Interview With Steve Lau, Music Maker Turned Organic Wine Maker

by CHRISTINE CHO · November 3, 2008

The past few years a number of my friends chose alternative professions in food and wine. Steve Lau is doing something worth mentioning. Back in the 90's (yes I am still stuck there) his Kinetic Records was giving us artists like Paul Oakenfold, Sasha and Digweed and Timo Maas. Even further back in the 80's and early 90's he was playing keyboards in the successful new wave band The Ocean Blue. Does it get any better than that? Yes! Make your own wine! I love people who know how to live and my friend Steve just always gets it right. Read more about Steve's passion for creating wine and look for the brand in your local Dean and Deluca later this year!

Steve you were in The Ocean Blue in the 80's, you owned Kinetic Records in the 90's and managed some of the hottest super star DJ's around, and now you are a wine maker. Explain yourself please! Its been a crazy journey for sure. I guess if you're looking for a common thread it's a passion for what I am doing. I put my heart into producing and promoting music that I loved and now I'm putting my heart into making our wines. Music and wine both seem to make people happy which makes it a lot of fun.

Along with your partner, Stan Erker, how was Volta developed and what was the catalyst for creating an organic wine? I was taking some time off after Kinetic and we were traveling through Europe together. We were thinking about the next steps and the light bulb went off when our friend treated us to some of the most amazing champagne we had ever tasted (1996 Salon). I had always had an appreciation for great wine but never thought about doing it for a living. After attending school in the Napa Valley we decided to set up camp out here and work towards a goal of getting a winery together and making a top end Cabernet. We've learned a lot over the last three years from our winemaker Massimo Montecelli as well as some other really generous people. All of our wines are made from organically grown grapes which is something that always made sense to us.

Dean and Deluca will be selling your organic wines by the end of this year, something new for the company. Do you have other outlets besides D&D where your wines can be bought? I've been a huge fan of the store since my early days in New York so I was really honored when they said wanted to carry our wine. We're being selective about our retail partners so, outside of Dean and Deluca in St Helena (and just a couple of other stores), the best place to buy our wine is direct from the winery at

With your second harvest bottled...what would you recommend eating with any of your wines? We're making a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, a Cabernet Merlot Blend, a Chardonnay and a Rhone blend. Our first vintage, the 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet from Howell Mountain is the only wine available at this time. It's a great wine to enjoy by itself or with Steak or Lamb as well as a rich buttery or cheesey pasta. It also goes well with parmagiano regiano and some strong cheeses such as a blue cheese or even a sharp cheddar.

Would you rather be eating at a table in Napa with a bunch of farmers or would you rather be on the dance floor with me here in NYC? Haha. I don't want to choose! Why don't you come out here and cook one of your legendary meals for all of us and then we'll all hit the dance floor- just like we've always done it!