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Navigate:  Store / Winemakers / Les Behrens

Les Behrens (aka the Jersey Boy) was born in Perth Amboy, NJ and moved to California with his family as a young boy. Lisa Drinkward was born and raised in southern California but realized that she was a northern California girl when she spent her college years in Humboldt County. Arcata, CA was where Les and Lisa met and were married in 1987. Their mutual love of food and wine led them to create Folie Douce Restaurant in 1991. Lisa explored her creative food side as chef, and Les was able to develop his passion and palate for wine as sommelier and wine buyer. A mutual enthusiasm for wine developed, resulting in the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for their eclectic wine list. This passion and the encouragement from friend and mentor Ed Oliviera prompted Les and Lisa to purchase their first 3 and a half tons of grapes in 1993. Bob and Lily Hitchcock came on board during that first harvest to manage the business and financial machinations of the winery, and Behrens & Hitchcock Winery was officially formed. Les, without any formal training, has been the sole winemaker at Behrens & Hitchcock since its inception, making wine in a style that flows from his great instinct and confident palate. Although Lisa is involved with all aspects of winemaking, during harvest her real focus is on vineyard management and grower relations. After four years of running both the restaurant and winery, Lisa and Les sold Folie Douce in 1997 and moved to Napa Valley to make wine full-time.


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