From Napa Valley to Anderson Valley Wine - Ken Avery of Lula Cellars - Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association

From Napa Valley to Anderson Valley Wine – Ken Avery of Lula Cellars

There’s a certain satisfaction and sense of fate when life comes back full circle. For Lula’s proprietor Ken Avery his wine journey began in 1970’s Napa, where he began working at Domaine Chandon and continued there while attending UC Berkeley. Ken worked his way through almost every job in operations at the winery before graduating Berkeley with a degree in Business. During his 35-year career as a CPA, Ken continued to work around wine, this time on the business side, frequently working through audits and arbitration agreements. 


It was then in 2010, with the founding of Lula, that Ken crossed over and began his journey making wine.   Since 2012 Ken has been the managing partner and largest shareholder overseeing the day-to-day operations of Lula Cellars.  Based around a 22-acre estate in the Deep End of Anderson Valley, Ken along with winemaker Matt Parish, strive to produce wines that are true to their varietal character and reflect the nuances of the vineyards where the grapes were grown.  In the rich diversity of Mendocino micro-climates, they have found many opportunities to explore the range of flavors brought out by changing terroir. Leveraging their agility as a boutique winery, Ken and Matt also make the most of unexpected gifts that sometimes happen when your creative partner is nature itself.  As a result of one such bounty, Lula will soon be adding a Chambertin Vosne-Romanee, to their roster of award-winning wines. 

In Anderson Valley, with its down-to-earth farming sensibility, Ken has found a community that  resonates with his time in 1970’s Napa.  Neighbors help each other here.  That kindness and camaraderie is one of Anderson Valley’s most valuable assets.   This year, Ken and Lula Cellars will be hosting the kick-off barbeque for the Pinot Noir Festival for the third time.  For Ken, the barbeque is one of the best events of the festival.  It’s the time where the community gets to come together casually and celebrate the successful teamwork as represented  by the valley’s biggest event- Pinot Fest.

– By Tina Casey