Around the World: Napa Valley Wine Owner Lawrence Fairchild’s Favorite Things
When Lawrence Fairchild describes his exclusive specialty wine brands that fall under the Stones and Fairchild Wines labels to new customers, he says he wants to “create the Hermès of wine, the Cartier of wine.”
To his clientele of taste makers, collectors and connoisseurs, he wants to deliver personalized wines that cannot be found anywhere else.
Fairchild, 60, presides over five wineries in Napa Valley, with wines that won’t appear in any store or on any wine list. In order to add his work to your collection, you must become a member of Fairchild and Stones, with bottles available on an allocated basis.
His most recent one-of-a-kind collection is Perrarus 3: The Museum Series. In Latin, “perrarus” means “rare or exceptional,” and Fairchild wanted to make sure the vessels that hold this wine lived up to their name – replica Greek storage jars from the BC era. called amphorae, with only 400 mouth-blown bottles. made. Only one is sold to a buying member, priced at US$11,500 a bottle.
Last year he launched the House of Perrarus Entertainment Center, a gathering place where you can sit and taste wine and find inspiration in a setting full of art and unique architectural design located on his property of Napa Valley. The space is open exclusively to its luxury wine clientele.
Fairchild’s experience isn’t in wine first. In fact, he grew up on a farm in Nebraska before pursuing a career on Capitol Hill in the early 1990s. He remembers the days of listening to free National Symphony Orchestra concerts outside on the grass drinking bottles of wine with friends.
Over the years, curiosity turned into passion and he finally bought his first vineyard in 1999. The first wine under the Fairchild label was released in 2005.
“We tell all of our wine customers, all of our designers, and all of the great people who help me achieve this that our only vision is ‘perfection,’” he says. “People who come to see me, their time is precious. Their time selecting wines is precious, their time drinking wine is precious, so I want it to be as perfect as possible.
Fairchild shared some of her favorite things with Penta.
One thing that wakes me up in the morning is… I’m one of those people who literally can’t wait to get up in the morning, I look forward to the next day, I like to plan for next week. I think it’s a number of different things that I’m looking forward to. What I do includes a wide range of activities from visiting clients to working on bottle engraving locations for the Perrarus 3 series. I gave a speech in Omaha about the concept of literally planning the year for let everything you do be a special moment, everything you do be a great moment.
One place I have traveled to and would love to revisit is… we were able to go to France every summer. Before the Covid, we had booked an apartment in Paris that we could not use. There is a chef named Michel Troisgros who runs La Maison Troisgros in Ouches, outside of Lyon. They’ve had three Michelin stars for about 47 or 48 consecutive years, I believe. It is in this 14th [or] 15th century building, but in the middle they have this ultra modern glass restaurant, think of the Louvre pyramid, such an unusual modern design. They are awesome, just the nicest people in the world and I can’t wait to go back.
The best book I’ve read in the last year is… one of the funniest reads was The Queen’s Bet. I thought it was an interesting read of something that was actually fictional, it surprised me, it was pretty good. For the other, it’s called Think like a rocket scientist—from a business point of view, I found it very useful. It’s about 90% business concepts, 10% non-business concepts in terms of business analysis and success.
A work of art that inspires me is… My first artistic “wow factor” experience was definitely seeing the work of Jackson Pollock when I was spending quite a bit of time in New York on business during my pre-wine days and returning to MoMA. I just thought his works were amazing. Also, Basquiat really throws an impossible and incredible job at me. As for the things I collect here, Wosene Worke Kosrof — he’s Ethiopian. I have a total of six of his pieces. I love Wosene because of his personality and background. Some of my early influences are Warhol, Basquiat, Pollack, a variety of things.
If I could have a drink with anyone, it would be… I would go to Bar Hemingway at the Ritz in Paris and I would like to sit with Ronald Reagan.
The one thing in my kitchen that I can’t live without… probably my knives. I collect a lot of really special Japanese knives, I love using them, I choose them every time I cook and I love to cook.
My favorite dish to cook is… a cassoulet based on the one from Paris that has been named the best cassoulet in the world by French chefs.
My favorite neighborhood is… the same place we go to every summer, the same apartment in the 6th arrondissement of Paris — the best tea room in town, is right across the street, I love the vibe of the neighborhood, we’re just across the street side of the Seine. It is undoubtedly a place where I would go tomorrow, in the 6th in Paris.
The person who inspired me to do what I do the most is… it would be my father. He was always on the verge of, “Do absolutely what you want to do.” He didn’t explain if it was convenient or not. Should I be an accountant? Things like that. When it comes to artistic inspiration, I have read a lot about and what type of artists to search for. If there is an inspiration, I think it would be someone like Van Gogh. Research shows that he painted between the ages of 27 and 37 and created around 900 paintings. To me, that’s shocking.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.