Holiday Traditions with Team Lula
The holidays are here! We’re decking the halls, checking our lists, and enjoying our holiday traditions—some old and some new. From decorating the tree to whipping up comforting recipes in the kitchen, team Lula is excited for our favorite time of the year!
Ken Avery, Proprietor, and his Lovely Wife, Joni Avery
Ever since Ken and Joni became parents, their family’s holiday tradition has always started with getting the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Next comes the decorating! Ken and Joni have their halls decked with boughs of holly as soon as possible in order to bask in the season for as long as they can. The Averys top off the tree with the star on Christmas Eve and open up presents on Christmas morning.
Every Christmas, Ken cooks his world-famous Prime Rib on the BBQ spit with a glass of Lula wine in-hand, of course. He prefers our 2018 Rescue Block to accentuate the robust flavors in the Prime Rib, whereas Joni prefers a chilled glass of the 2019 Chardonnay.
Matt Parish, Winemaker
After moving to the United States over 18 years ago from New Zealand, Matt and his family have grown to love Christmas as their favorite holiday. They have tried many different recipes throughout the years to find the “perfect” Christmas spread, and they’ve finally made these dishes their family’s tradition.
The Parish family takes a unique approach to their holiday fare. On the menu for Christmas Eve is Raclette, a traditional Swiss dish, paired with the 2019 Lula Gewürztraminer. This cheesy spread, paired with a versatile white wine, is the perfect way to kick-off the holidays. For Christmas dinner, Matt and his family enjoy Pheasant paired with the 2019 Lula Vineyard Pinot Noir (coming soon!). This Pinot Noir has great acidity that balances the rich and gamy qualities of the Pheasant.
Chris Lanier, General Manager
Well, Christmas has come early this year, and Santa has noticed that Chris made the Nice List! He will be creating a new holiday tradition of smoking a turkey on his brand new Traeger smoker. Chris got his smoker just before Thanksgiving and has been trying to figure out the perfect recipe for Christmas. One thing he can recommend is that with whatever smoked turkey recipe you make, a bottle of Lula Pinot Noir accentuates all of the flavors and is definitely a palate-pleaser.
Kim Badenhop, Tasting Room Host
Kim used to have a restaurant in Fort Bragg, and each year he’d make Cranberry Chutney. It’s a very time-consuming recipe, but the final product is delicious. Guests of the restaurant would always ask Kim if he could spare any for them to take home. Each year he makes it, cans it, and sends it out as gifts. He loves when the kitchen fills with the scent of the chutney cooking down. It wouldn’t be the holiday season without it!
If he can, he tries to not make a big deal out of Christmas dinner anymore and has realized that simplifying it has made for a more enjoyable day. He now enjoys pizza for Christmas Eve, flavors differ every year, and on Christmas Day, a grilled cheeseburger with a glass of wine does the trick.
His favorite Christmas endeavor is a stocking that he puts together each year and ships out to his very dear friend in Duluth, Minnesota. Growing up, his Christmas stocking was a huge part of the day. He and his sister each hung a nylon stocking on their bedroom door knobs before they went to bed. In the morning, the stockings would be chock-a-block full of goodies, and they’d have a great time going through them together. Kim’s personal goal is to see how much he can stuff in a stocking, and he always fears there won’t be enough. Working on this year’s stocking, he has realized that this is the start of the second decade of his tradition, which is very exciting!
Daniel Reed, Tasting Room Manager
Growing up, Dan and his siblings would come from afar to be with their mother and father at Christmas. The tree would be up, and the house would be full of warmth, gratitude, and family. His mom would always remember their favorite treats and bring cookies for the kids.. Dan’s son, Peter, would always have a bowl of fresh raspberries and his other son, Josh, had more than enough homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. This time they shared as a family was very special to Dan, especially since it only happened every four years. They all agreed that the holidays were about family and good memories to tide them over for the next visit.
This year, Dan will have a new four-legged friend joining him through the holiday season, Kepler! We’ve spoken with Kepler, and he is so excited about creating new memories and traditions with Dan. He asked for a new toy for Christmas and hopes he has been a good enough boy to see it under the tree!
As you can tell, our team is full of unique traditions they celebrate during the holidays.