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Lisa Lynch brings together love of wine and racing

Published May 30th 2008, 9:27pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Lisa20lynch20and20the20_2 Bennett Lane Winery owners, Randy and Lisa Lynch, have a passion for wine and auto racing.

They are the first winery to own and sponsor a NASCAR racing team. The Bennett Lane race team, operated by Lynch racing, won the 2007 Grand National NASCAR division, and is the primary sponsor of the Bennett Lane 200 race weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma , CA on June 20th-22nd.

Bennett Lane has two cars entered in the Grand National race on June 21st -- the #24 ask, askpatty,, car advice for women, automotive advice for women, Female Friendly Dealer, new car buying, used car buying, expert advice, auto, car selling, car buying, advice for woman, car, car safety, auto advice, NASCAR, Lisa Lynch, Bennett Lane Winery, NASCAR, Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, California, randy lynch, Maximus, bennett lane Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, White Maximus, Bennett Lane Race Team, NASCAR West team, 2007 NASCAR Grand National Division West Series Championship Ford, and the #2 Maximus car (name for Bennett Lane’s signature feasting wine), which is owned by Lisa Lynch.

We spoke with Lisa about her passion for wine and racing.

How did you get into auto racing?
My husband Randy has been passionate about racing for years. A NASCAR devotee since his teenage years, Randy once raced cars himself. His passion for things is contagious. I’ve become an ardent racing fan, and support our all-volunteer crew by preparing hearty, healthy meals for them the day of the race. Last year, I entered my own car in the Grand National division race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma , California . Called the Maximus car after Bennett Lane ’s signature wine, I started a rivalry with my husband, who had entered the #2 Bennett Lane Winery Ford in the same race. I had so much fun, I’m doing it again this year. Besides, we're a competitive family and enjoy a good rivalry!

Tell us a little about your efforts to bring wine and NASCAR together?
Randy and I have found success in the road less traveled and it just seemed like there was a huge, untapped market in the racing world. It's the fastest growing sport in the country and there is also a growing interest in wine. It felt like a natural step to bring our two passions together.

NASCAR crowds are definitely more beer this a hard task to accomplish? Not once they taste our Maximus! There is a growing interest in wine, especially among NASCAR fans, which makes it a really fun challenge. We keep one of our NASCAR race cars in the winery cellar, so we get a lot of visitors to our Calistoga winery and tasting room—they come for the car, and they return for the wines.

Are these your two passions? Wine and racing? Absolutely. Wine is something we came into later in life when we founded Bennett Lane Winery, but we've been involved with racing for years. It is very exciting to blend together our passions right here in wine country.

Race_mesa180 Tell us about your wines and the winery?
Our flagship wine is a non-traditional blend called Maximus made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Its partner, the White Maximus, is an aromatic blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Muscat . We also make a Napa Valley Cabernet, a Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet, a Los Carneros Reserve Chardonnay and a limited production Port-style wine. We do some really fun things out at the winery! Saturdays we put together wildly popular Maximus wine and chocolate pairings. For more ambitious wine tasters, we run a great program called "Put a Cork In It" where groups are invited to blend their own red wines á la unconventional Maximus style—Bennett Lane’s signature Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah “feasting wine” blend, lead by the expert staff at the winery. It costs $175 per person and the package includes limousine service to and from the winery from either the Calistoga or St. Helena area (for up to eight people), a blending session, an individually-blended bottle of wine to take home for each guest, and a wine and cheese pairing.

Will Bennett Lane be sponsoring a Sprint Cup car at this years Infineon Speedway road race?
The Bennett Lane Race Team is NASCAR West team that regularly tours the Western United States and won the 2007 NASCAR Grand National Division West Series Championship. Bennett Lane Winery is sponsoring an entire weekend of events, called the Bennett Lane 200, of which the Sprint Cup race is part, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma , CA from June 20th –June 22nd. Our #2 Bennett Lane Winery Ford and my #24 Maximus car will compete in the Grand National race at Infineon raceway on June 21st. It’s a fun rivalry that I began last year. I’m also happy that as the title sponsor of the Bennett Lane 200, our wines will be available for tasting at the track. We were the first winery to sponsor a NASCAR team, so it’s great to showcase our wine and our cars at the same time.

What do you hope to gain from your racing sponsorships?
We hope to share our passions, exposing the joys of wine to NASCAR fans and the joys of racing to wine lovers.

Lindapic_noman2 by Linda Przygodski
Contributing Editor

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