Tom’s nephew, Peter Kenefick, is a wealth-management adviser by day, and by night he’s a restaurateur with a presence on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota. He also acts as an ambassador for Kenefick Ranch Vineyards, promoting the wines at tastings, winemaker’s events, and trade shows around the country. “I like to say we’ve grown the brand one mouth at a time,” he says.
Before he became involved with the family business, Peter enjoyed wine but admittedly didn’t know much about it. It took him a few years, he says, to fully understand how exceptional the Kenefick Ranch wines are, especially at their price point.
His favorite aspect of the business is coming to the ranch throughout the year, getting up at dawn to work shoulder-to-shoulder in the vineyards with Gus Garcia and his crew. “It’s so good for the soul to work hard, get dirty, and produce something with your own hands,” he says. “It gives me great satisfaction to say that I helped pick the grapes in that particular bottle.”
Peter also points to his uncle’s pride at keeping this remarkable 250-acre piece of land pristine and intact, with half of it undeveloped. “This is very valuable property, and he’s received many generous offers to buy it for development, but he always says no,” Peter says. “Our family’s history of farming has taught us to be good stewards of the earth, to pass it on to future generations. It’s the right thing to do.”