A man as unique as the wine he sells, Lawrence Fairchild has a passion for creating special wines with characteristics not found anywhere else. Sophisticated yet grounded, we sat down with Fairchild to learn more about his story and of course, the one-of-a-kind wines he produces for the 1% around the world.
Q: Give us a background on who you are and your story.
LF: I grew up, of all places, in rural Nebraska. Cattle and crops; not exactly a fine wine upbringing. My interest in wine started while working on Capitol Hill, Sundays on the South Lawn of Capital and the free National Symphony concerts with my more sophisticated colleagues. Making wine always requires passion. A passion for the artisan process. A passion for the vineyards. And finally, a passion for the people enjoying the wines. My early passion was what was in the bottle, and the intrigue of the great French winemakers of Burgundy and Bordeaux; their use of the soils to create the gravel and chalk that is the core of the Stones and Perrarus wines. I studied the soils, the regions, and the winemaking. My only goal was to create the best Napa Valley Bordeaux by finding the best soils – which meant rock and gravel.
Q: Why is Stones referred to as the “Hermès” of Napa Valley?
LF: Stones design, with our hand-pressed labels made in Bordeaux, white French oak boxes, and the intricate calligraphy of each personal invitation to our clients to acquire the wines was created on the belief that receiving the wines should feel like a gift. Like receiving an Hermès bracelet or a Cartier ring. Like walking out of Louis Vuitton with a new bag. Our clients are very special and important to me. I want them to feel as if every bottle has been personally made and touched with our personal care; both the bottle and the wine.
Q: Take us from start to finish on how Stones Wine is crafted.
LF: We may have the best vineyards in all of Napa Valley. All three miles apart by helicopter. Elevations ranging from 250 feet to 1,100 feet. All rock and gravel. Our wines start in the vineyard – row by row, vine by vine. Our vineyards resemble the streets of Provence more than soil. Rock equals character, depth, and blackness; the signatures of the Stones wines. We approach making Stones like an artist; 13 different vineyard blocks in our palette. All with individual characteristics and profiles. All coming together 2+ years later to make Stones and Perrarus.
Q: Talk to us about the Stones labels and the artistic meaning behind them.
LF: The first Stones, Stones No. 1 dating back to 2011 and 2012, originated from a small vineyard by the name of Las Piedras – meaning “The Stones”. The Stones labels and packaging; hand stamped metal; all with original hand-illustrated art and meaning, was derived from the physical feeling of Stone; smooth, with subtle texture; sometimes shiny like a diamond. Stark like a Warhol. As Stones evolved, each production of Stones No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 all have their own original art and illustrations. All then applied to intricate metal dyes for pressing and polishing. We have an amazing design team and illustrators, which allows me to create works of art on each bottle.
Q: Tell us more about the project you are currently working on – the limited release, and very rare blend Perrarus.
LF: We have a very special and unique clientele. Our clients collect art, cars, watches, Birkin bags, and of course special wines. Perrarus – Latin for rare, exceptional – is an art series creation. A micro, one-of-a-kind Cabernet Sauvignon blend from the Stones No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 vineyards. A rare offering of only 250-300 bottles per year – all large format, all hand-blown vessels, each to its own. They are art pieces – the first release label (this year) is an engraved astrolabe from 300 B.C. signifying a Rare Moment in Time.
To learn more about Stones Wine, visit www.stoneswine.com.