Nothing predisposed Manfred Krankl to become an iconic figure in the California wine industry. Now his aura spreads throughout the world with wines that the powerful critic Robert Parker praises year after year.
Initially, Manfred, an Austrian émigré who came to California in the early 1980s, was a restaurateur in Los Angeles. He later decided to dedicate his time and energy to a more human project with the elaboration of fine wines. Like many California 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 score of 95 points from Robert Parker propelled him into orbit.
He settled in the Ventura region, in an industrial estate, in a shed. The super-scores from Parker and other American critics are piling up making Manfred a star and his wines icons. But when only about 3,000 cases are produced, it is difficult to please all the wine lovers and importers in the world. He went on to plant his own vineyards, and today 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 the red and white varieties of the Rhône, with powerful and robust wines and very long maturations, up to 6 years. Robert Parker has once again given him numerous 100/100s and has even described him as “one of the most creative and multidimensional winemakers on planet Earth”. The wine labels change every year because Manfred is a talented photographer.