Just in Time for the Champagne Tent Event: Our Champagne Newsletter!

We at K&L are pretty jazzed about our Direct Import Champagnes, which undeniably deliver the finest bubbles-to-price ratio we’ve ever seen. In this week’s newsletter, we’re thrilled to introduce a few new producers to our shelves and to celebrate some of the tried-and-true who have offered consistent quality and value for years. They’ll get you in the mood for our annual tent event this weekend! Let the Champagne jubilee begin!

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The Beauty of Bien Nacido

I have always held the opinion that there is nothing quite like visiting a place to gather a deeper understanding of the wines that come from there. The experience of walking the land; feeling how it moves; seeing the weather change throughout a day; and using the rest of the senses to take in the surroundings is one that cannot be completely recreated in any form. So the fact that, on a recent trip to Santa Barbara with the team, we had the chance to stay on site at a vineyard, offered an experience unlike any other, and left a lasting impact on my understanding of the wines that come from Bien Nacido vineyard.

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On the Trail
New Zealand: Leading the Way in Sustainability

Last week was Organic Wine Week in New Zealand and to celebrate here in the States they hosted a tasting and seminar at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Although they are a relative newcomer in the wine world, New Zealand is setting standards and outpacing many other wine regions in sustainable and organic practices. Their holistic approach and future-facing goals are promising and inspiring.

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Megan Greene
An Interview with Rudi Bauer of Quartz Reef

Quartz Reef has always had a cult following at K&L. Which is why I jumped at the chance to meet up with Rudi Bauer, founder and winemaker behind Quartz Reef this August. Rudi first moved to New Zealand from his native Austria in 1985 and after stints at Mission Vineyards, Giesen and Rippon, quickly became known as one of the pioneers of Central Otago, and one of the first adherents of Biodynamic farming in New Zealand. He founded Quartz Reef in 1998 and today, he’s considered a legend in the Central Otago winemaking scene.

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On the Trail
Soil Talk: Sta. Rita Hills with Brandon Sparks-Gillis

Terroir geeks: can we talk? Soil, bedrock, micronutrients—it’s downright complicated unless you have a degree in geology. Am I right? Luckily the wine world has Brandon Sparks-Gillis, geologist, winemaker, Master of Wine candidate, cofounder of Dragonette in Santa Barbara County, and all-around great resource on wines and soils. Brandon indulged me all my nerdy soil questions about the special place that is Sta. Rita Hills.

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The Day and the Wine That Changed the Business

One of our oldest employees and Bordeaux specialists, Ralph Sands, has been here almost as long as the business itself. Over those past four decades, he’s amassed quite a few stories. Recently, he shared this one, taking us back to the beginning of K&L and the special wine that helped shape the company.

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Megan Greene
Chardonnay, Cab, and Zin, Oh My! The Golden State's Greats

As tried-and-true Californians, we couldn’t be prouder of the beautiful wines being produced by the Golden State these days. Check out our weekly newsletter for a handful of the Domestic Buyer’s favorite picks, and learn about some of the producers who are defining the current Golden Era.

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2019 Champagne Summit

This past Tuesday, the K&L Champagne team, Scott Beckerley from San Francisco, Diana Turk from Hollywood, Elsa Baez from Redwood City and I sat down for a marathon Champagne tasting. We call it our staff summit, and this was the 9th year in a row that we have gotten together for it. We want to make sure that we are all well informed on the different styles of Champagne that we offer so we can make you, the Champagne lover, happy with your selection. This year we tasted 53 Champagnes from 16 different producers.

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Gary Westby
The Golden Age for Liquid Gold: Santa Barbara County Chardonnay

On a recent two-day jaunt through Santa Barbara wine country the team and I visited several producers who we believe are among the most exciting in Southern California. Our tastings confirmed that the wines from these producers are in fact drop-dead gorgeous.

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Rhône School: St-Joseph

Today, it’s widely known that some of the best Syrah and Grenache on the planet come from Rhône, but do we really understand why? This line of inquiry led us, meaning Keith and I, to create Rhône School, your biweekly-ish dive into the Rhône, region by region, rock by rock, with a blog-toothed comb. First stop: St-Joseph.

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Champagne Summit Kick Off—Featuring Billecart-Salmon

Recently, we kicked off our annual Champagne Team Staff Summit with a wonderful sushi dinner hosted by Billecart-Salmon and Mr. Clement Calleja. It was wonderful to spend an evening learning about these fabulous Champagnes and having the opportunity to try them all with food and over time. We checked in on most of the range.

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Gary Westby