No Limit Wines
Santa Ynez Valley AVA
A tiny production creating its own luck with fantastic wines in the Santa Ynez Valley
If ever there was a winery destined for inclusion in our Garagiste Wine Club, the No Limit Winery of the Santa Ynez Valley would seem the ideal choice.
First of all, No Limit’s production is tiny—only 200 cases per year, a main factor for a winery in this club. Secondly, the story behind the winery should be engaging and ingenuous and should illustrate the owner’s desire to succeed in a wine industry environment that is highly competitive.
Started in 2008 with a production of only 150 cases, No Limit Winery pays tribute to owner Cliff Korn’s penchant for playing his favorite game—poker. “I love the game,” Korn related recently while walking through a Las Vegas casino, “Especially the No Limit Hold ’em that the really good players favor. It separates the men from the boys rather quickly.” Korn’s other interests include most sports and wine, but not necessarily in that order. He had been previously involved in the wine business on the sales and marketing side and felt a winery that catered to the casino industry would be quite appealing.
Then Cliff Korn took the initial step of following his intuition for real. “I contacted my dear friend Ethan Lindquist who had been making his own wine (Ethan Wines) for more than a decade. He loved my idea and No Limit Winery became a reality.”
Some nine years later, the project is healthy and still quite small. “We rely on being able to purchase outstanding fruit of the Rhône varietal Syrah. When we find it, we make really special wine,” Korn continued. Interestingly, Cliff Korn has also found a supportive market in some of New York’s finest steakhouses (Del Frisco’s and Smith & Wollensky to name a couple) who have featured his wines.
The label design (by his wife Morgan’s friend Samantha Holmes) features an old school poker card with a prominent Jack of Diamonds (with sunglasses) prominent. Korn also considered a King for the label but felt it would be presumptive to start so high. “The Jack must work hard to become King,” declared Korn, “just as we must work hard to become a great winery.”