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.