Cult winemaker Manfred Krankl, whose Central Coast label Sine Qua Non is one of the most sought-after in the United States, was in a serious motorcycle wreck two weeks ago but is expected to make a full recovery, according to his wife and business partner, Elaine Krankl.
"Manfred has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident, he is currently stable and improving. We are looking forward to Manfred making a full recovery," she said in a statement.
Krankl, who started as a partner and sommelier at Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles, opened Sine Qua Non as a passion project in 1994. Because of the high quality of the wines and the attention they drew from noted critics, it quickly became much more than that.
Made from Rhone grape varietals such as Grenache and Syrah, the wines almost immediately earned stratosphere scores from influential critics including Robert Parker. With fanciful names such as "Dangerous Birds" and "In the Crosshairs" and embellished with graphic labels, Sine Qua Non wines became collectors' darlings.
Bottles are highly allocated and upon release routinely sell for more than $100 each. At a recent auction, a complete collection of every vintage of his Grenache and Syrah was estimated to go for more than $1,000 a bottle.
Krankl is a noted motorcycle enthusiast. According to police reports, he lost control of his custom-built bike while riding on Highway 33 near his home in Ojai on Sept. 14. He suffered head injuries and was airlifted to Ventura County Medical Center.
Elaine Krankl asked for privacy in her statement. "Manfred and I are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support and well wishes from our friends and loyal patrons across the globe.
"In the meantime our wonderful team will continue to produce and maintain the high level of quality at Sine Qua Non as they have been taught so well. As many of you are aware, our entire team is in the middle of our harvest (a highly promising one), so please understand that Manfred's recovery process as well as the 2014 harvest have us very busy. We will keep everyone informed."