Murphy-Goode Appoints Military Veteran and Chef Dirk Yeaton as Winery 'Grill Sergeant'

Army Vet Joins Murphy-Goode's Culinary Team

Jul 17, 2013, 15:26 ET from Murphy-Goode Winery

HEALDSBURG, Calif., July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Murphy-Goode Winery has selected Dirk Yeaton of Portland, Maine to serve as its new Grill Sergeant.  Yeaton was selected for this position not only for his 30 years of culinary experience, but also for his three years of service as a Food Service Specialist SP3 in the United States Army.  As the winery's Grill Sergeant, he will report directly to Executive Chef Justin Wangler and be responsible for creating original, barbecue-inspired recipes to pair with Murphy-Goode's portfolio of wines.  Additionally, Yeaton will compete in barbecue competitions and represent the winery on national tours.  

"Dirk's passion for over-the-top cookouts, creative flair, knowledge of wine and fearless ability to find new combinations of flavors makes him the perfect choice to don the Murphy-Goode Viking Helmet, reserved for the fiercest of grill warriors," said David Ready, Jr., winemaker for Santa Rosa-based Murphy-Goode.  "He'll be fighting grill flare-ups, engaging in the competitive barbecue circuit and pairing wine with precision.  I firmly believe Dirk is the soldier for this position."  

Yeaton's culinary career started at a young age where he worked as chef through high school in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Once old enough, he enlisted in the United States Army as a Food Service Specialist and served for three years.  After leaving the military, Dirk moved to Portland, Maine and continued his culinary growth and passion as a chef at several local restaurants.  In December 2003, Yeaton renovated his own property, turning it from a small home into a thriving breakfast, lunch and catering business called Blue House Cafe and Downeast Catering.  He also is the owner and chef of Hogzilla Catering, which specializes in off-site pig-roasts, custom barbecues and lobster bakes.

The appointing of the Grill Sergeant position furthers Murphy-Goode's unwavering support of the United States Military.  The winery's partnership with Operation Homefront, a nonprofit that helps military families in need, has raised more than $100,000 over the last two years to help provide emergency assistance to military families and wounded warriors.  The winery will deepen its work with Operation Homefront through the release of Homefront Red, a new red wine blend launching this fall that will help raise an additional $300,000 for Operation Homefront.  Murphy-Goode winemaker David Ready, Jr, also has roots in the military, as his father, grandfathers and great-grandfather are proud veterans.

"I'm honored to work with Murphy-Goode as its first appointed Grill Sergeant," Yeaton said.  "I'm not afraid of flavor, and that's the key to pairing wines with good barbecue food - cook what you love and pair with wine you love.  I can't wait to get in the kitchen and create new recipes for all to try!"

Yeaton has relocated near the winery's hometown of Healdsburg, Calif. to start his position.  His first duty as Grill Sergeant was hosting a Fourth of July Barbecue for the grand-prize winner of Murphy-Goode's "A Few Goode Heroes" contest, and a week later he represented Murphy-Goode at the Wine Country Big Q, a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned competition.  

To learn more about Yeaton and Murphy-Goode, visit or

Located in the beautiful and acclaimed Alexander Valley region of Sonoma County, Murphy-Goode is a family-owned winery known for award-winning California wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Founded by Tim Murphy, Dale Goode and David Ready, Sr. in 1985 and now part of Jackson Family Wines, Murphy-Goode believes in great wines and good times with family and friends.  The winery is proud to support Operation Homefront and its work with wounded warriors and the families of service members.

©2013 Murphy-Goode Winery, Healdsburg, CA.  All rights reserved.

SOURCE Murphy-Goode Winery