About Little John Lane Vineyard & The End of Nowhere

Little John Lane & The End of Nowhere are a homecoming story. After years spent working as a firefighter and lighting designer, I fell in love with wine in New York City while bartending my way through graduate school.

Several years later, when long nights behind the bar became draining instead of exciting, I was hunting for ways to keep my passion for wine alive, and returning to California started sounding pretty good. As a Certified Sommelier, I knew California produced some fantastic wines, and as a native to Amador county I was certain the area had potential to grow.

So in June of 2014 I packed up my apartment and headed home to start Little John Lane Vineyard, driving across the United States (and tasting as much local wine I could find) ready to plant vines on the property surrounding my childhood home in Pioneer, California. Nestled in the Sierra Foothills of Amador county, the region’s wine history dates back to the Gold Rush.

While Amador is known for Zinfandel, I believe the higher elevations are the perfect haven for Rhone varieties which is my focus on the home property, where I am planting ten acres of vines with my family. From classics like Syrah and Grenache to obscure varieties like Picpoul and Clairette Blanche my goal is to produce distinct wines that showcase the unique environment of the foothills, with minimal intervention in the winery.

At Little John Lane, I’m committed to practicing organic farming and treating the land with more than a little love–I grew up in these hills, and I’ll do whatever it takes to preserve them for future generations, even if that means I spend a lot more time on my knees pulling weeds.

While my home vineyard comes of age, I started The End of Nowhere label to showcase grapes grown by other small farmers in the Sierra Foothills. The goal of the label is to approach well known varietals in a different way, showing their full range. The wines are made by native yeast fermentations, and are not fined, filtered or modified save for minimal SO2.

For many, wine is liquid travel. For me, it’s home. I hope you enjoy Little John Lane and The End of Nowhere wines until the last sip.

Chris Walsh

Why We Do It

It’s more than just wine