Thursday, December 1, 2011

KL Worldwide

China seems to be in the news every time you look, but who knew they were such wine fanatics? Meet Mr. Jianwen Zhao (in the yellow jacket), Mr. Jack Lee (far right), and Mr. Zhang (far left) with Jefferson and longtime Karl Lawrence customer and friend, Powell Yang.

In China, Mr. Zhao is the owner of Dong Zhou Fu Long World Wines. He's famous for showcasing more than 1000 world wines, specializing in Bordeaux. You can check out his portfolio in one of his many tasting rooms or in his quarterly magazine, Wine and Life.

Here's his tasting room in Qingdao, the same city famous for brewing "Tsingtao." We're sure you're all already familiar with the beer, so now you can be familiar with the correct spelling.

Mr. Zhao and his crew left Napa Valley with more than a pallet of Karl Lawrence. So next time any of you guys are in China, make sure to go check him out.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Walker Ryan's Professional Debut

Walker with hype girls on the red carpet in SF.

Seeing as Karl Lawrence is probably the only winery in the valley to offer sponsorship to skateboarders, we would love to congratulate our close friend and St. Helena native, Walker Ryan, on his recently crowned status as a "Professional Skateboarder" for Organika Skateboards.

Although a career in skateboarding seems completely removed from the stereotypical Napa Valley lifestyle and anything winemaking, Walker chose to showcase his roots, even as a skateboarder. Here are his first professional board graphics:

If you come by the office, you'll see one of these hanging on the wall.

As if the bottle, glass, and grapes weren't enough, he even gives a shout-out to St. Helena and Napa Valley on the bottle. The Organika crew then went even bigger by actually making a couple dozen cases of the pictured wine and selling it at Walker's red carpet party in San Francisco.

A packed house at the Mezzanine. Ric and Cheryl were getting down in there somewhere.

Rumor has it, Walker had Karl Lawrence in mind for his signature wine, but given that Ric was in Ireland, they weren't able to hook up. So Walker called up his buddy Carlo Trinchero at Taken wines, and they did an awesome job. We suppose that makes them the second winery to sponsor skateboarding.

Check out Walker's blend of amazing skateboarding and beautiful shots of the Napa Valley in his pro-debut video part:

Check out Organika, here:
And Taken Wine Co.:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Harvest Blurb

Greetings, Karl Lawrence Nation!

First of all, we'd like to thank all of you for your wonderful response to our 2007 release. We plan on sending out orders on Monday the 24th (weather permitting, of course). And while it's currently just our initial limited release, the majority of our list will be getting an e-mail offer sometime next week.

Also, we have finally updated our website. Yes, it's true. Although Mike, Bryan, and Ric are in a state of cyber denial, we've come to believe that our website hasn't changed since around the time the Internet first came on the scene. So go check it out: The blog is linked on there as well.

In other news... while most of us (most of the Valley, in fact) have been neck-deep in this year's extremely late-harvested grapes, Ric has been off roaming the countryside of his native land. For the big six zero, Ric and Cheryl ventured to Ireland for two weeks. Ric had been there once before for just about twenty-four hours.... thirty-eight years ago.

Ric throws a cheers at Temple Bar, Dublin.

Although the two of them had a marvelous time singing along to traditional Irish pub songs and drinking dark beer (although the picture shows otherwise), the wine was, well, ... sub par. Luckily Ric had a few bottles of Aldin stashed in his golf bag.

So when you guys head across the pond, we suggest you do the same.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Our Wine and the Dutch

Jo (pronounced Yo... as in "Yo, Jo!") and Ineke Van Liempt visited us from the Netherlands and had a swell time:

Here, Ineke and Jo put their game faces on with Nelson Larios (middle). The Dutch soccer fanatics were quite thrilled to discover Nelson's past as a proffesional futbóler in El Salvador.

The Van Liempts came all the way to California for a true Napa Valley experience. So we gave them a bunch of Karl Lawrence to drink and took them to our friends over at Clif Family farm (where they met the farm assistant, Nelson). They happened to be throwing an excellent harvest party. We even got a video to prove it:

In other news:

The Karl Lawrence Buick got a wash by Mrs. Miller's (Nicholas' old principal at PUC Elementary) fifth grade class:

And, according to Holly Mason, KL and Clif Family Winery's The Climber, can share a table:

Oh yeah. And... Ric turned 60. Yep. 60.

Check out the Clif crew:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Staglin Music Festival

This upcoming weekend is the Staglin Music Festival for Mental Health. It's a weekend we here at Karl Lawrence look forward to every year.

If any of you should happen to attend, Ric and Cheryl will be there pouring you some splendid wine. And while we already know we're up there in your wine power rankings, you can compare our juice to about 75 other great wines from around the Valley.

All of the excellent food, wine, and company will then shine even brighter with the array of musical and celebrity goodness: Scientific Symposium, Dionne Warwick, Congressman Patrick Kennedy and the one, the only, Glenn Close. Ric has been a fan of Dionne Warwick since high school and cries every time he catches a Glenn Close flick.

So come on down, relax, and support a great cause. For more information, and to see the numbers this event has raised in it's seventeen years of existence, click here. And then check out Staglin's whole story at

And since we haven't had a blog update in a month, here's a very small peek at what we've been doing/who we've been entertaining in the office:

This here is Mike and Cheryl Strenge, with Jefferson, from Toronto. They're laying up a bunch of Karl Lawrence at 55 degrees for their month long stay in Saint Helena next year. Way to plan ahead.

So... when are you going to come see us?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Wynns from their Perspective

These will lack captions, but here are a slew of shots from Jason's camera. Needless to say, they are a much finer quality and much more artistic than those our own staff photographer shot. Enjoy.

Thanks, Jason!

And, in case you missed it some how, get the full story of the Wynns in the post below.

Karl Lawrence has Gone with the Wynns

In case you haven't heard of them, the Wynns are a newlywed couple in the middle of a two-year RV road trip across the country. They travel from state to state in search of anything and everything fantastic and broadcast it to the world via blogs, videos, tweets, and the like.

While these fantastic endeavors range from music festivals to ski resorts to coffee shops, the Wynns got in touch with Karl Lawrence and decided to come on over to the Valley. They parked their RV up on the Henry Brothers' Ranch.

We're sure their own chronicling of their adventure in wine country will be much more epic than our little cell phone pictures, but just to give you a taste, here's a few snapshots of their time with us in Saint Helena:

Here the famous couple, Jason and Nikki, get their first, or second, taste of Napa Valley.

Here's the bigger gang at the KL office. Left to right, back row: Doug Gallagher of Soñador Winery, Jacob Wynn, Lorri and Mitch Hirsch, and Cara and Ken Arnold. Jason and Nikki are in front.

Note: Jacob Wynn was just visiting the Valley, but will study film at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington on a soccer scholarship, in the fall. The Hirschs and Arnolds are from Parkland, Florida and made it to the KL office via recomendation from Mike and Alison De Young.

Here the Wynns sample some barrels at Staglin with Ryan, the enologist, and our own Chris Pratt, the assistant winemaker.

Well, Wynns, to put it simply, we envy your epic journey. But we hope you had a good time with the Karl Lawrence crew, and can't wait to see where your RV takes you next.

Watch the Karl Lawrence and HBR RV episodes and keep updated with the Wynns across the country, here:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Anniversaries and Centurions

Eric and Charlotte Rayburn of Wilmington, North Carolina have been with us since 2003. One year later they got married. A couple years after the vows were exchanged, they ordered a case of the '04 vintage. Since then, they've made it a tradition to open one bottle of '04 a year, on their anniversary day.

On their most recent visit to Saint Helena (documented above), the couple talked of how concerned they were of their sacred case's imminent depletion.

The solution was quite simple, really. They stopped by the office, talked to Ric, and added an '04 mag to their order for this year.

Next to them above are their good friends, Todd and Catherine Oomens from Hilton Head Island. Todd's a fellow cyclist who recently rode the Assault on Mount Mitchell: the highest mountain east of the Mississippi, with over 11,000 feet of vertical climb.

And, while we're on the subject of cycling, The Karl Lawrence cycle team for the 100 mile Tour of Napa Valley is now finalized: Joining Ric for the fourth year in a row are Dave Jamieson and Chris Pratt. Third year veterans include Bob Fores and Mark Jensen. Bob's wife, Cindy, will ride with us for the second time. And we're welcoming the tandeming newcomers, Rod and Sheri Hooper (they've been warned that no marriage counseling will be provided during the Tour).

Son-in-Law Chris Pratt sports the epic beard, while both him and Ric rock last year's jerseys.

This year the Karl Lawrence Cycle Team have dubbed themselves The Centurions, as in, we're riding a century. Our motto is: "Miles millia et antecederent bibam Karl Lawrence Cabernet." For those of you who have forgotten your high school Latin, that roughly translates to: "Miles and miles to go before I drink Karl Lawrence Cabernet."

Here's the Centurion logo that will be on the back of our jerseys:
The reference to no stinkin' metric is that a metric century is shorter than a mile century.

While this wasn't quite a century ride, Mount Tamalpais was tough... and a great reason to break out the KL jerseys, once again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Savour St. Helena

Just fifty paces from the front door of the KL office, Meghan Farley and Dejan Nikitovic pose outside of Savour St. Helena: a new local wine cooperative and tasting room. Here, your pallate can peruse the juices of six small-production wineries.

One of their winemakers is Craig Handley. At Savour, he pours from both his Terroir and Houdini labels.

While Craig's wines are most excellent, we at Karl Lawrence believe him to be most famous for designing the Karl Lawrence and Aldin labels.

So thanks, Craig. We wouldn't be the same without you.

Just a tad blurry thanks to Ric's photography skills, Craig and his wife, Susan, in the Savour tasting room. One of Craig's grape sources comes from Susan's family vineyards at the Carpenter Ranch in Saint Helena.

Get the whole story of Craig's wines:

For more info about Savour St. Helena, contact Meghan at

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Recommendation

The other night, Cheryl and Ric ate with Kevin and Katy Holt of Houston at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen. Ric brought a bottle of Karl Lawrence 2002 Herb Lamb Single Vineyard Designated Reserve for the party to enjoy with dinner.

While the title is more than a mouthful to say,the wine will not disappoint your taste buds. In fact, on that fateful night, it was quite a hit.

Even Ric himself can be quoted with saying, "It had to be one of the best wines I've ever drank. Now I have to search around to see if I have any more."

So if any of you happen to have one of these bad boys lying neglected in your cellar, the time is now. Go on down there and pop it open. If an insider going to give himself that much credit, it's got to be good.

The men behind the bottle concur, the 2002 Herb Lamb is genius.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cheers, St. Helena!

As many of you know, St. Helena dedicates the first friday of every month (for the first six months of summer) to throwing a gigantic block party with music, food, and tons of wine. It's free to roam, but you can buy a wristband and plastic glass which grants you access to taste dozens of local wines.

However, we'd advise you to skip the tastings (as you end up standing in lines to just get enough to wet your tongue). What we and most locals do is bring our own and relax at one of the music spots.

Here's Cheryl with Mike Nieman of Nieman Auto listening to a local band, 707:

It's the only place int the upper valley to rent Harley's.

Here are Cheryl and Ric partying on Adams street, while Wristrocket wails:

The guitarist on the far left is Jeff Smith, band leader and owner of Hourglass Winery.

So, you folks should head over to Main Street Saint Helena on the first friday of the summer months to devour some good eats, drink some great wine, and get down to some funky jams.

And, don't forget the best part: you can walk downtown with an open container and not get arrested!

For Harley's and Hourglass:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Another Wine Romance

Jon Quinley of Suisun is a surgical technician, comrade of Cheryl's at Kaiser, hardcore Raider fan, and a Napa Valley Cabernet lover. This past weekend, him and his wife, Kathy, journeyed to Little River, just south of Mendocino to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary:

Jon had been saving a bottle of Karl Lawrence for the evening, and when we asked him how it was, he exclaimed, "I can't say that we have ever enjoyed a wine as we did that evening."

He then told us that he let the restaurant's wine purchaser try it. She loved it, naturally, so Jon let her keep the empty bottle in case she wanted to call up Ric and buy a few cases.

So, Jon, thanks for telling us your story and spreading the word. Congratulations on the 40 years.

Also, the Road South charity event at Vineland Station is coming up (the previous post) and it's free! So don't forget to go and get down to some funky tunes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Love and life go on, let the music play...

Well folks, sometimes the will to rock never dies. Monte Moses and his band, Road South, formed in college in the early '70s. They headlined most of their gigs at bars around Napa, when the valley looked like one giant farm.

Eventually, careers and families took hold of Monte and the gang, and, like most rock 'n' roll bands, the flame burned out. But not forever...

The band has recently restrung their axes and sharpened their sticks to rise out of the ashes. And on Saturday July 9, Road South will be kicking out the jams at Vineland Station, where, as you can see below, the proceeds will benefit the Furaha Community Center of Nairobi, Kenya.

Check out the flier:

Where Karl Lawrence comes in:

Ric, who used to be a killer saxophonist, played in a slew of jazz combos with his old pal Monte from the 7th through the 11th grades.

Will Ric get up there and wail with Road South on the sax?

Most likely not.

But... he will be there pouring all of you some Karl Lawrence.

So head down to Vineland Station on July 9, drink some good wine, and shake it.

For more on the event and the cause, click here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Sorry for the break, folks. It has been a busy June so far. And by busy, we mean we've been doing stuff like this:

Here we have Scott Urie (middle left) hosting his annual BBQ at the KL office (and that's the famous Dr. Crane Vineyard in the background). To left of him is Carissa Stavrakos of Long Island. She's enjoying her last wine drinking for awhile until she does a triathalon on Long Island. Then we have Jarred, who just moved from Petaluma to Montana, and then KL's winemaker in the flesh, Michael Trujillo.

A slew of people are not pictured, and happened to be having the time of their lives behind the camera.

Scott loves bbq-ing for the KL crew so much, we've lined up a couple more parties for the rest of the summer. The next is in just a couple days up at the Henry Brother's Ranch.

So if any of y'all make it out to the Napa Valley, you might get lucky enough to catch Scott grilling up a storm with the KL crowd.

See you there?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend is a weekend of epic proportions in the Napa Valley. And these folks are taking advantage of it:

Grant Burch and Judy Trafas started Memorial Day Weekend off right with a 9 am tasting at the KL office.

Now the rest of you should do the same.