Food & Drink Awards 2019

Page 90 LUXlife 2019 Food & Drink Awards Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley, this family-run business has been making huge strides in the area of winemaking. Lloyd Cellars is the brainchild of Co-Founder Rob Lloyd, focused on making astounding wines for his customers. Here at LUXlife, we thought we’d catch up with him to find out more about his award-winning winery. Established in 2008 after 10 years’ experience in the wine industry, working at La Crema Winery and Rombauer, Lloyd Cellars was the result of Rob deciding he was ready to spread his wings and make wines the way he wanted to. Alongside his wife (and co-owner) Bonnie, family friend Greg and accountant Jim, the small team has pushed forward until finally being named Best Pinot Noir Winemakers in Napa Valley this year. To begin, we asked Rob how he knows his wine is ready to sell. ‘I enjoy the wine that I make,’ he explains. ‘If it doesn’t live up to my standards, we don’t share it with others.’ This simple philosophy has served Rob and his team well, keeping them on the straight and narrow as the company has grown. To Rob, the idea of serving his customers a product he is not satisfied with is unacceptable. ‘The people I do business with are “handshake” types of clients that I enjoy spending time with,’ he tells us. ‘The consumers who drink our wine are lovers of big, rich California wines.’ It’s this personal approach and affability that we think is the secret behind the success of this business. It’s a genuine approach to winemaking that appeals greatly when compared to big brands. The growth of the business has always been steady, but consistent. We wondered if Rob had any ideas about why this is. Rob explains that ‘it is a very competitive industry, but luckily for us we have been able to continue to grow from friends telling friends, fans of our wine recommending it to others, and continuing to work hard to find great distribution partners to bring our wines to new States.’ The use of word of mouth is what has put Lloyd Cellars’ delightful world- class wines on the map. ‘We continue to grow slowly and consistently, trying to make great products that are in line with what the market demands,’ Rob tells us. It isn’t an easy job. While Lloyd Cellars is still small with regards to staff, production has gone through the roof in a big to meet demand. Finding distribution partners for his Napa Valley wine has proven to be the largest challenge for the successful business. ‘Within the wine industry, there continues to be a lot of consolidation of distribution,’ explains Rob. This makes it more difficult for him to send his wine to as many places as he wants to. Much like his clients, Rob is hoping to find a distributor who is able to provide a personal touch to partner up with. ‘When we find these types of companies, we are pleased to distribute our wines in new States,’ he promises. The prospect of Rob’s rich Californian wine being widely available is one to savor. Small businesses like his really do run on love, and Best Pinot Noir Winemaker 2019 - Napa Valley very few winemakers show as much as he does. Making what he loves and believing in the wine he produces, is essential to ensuring the highest quality product makes it to his customers. To finish the interview, we asked Rob what his plans for the future were. This is what he told us. ‘We will continue to make great wines as a family owned and operated business. Growing consistently, making terrific wines the way that we like them, but not being owned by a large corporation.’ It’s a defiant commitment to remaining independent, as the industry moves towards consolidation. With his still growing success, we raise a glass to Rob and the team at Lloyd Cellars. Making what he wants, the way he wants to has certainly paid off so far. Contact: Greg Moore Web Address: Company: Lloyd Cellars