So you want to know who's actually out "on the trail" for K&L, hitting the streets, getting their hands dirty, searching for exciting new wines and spirits all over the world? Let's introduce you to our team of buyers:
The head honcho: K&L co-owner and head wine buyer Clyde Beffa Jr. has been traveling to France, and specifically to Bordeaux, for the last three decades.
Ralph Sands not only talks Bordeaux on the phone all day, he lives it. A bonafide expert on every Medoc vintage back since the late 70s, Ralph also travels extensively to Asia as a consultant for collectors in the far east.
As Clyde's son, Trey Beffa has been drinking great wine since he could walk. As co-owner of K&L and head wine buyer, he's spent years traveling through France on behalf of the company, and continues to work closely with producers in Napa and Sonoma.
Alex Pross travels to the Côte d'Or as one of our Burgundy buyers, and also accompanies the Bordeaux team on their annual visit to the region. He deals with Rhône wines as well, and works in conjunction with our domestic team to find great deals from California.
Bryan Brick heads up our domestic team and has been working closely with producers all over California, Oregon, and Washington for the last ten years. His experience with small growers and boutique wineries in the United States is rivaled by few.
Greg St. Clair has spent so much time in Tuscany he's known locally as "the Mayor of Montalcino". With more than two decades of experience working with Italian wines, his fluency in the language and dedication to the cause have helped him create inroads into the culture that are unparalleled.
Ryan Woodhouse is our buyer for New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, and has traveled through all three countries extensively on behalf of our store. He's also one of our experts on the process of winemaking, having worked at both Testarossa and Bonny Doon wineries before coming to K&L. He also handles Austrian and German wines.
Gary Westby has been our Champagne buyer for more than a decade and has explored the region on dozens of occasions over that period. He also has tremendous experience with the wines of Burgundy and is well-schooled on older vintages from just about anywhere in the world.
Joe Manekin is our Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American specialist, and has spent significant time working in the wine trade on both coasts. He's been up and down the Iberian Peninsula, as well as through the vineyards of Argentina and Chile in search of the next great glass.
Keith Mabry is our resident Rhône, Loire, and French regional specialist, traveling frequently outside the standard appellations into the more mysterious and unknown. He has spent time in the Jura, Languedoc, and further reaches of France, and he's one of the best cooks we've ever met.
David Othenin-Girard is our spirits buyer in Southern California and has spent more than a decade in the business traveling to Scotland, France, the Caribbean, and South America in search of the world's best liquor.
David Driscoll is the assistant head buyer for K&L, overseeing all categories and managing the spirits department as well. He has traveled extensively to Scotland, France, the Caribbean, South America, Mexico, Japan, and Asia in search of interesting drinks. He's also an integral part of our marketing and media department, as well as the main writer and blogger for the company, traveling with a number of our wine buyers to help document their experiences abroad.