A Lover Like No Other: Johndrow Vineyards

The sky, dizzy with the wine-fumes’ aroma,
is staggering to and fro;
the angels, sipping pure wine from goblets,
pour down the dregs to the world.
From the scent of these dregs man rises to heaven.
Inebriated from the draft, the elements
fall into water and fire.
Catching the reflection, the frail body becomes soul,
And the frozen soul by its heat
thaws and becomes living.
The creature world becomes giddy,
forever straying from house and home.

One from the dregs’ odor becomes a philosopher.
One viewing the wine’s color becomes a relater.
One from half a draft becomes religious.
One from a bowlful becomes a lover.
Another swallows at one draught
goblet, tavern, cupbearer, and drunkards;
he swallows all, but still his mouth stays open.

Mahmud Shabistari

Here at Sinning in LA, we know that there are at least five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend, one’s present or future thirst, the excellence of the wine, or actually, anything pretty much qualifies. However, finding an affordable wine that was true bliss had actually proven quite a challenge until we discovered Johndrow Vineyards.  It really only took one sip, but like all lovers we decided to put them to the test. We were looking for flaws, scrutinizing, testing them out– but always ended up being pleasantly surprised and wanting more.  Always more. The best thing is, we always felt amazing the morning after. Never once did we wish they should come in smaller doses.  Never did we want to replace them with someone older, darker, lighter, sparklier or more well known. And now we cannot hold it back any longer: We are in love with them!

Their California Cabernet and Reserve cabernets both earned honors in the 2009 cabernet issue of Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine outscoring notable cabernets such as Grgich Hills, Franciscan and Spring Mountain Vineyard by two points each and Stags Leap Cellars Artemis by three points.

Among their honors, the Johndrow cabernets received one star each, placing them in the outstanding wines category. We tried them and your friends will definitely love you if you pour these wines at dinner with lamb. They will also easily forgive you if there is no dinner to eat.

Johndrow Vineyards was created by Renaissance Man and wine connoisseur David Johndrow, his wife Maryann and Rob Lawson, a third generation Napa Valley winemaker. They have always been guided by their vision to make the best wine at the best price point. They strive to make their customers happy and they love people.

This is why they also got involved with Ally’s House. It has been established to help Oklahoma kids with cancer and their families. Donations will be used to help these families through this difficult journey. In addition to helping these families financially, Ally’s House host events to bring happiness to these children, and to brighten their day with ice cream sundae parties and amusement park trips. Sinning in LA knows that Ally’s House never ever gives up hope, and they try to bring a sprinkle of happiness in otherwise trying circumstances. We suspect that this resonates a lot with Johndrow’s own outlook.

David Johndrow is an optimist and lover of life. He is not easily discouraged. “We had one mantra that we followed. First we will be best and then we will be first! We followed that plan and made the appropriate investments with money and heart and in less than 2.5 years we were the safe choice in our given field for the highly sought after gaming business where at one time we handled 95% of the employment in Las Vegas within our human resource systems. I believe that timing is everything, in business and in life! We had a business plan that said we would sell within 3-5 years and we signed an agreement on our 3.5 year anniversary. We achieved our goals thru focus and no desire to be number 2. My mentor told me that number 2 was the first loser and I have always managed with that in mind.”

But still his biggest supporters, he said, were “friends and family.” He continued, “I also think it was internal. I have always believed that you should strive for the best and live your life with passion.”

“We have won a number of accolades,” said David, when I asked him what he’s most proud of,  “but my most proud “award” is the loyalty of our retail customers. They are the ones that are proud to serve our wines, pass along our story as well as share our belief that world class Napa wines do not have to be outrageously expensive.”

At Sinning in LA we believe that where there is plenty of wine, sorrow and worry take wings, but which wine heals a broken heart the best?

“Our Johndrow Reserve is a perfect healer… it is elegant, sophisticated and understated which I hope speaks to our customers. I want them to just enjoy our vino and not have to try too hard to figure it out like most people try to do in relationships. “

And of course, wine is easily the most romantic drink. But where in Los Angeles would be the best place to serve it up? “There are so many good places – I think wine is sexy anywhere. But my favorite place was when we rented a house on the beach in L.A. and opened a 2005 Johndrow Reserve right there on the beach. It was incredible served with the beautiful sunsets. “

In addition to being the featured wine for Bill Gates’ Bing Supper Club at Sundance Film Festival, Johndrow has now been selected as featured wine for the Academy Awards nominating party, a private party for all the nominees of this year’s Oscar’s.

“It was quite an honor to be selected for the celebrity wine dinners for the second year in a row. When you have Malin Ackerman, Katie Holmes, Bill Gates and John Legend in one room drinking your wines, and each an artist in their own right, it is really cool.

“I always say drink what you like and if you don’t like it spit it out,” he said when I asked about some final advice. “For the cab drinkers our JV California Cab for $20 is unmatched and if you like white our JV Clarity never disappoints.”

Sinning in LA could give our readers a thousand reasons why you should run out and buy a bottle of Johndrow wine right now. Don’t forget to invite us over.