Winemaker James Sparks launches Kings Carey label

Staff Report

Liquid Farm winemaker James Sparks has released the first three wines under his new proprietary label, Kings Carey.

They are a 2014 grenache (John Sebastiano Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley AVA), a 2015 grenache (John Sebastiano Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills AVA), and a 2016 rosé of grenache from Brick Barn, a new vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley AVA.

Kings Carey entails boutique, small-production wines crafted by Sparks, who said he prefers to “keep it simple” with single varietal and single vineyard bottlings and minimal manipulation.

“I’m trying to produce ‘untypical’ wines of typicity,” Sparks said.

“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,” he added.

Sparks started life as a Mormon. In 2009, having already left the religion, he was brought to the Santa Ynez Valley by his brother-in-law, a move which would kick-start Sparks’ career path in wine.

He began as assistant winemaker for Dragonette Cellars, then joined Liquid Farm as the boutique label’s first dedicated winemaker at the start of harvest 2013.

He continues to make Liquid Farm’s variety of wines — five chardonnays, a rosé of mourvèdre, and two pinot noirs — in addition to his Kings Carey wines.

Kings Carey wines are available via the company’s web site,, and in the wine stores, wine bars and restaurants that are listed there.

Visits and private tastings to the Kings Carey winery in Lompoc are by appointment only; reservations may be made by emailing

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