Sine Qua Non, the temple of wine
Nothing predisposed Manfred Krankl to become an emblematic figure of the Californian wine industry. Now his aura extends around the world with wines that the powerful critic Robert Parker praises year after year.
Initially, Manfred, an Austrian émigré who arrived in California in the early 1980s, was a restaurateur in Los Angeles. He later decided to devote his time and energy to a more human-scale project with the elaboration of fine wines. Like many Californian estates, he began by buying grapes and collaborating with John Alban, a renowned winemaker and specialist in Rhône grape varieties. His first vintage in 1994 did not exceed 100 cases but, in 1995, a 95-point score from Robert Parker propelled him into orbit.
He settled in the Ventura region on an industrial estate in a shed. The super scores of Parker and other American critics will accumulate making Manfred a star and his wines: icons. But when only about 3,000 cases are produced, it's hard to please all the wine lovers and importers of the world. He went on to plant his own vineyards, and today he owns 10 acres of vines on his personal property in Oakview and another 20 acres of the same size in Santa Rita Hills near Buelton.
Over the years, the estate has specialized in both red and white Rhone varieties with powerful, robust wines and very long maturations of up to 6 years. Robert Parker has once more awarded him numerous 100/100 and has even described him as "one of the most creative and multidimensional winemakers on planet Earth". Wine labels change every year because Manfred is a talented photographer.