Lawlor Family

The Lawlor Family

“Thank you for your support. Each and every one of you has helped make our winery a success.
We toast you!”The Lawlor Family

The Lawlor Family Winery—now spanning three generations
Little did Robert and Joyce Lawlor know back in the early 1970’s what their passion for winemaking would bring.

Acres of rolling farmland hosting 22 different specialty grapes, 60,000 gallons of wine per year, 40 wine varieties, three tasting rooms and thirty plus years later and many cherished friendships, the Lawlors are proud to have created a family legacy…that now spans three generations.

Lawlor Family

Early 1970’s
Robert & Joyce Lawlor dream of starting their own family winery and decide to take a winemaking class in Cedar Rapids, where they live.

Daughter Christine Lawlor shares her parent’s passion and accepts the challenge to become a winemaker. After receiving a teaching degree from St. Catherine’s College in St. Paul, Minnesota, she ventures to California to earn a second degree in enology and viticulture from Fresno State University.

Upon her graduation, Christine and her parents launch Christina Wine Cellars in McGregor, Iowa. The business opens in a restored, historic post office building.

The first production is 500 gallons of cherry wine.

 1978Christina Winery, La Crosse
A second winery opens in an old Milwaukee freight depot in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

The Lawlor family sees an opportunity to open a third winery in Galena, Illinois. They call upon Christine’s brother—Scott–and his wife, Karan, who had been working in Colorado and California, to move to Galena to help with the project.

Scott, Christine, and their parents open the newly restored 1840’s granary building on Main Street in Galena.
First production at the Galena facility is 5,000 gallons of wine.

The family decides to focus production in Galena and closes the McGregor and LaCrosse locations.

Joyce and Robert LawlorAs wine production continues, the Lawlors acquire a farm on North Ford Road just outside of Galena. They begin growing experimental grapes and move the wine production to the vineyard location.

Christine Lawlor-White is honored as “Winemaker of the Year” by the Illinois Grape Growers and Vinters Association.

Galena Cellars opens a suburban Tasting Room & Gift Shop in Geneva, Illinois.

Cousins Eric and Sarah (Christine’s Son and Scott’s Daughter) begin their formal education in becoming winemakers at California Polytechnic State University and Fresno State University, respectively.

Christine Lawlor-White is honored again as “Winemaker of the Year” by the Illinois Grape Growers and Vinters Association.

2010Sarah and Eric
Third generation Lawlor winemakers Sarah and Eric, both who attended California State University, Fresno are currently busy working the harvest in Napa Valley as interns.Christine Lawlor

Galena Cellars Wine and winemaker Christine Lawlor-White receive numerous awards—locally and nationally—for their respected wine and refined viticulture and leadership.