Featured Participants

Garland with Failla Wines



While the history of Failla (pronounced FAY-LA) is short, it is not without its complexities.  Our first vintage release was as Failla-Jordan in 1998; the label taking its name from husband-and-wife team of winemaker Ehren Jordan and fellow debtor Anne-Marie Failla.  That year, Failla's first release of Alban Vineyard Viognier (Edna Valley) and Que Syrah Syrah (Sonoma Coast) coincided with planting the first blocks at our Estate Vineyard in Cazadero.  The first Estate releases would be years away.

Ehren loves to experiment with his favorite varietals, coaxing out their various incarnations from different climates (cool, cooler, and coolest), soil types, and rootstock. 

Ehren Jordan’s wine career began in Washington DC, while he was studying art history and classical archeology at George Washington University. Like many college students, Ehren needed a part-time job. So he walked just a few blocks away to Bell Wine & Spirits, where he convinced the owners to hire him as a stock boy. He enjoyed his time at Bell’s and learned a thing or two about wine, but didn’t yet realize that wine would become his life’s work.

After graduating in 1989, Ehren headed to Denver – working that first summer and fall as a sales rep for a large wine distributor. Like many 20-somethings in Colorado, he headed to the ski slopes that winter, figuring he’d ski all day and work at night. He landed a job at a restaurant in Aspen, and by the end of that first season, he was both managing the restaurant and heading up its wine program.

Benjamin Richardson comes to Failla locked and loaded with a wine knowledge from various stints as a sommelier at some of the most prestigious restaurants in the US such as Frasca (Boulder, CO) and The Restaurant at Meadowood (St. Helena, CA). He not only helps guide our staff, but creates magical experiences for our guests.   Benjamin joins Failla Wines after 12 years in the high-end restaurant industry. Having held the post as the Sommelier at Michelin 3-Star rated The Restaurant at Meadowood; in addition to helping run the wine program at James Beard Award winning Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado, Benjamin has had the opportunity to cultivate his hospitality skills at some of the top restaurants in America.

As an Advanced Sommelier, he brings his passion for wine and his craft of developing unique and meaningful experiences to the Failla team as their Director of Hospitality. A native of Georgia and having spent over 14 years in Colorado before making his way to California, Benjamin now lives in St Helena with his wife and daughter. When he isn’t at the winery or enjoying the outdoors with his family, you might find him trail running in the local wilderness.




Garland offers spice driven seasonal cuisine with a focus on Indian and Asian flavors and the evolution of those culinary traditions. Using ingredients from local farmers keeps us connected to our home in Downtown Raleigh and allows for an evolving, made-from-scratch menu. We feature seasonal handcrafted cocktails, quality spirits, wine and beer curated to pair with our food. The dining room is stylish, unpretentious and cozy with many unique details built by local artisans. 

Out front, Garland has a distinct, retro and funky look.  Silver-plated, mirror like swirls, a metal grate ceiling in front.  You open up the door to an eclectic looking space with right-hand side-bar, front room waiting area and lots of paintings and prints in back. Very interesting decor.  There's a bit of wood warmth, creative hipster and chic modern.  The table has cut crystal bottles holding small flowers and the staff is all pretty young and beautiful. 

All the decor at Garland is well-thought out with a lot of care, just like their food.  Along with the solid service and cool, front waiting area, the place screams "Love me" and you probably will.

Chef and owner Cheetie Kumar, who grew up in India before moving to New York and then North Carolina, developed a following with her unique eatery. Kumar describes Garland as “a spice-driven seasonal restaurant with an Indian/Asian focus.”

 “Using flavors and techniques gleaned from around the world, Garland's menu adds a twist to some familiar and local ingredients,” according to a press release. “Guests will find cuisine that is representative of India, southeast Asia, Korea and beyond.”


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