“All I wanted was an almond croissant,” says winemaker and co-woner Les Behrens of Erna Schein winery (formerly known as Behrens & Hitchcock). Les is talking about the fateful day in 1996 when he and wife and winery co-owner Lisa Drinkward drove to Los Angeles and had the fortuitous idea of dropping a bottle of their wine off at La Brea Bakery in the hopes that Nancy Silverton or her partner Manfred Krankl (winemaker at Sin Qua Non) would like it and put it on their list.
As it happened, Manfred liked it very much indeed, as did another ‘drop-off’ to the Oakville Grocery store in Oakville, and the combination of these two high-profile venues quickly put the wine on the map, ultimately attracting high scores from respected critics Robert Parker and Stephen Tanzer.
Les didn’t start out wanting to b a winemaker – he wanted to be an artist, but in his words, ‘didn’t have that talent.’ He and LIsa opened a restaurant in Humboldt, CA called Folie Douce Restaurant, where Les created the wine list and became interested in the production of wine while Lisa ran the kitchen.
Shortly afterward, they joined forces with their business partners the Hitchcocks to create Behrens & Hitchcock. Though Les didn’t have formal experience as a winemaker, he ‘asked a lot of questions.” Now that the Hitchcocks retired, are focusing on their own new brand, Erna Schein.
I am very excited to meet Lisa and Les, and view the Erna Schein winery as one of the hospitality events during the Auction Napa Valley 2011(#ANV11),
Below is a description of the event:
Spring Mountain Cookout
Join us for an evening of fun, food and revelry high atop Spring Mountain! Owners Les Behrens and Lisa Drinkward will host and, along with our intimate winery crew, prepare a festive meal of open-fire, elevated-campout fare, perfectly paired with a selection of our current and past releases. Play a game of badminton or horseshoes, enjoy songs and s’mores around the campfire, or just relax with a glass of wine and enjoy our beautiful view of the Napa Valley.
Can’t get to napa? You can register for the e-auction here