Lawer Family Wines Launches New Website and New Labels

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Duck Shack, Three Coins, Hooker---three lines of wines with personality.

Our wines are inspired by generations of family pursuits in duck hunting, gold mining and rugby," proprietor Betsy Lawer explains.

Betsy and David Lawer, who have owned a Knights Valley vineyard since 2002, have launched their wines with a new website and at the same time are introducing new packaging for their current releases.

Designed by CF Napa, the website encompasses three lines of wines made by the Lawers---Duck Shack Wines, Three Coins Wines and Hooker Wines. “We’re thrilled with the end result of our collaboration and design with Lawer Family Wines,” explained David Schuemann, Owner and Creative Director, CF Napa Brand Design. “The new website brings together the beautifully redesigned packaging for each of their unique brands under a unified and elegant new look for Lawer Family Wines. The packaging and website now reflect the quality of their fantastic wines!”

Wines currently available, in limited production, are 2009 Three Coins Syrah ($28.00, Knights Valley appellation), 2010 Duck Shack Chardonnay ($26.00, Oak Knoll, Napa Valley), 2010 Hooker Chardonnay ($26.00, Napa) and 2006 Hooker Home Pitch Syrah (Knights Valley, Sonoma).

“From the beginning, family has been the center of Lawer Family Wines,” adds Betsy Lawer, the founder and proprietor. “After all, Family is our middle name, and our goal is to craft wines we can serve to our family and our extended family of friends and neighbors - with pride and confidence. Over the years, a growing legion of wine lovers have identified with this goal. Our three limited production wines, Three Coins, Hooker and Duck Shack, were each inspired by generations of family pursuits in gold mining, rugby and spirited fun at the duck shack during hunting season. Our wines have won an impressive array of regional and national awards, but the accolades that will always matter most are the smiling nods of approval around the table when we share our wines with family and friends,” she adds.

Each line of wines has a story behind the name. Three Coins pays tribute to Betsy Lawer’s father’s gold mine in the foothills of Mt. McKinley in Alaska, which Betsy and her family operated in their childhood years: ‘three coins’ is shorthand for the family’s quality control system (read more). Duck Shack refers to the family’s duck shack on the Cook Inlet slough in Alaska, the venue for many a happy day of hunting and evening of feasting. The Hooker line of wines expresses the Lawers’ fondness for the game of rugby---hooker is one of the key positions which Betsy’s father played at Stanford and her husband David played at Duke.

Betsy and David Lawer founded their winery in 2002 with the purchase of 60 acres in Knights Valley; over the years they’ve acquired additional acreage and enlarged the vineyard, which now covers 109 acres. Currently the estate vineyard is not open to the public and the winery will be opening a tasting room later in 2012. The winemaker is Larry Levin; the vineyard manager is John Pina of Pina Napa Valley.

Betsy Lawer is a third-generation Alaska banker who today also serves on the Boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and The National Board for The Smithsonian Institution. David Lawer is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for The First National Bank of Alaska. Their daughter Sarah is an attorney in Seattle who serves on the Seattle Economics Council, volunteers at a local Legal Clinic, raises money for the Seattle arts community, collects cookbooks, entertains and has adventures with her St. Bernard.

The Lawer family began traveling to Napa during Alaska’s cold winters---having chosen Napa as a midway point to meet up with David Lawer’s East Coast-based family. The Lawers first became involved in the wine industry when they invested in a Napa Valley winery in 1995. In 2002 they launched their own venture with the purchase of a vineyard in Knights Valley. After initially selling the grapes to other wineries, they decided to launch their own wines, choosing three distinct niches which express their interests as a family.

The website also offers a blog, which is written as a team effort by Sarah Lawer, Frank Guanco and Betsy Lawer. As Betsy Lawer explains, “this will be our chance to connect, share our story and illustrate what it takes to run a vineyard and winery. We will open the curtain and showcase how our wines are produced and the people involved from dirt to bottle. We’ll share stories from the vineyard, winemaking strategies, recipes for wine pairing, industry trends and anecdotes about the world of wine,” she adds.


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Julie Ann Kodmur