Lance Cutler spent fifteen years as winemaker/general manager for the historic Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma, California. Named Winemaker of the year in 1983 at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Lance concentrated on producing wonderful, full-bodied red wines. He almost single-handedly brought humor into the fine wine business inventing Fortune Corks, Time for Wine Hats, and the fabulous Gundlach Bundschu poster series. With his group, the Sonoma Valley Wine Patrol, he masterminded the hijacking of the Napa Wine Train and the kidnapping of Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic Airlines.

     Lance also produced wines under his own label, called The Cutler Cellar, from 1985 to 1993. Sadly, he has retired from commercial winemaking, choosing to focus on a new career as a writer. He satisfies his need for winemaking with the private, non-commercial guerrilla vino. While managing The Cutler Cellar, Lance created and produced a series of five posters. They remain among the funniest marketing tools ever seen in the wine business.

 

Posters and Cards

Click to see full image

This was the first Cutler Cellar poster. Inspired by a famous poster entitled "Expose Yourself to Art", it features classic two-shot photography, printed seamlessly by photographer Ron Zak. Using crisp shadow and light effects, it has an Ansel Adams feel to it. Lance has never revealed the name of the model.
Poster $25.00
Postcard $1.00
This second Cutler Cellar poster was shot in Lance’s private wine cellar, and features Lance’s daughter Dawn. Lance’s hospitality is legendary in Sonoma Valley. An accomplished cook, dinner guests are led to the wine cellar and told to select any wine that strikes their fancy. Chuck House designed all the posters in this series, and creates a sophisticated effect by using gold print, the large scripted "E" to begin the text, and the rich black to frame the photo.
Poster $15.00
Postcard $1.00

Never one to shy away from politics or controversy, this poster was created in direct response to the New Prohibitionist movement that peaked in the early 1990s. All the characters are friends of Lance’s including his landlord as one of the judges, and local winemaker Claude Berthoud as Lance’s attorney. The reporter taking notes is Dennis Patterson whose Ben Franklin Press printed all of the posters in this series.

 
Poster $15.00
Postcard $1.00

New Orleans was the single largest market in the United States for The Cutler Cellar wines. In 1990, Lance was made an honorary citizen of New Orleans in a ceremony at the City Council chambers. He sponsors an annual party for New Orleans waitstaff called the Waitstaff Ball. This poster was his thank you to all of the waiters who supported The Cutler Cellar in New Orleans.

 
Poster $15.00
Postcard $1.00

This last Cutler Cellar poster features Lance in his now famous wine cellar. When questioned about the propriety of the pose, Lance replied, "There’s just something about the picture that makes me laugh." This poster was designed by Bob Johnson, the great wine cartoonist and illustrator.

 
Poster $15.00
Postcard $1.00