in Bordeaux! I can assure you that I savoured it right down to the very last drop!