Kings Carey Wines
ART + SCIENCE + LOVE + LABOR = WINE
Kings Carey entails boutique, small-production wines crafted by winemaker, James Sparks, who prefers to “keep it simple” with single varietal and single vineyard bottlings, and minimal manipulation. James’ goal with Kings Carey, is to demonstrate the restraint which can be achieved with local, Santa Barbara Wine Country fruit.
“I’m trying to produce ‘untypical’ wines of typicity,” James says. “It’s not that this region can’t produce these types of wines; it’s just that you don’t see it very often. These are not fruit bombs. These are clean expressions of the fruit at-hand.”
James started life as a Mormon. In 2009, having already left the religion, his brother-in-law brought him to the Santa Ynez Valley, a move which would kick-start James’ career path in wine. Originally assistant winemaker for Santa Barbara County label, Dragonette Cellars, James left Dragonette to join Liquid Farm as the boutique label’s very first, dedicated winemaker. He transitioned over to Liquid Farm at the start of harvest 2013, and continues to make Liquid Farm’s variety of wines (now five Chardonnays, a Rosé of Mourvèdre, and three Pinot Noirs) in addition to his Kings Carey wines.
A dabbler in multiple things “fermented”, James also once owned a cottage industry bakery business, “Another Bread Company”. Combining his interests in both food and wine, James chose Philadelphia-based illustrator and artist, Hawk Krall, to depict the Kings Carey brand on the bottle labels. Hawk is well known for his food illustration, in particular, as well as his humorous editorial illustration, gallery showings and installations (Art in the Age; Space 1026; Mural Arts Philadelphia; Arts & Crafts Holdings).
Hawk’s work has appeared on the streets, in massive murals; in the homes and businesses of private clients; and at many a restaurant, food shop or beverage business, in the form of custom work for posters, menus, packaging and the like (1732 Meats; DBGB Kitchen and Bar; Pizza Brain; Tröegs Independent Brewing; Two Roads Brewing Company; Kings Carey Wines). His art has also appeared in outlets such as Lucky Peach; Serious Eats; Philadelphia Weekly; Philadelphia Magazine; Baltimore City Paper; Cincinnati Magazine; L.A. Taco; Las Vegas Weekly; Narratively; Next American City; NY Press; Rachael Ray Every Day; Variety; Restaurant Business; The Village Voice; and, Willamette Week.
SAVEUR Magazine also counts Hawk as one of its contributors; he pens and illustrates a recurring series of pieces in the publication, “Hawk’s Illustrated America”, which “follows his journeys through the back roads of the U.S. in search of our country’s most obscure and delicious regional specialties.”