Another year is closing and while the days quickly pass, one thing we always remember is how grateful we are for you all. Our family, our friends and supporters of Kenefick Ranch Vineyard. We wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and the very best in 2019!
We will be sending out an email in January with some of the exciting events we have planned in 2019. In the meantime, may you all be surrounded with love, laughter, and of course, great wine.
The Kenefick Ranch Family
One of our favorite pairings with St. Patrick’s Day celebration food is the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chris’s Cuvée, with Irish Beef Stew. Our cabernet sauvignon really pairs beautifully with the flavors of beef, spices and hearty vegetables. In fact, we also use the cabernet in the recipe.
Save prep time by prepping the onions, carrots, and potatoes while the stock with beef is simmering in step 2.
Transfer stew to serving bowls. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve along with a glass of Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Chris's Cuvee.
-lovingly adapted to Kenefick taste from Simply Recipes
Happy New Year!
We are looking forward to what 2018 will bring and are pleased to say goodbye to 2017. While the 2017 harvest was smooth and steady, the year ended with the scary and in some cases, tragedy, caused by the multiple wildfires in October. Calistoga and the entire Napa Valley has been recovering and are ready for your visit.
Now on to Vineyard Happenings..
This month the stellar and amazing crew have been pre-pruning the vineyards.
Left side of image shows unpruned vines; the right side pre-pruned
Each year, the vineyard team works through the entire 125 acres of estate vineyards and starts the pruning process. They work block by block. The prepruning helps not only the crew to make a more precise cut with the final pruning, (by removing the extra cane), but also helps to prevent eutypa. This is an airborne virus that attaches itself to the open cout and works into the cane of the vine. The process of movement through the cane is slow and does not reach its ultimate target - the branch, before the final pruning. With the final pruning, we also seal the new cut to prevent any further progress. Another plus for breaking up the pruning process is that the final pruning sets back budbreak, which can give you about two more weeks of frost protection. And with the weather not always being certain, this definitely helps!
Preparation Time 27 hours
The Next Evening
We have seen quite the flurry of activity in the last month on the property with California receiving a record setting amount of rain! The good news is that we managed to stay as dry as possible and even with all the flooding in the Valley, we received no damage on our property in Calistoga. We did have quite a bit of standing water in certain places in the vineyard, however this drained off fairly quickly and we saw no damage to the vines. The good news is that now all of our reservoirs are full so we will have plenty of water to irrigate for the whole year ahead.
After harvest, we seed every other row with a soil erosion mixture, which is a fast growing grass like rye, and the alternative rows are seeded with soil builders (legumes) to add nitrogen and potassium back into the soil. With all the rain, these soil additions are growing quite rapidly and we will soon mow them down and disk them into the soil. During this time of year, we are also checking all of our wind machines to make sure they are ready for frost protection.
Currently on the vineyard, we have just finished our pre-pruning and we are getting started on the actual pruning process. There are many reasons why we like to pre-prune our vines, but mainly it gives our crew the opportunity to clean up the vineyard and to make the pruning process a little easier. By pre-pruning, it also cuts down on the amount of time that the trimmed vine is exposed which, if exposed too long, could lead to disease getting into the vine. When our crew goes through to do the actual pruning, they are able to concentrate more on the small section of vine that is left to make sure they are making a proper cut.
The winery has seen a great January as well. Kenefick Ranch had the opportunity to welcome in the newest member to our family, Kristina King. Kristina came to us with an immense background in the Direct to Consumer market and will be overseeing our Wine Club as well as being the main point of contact in the office. Chris Kenefick made a long road trip into the Rockies to visit Sun Valley and Jackson Hole during a large snow storm in both locations. Although the trip went well and the wine was well received, Chris had to make sure he bundled up as he encountered temperatures that reached 16 degrees Fahrenheit. He sure was happy to make it back to warm California with all his fingers and toes!
Good day from beautiful Calistoga!
We are thrilled to say that our 2016 harvest is completely over and it was another very successful year for us at Kenefick Ranch. For the 2016 harvest we hit over 400 tons and its all tasting great! Now that harvest is over, this is the time that we look to put the vineyard to bed for a few months. Currently we are spreading compost, lime, and gypsum over the entire vineyard. This will help to improve our already outstanding soil profile long term. Once this has been completed, we will seed the vineyard with cover crop and put straw on top of that to prevent soil erosion. Once all the work has been done around the property, many of the vineyard workers will take some time off to vacation to Mexico before returning in January to start with pre-pruning the vineyard.
This time of year is also one of the busiest times for our Sales and Marketing. Patrick Chapman has been traveling all over California promoting the wine and opening up new accounts in all areas of the state. Be sure to ask your local store when they are getting some Kenefick Ranch Wines in if they don’t have them already! Chris Kenefick recently came back from a road trip through Texas where he visited with Spec’s sales representative and on premise representatives in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. Chris then went to Omaha, Nebraska where he and cousin Peter Kenefick hosted dinners at the Happy Hollow Country Club and Spencer’s Steakhouse. The dinners were a great hit and the pairings that each restaurant had were both fantastic! Early next month, Chris will also be heading to Denver, Colorado for a few days of marketing and then finishing with a wine dinner at the politically themed restaurant Capitol Cellars in Boise, Idaho.
The end of October brings a sad but exciting opportunity for Kenefick Ranch. We will officially be closing the doors at Up Valley Vintners and moving all of our tastings to Fairwinds Estate Winery (4550 Silverado Trail N, Calistoga, CA, 94515). This move brings with it the next chapter for Kenefick Ranch. Fairwinds Estate is the location where we have always made our wine and the facility will bring new opportunity to showcase our product by providing tours of the facility as well as barrel samples of some of the current wines in progress.
To celebrating the great 2016 harvest and to the future of Kenefick Ranch, Salud!
Harvest is in full swing here in Napa Valley! Everywhere in the valley is buzzing with excitement to see how well the fruit is turning out. Here at Kenefick Ranch, we harvested the last bit of our whites a few weeks ago and well into the harvest of our reds. As for the whites, they are now in fermentation and we couldn’t be happier with how well they turned out!
For the 2016 harvest season, we are seeing a slightly lighter crop load than average by about 10%. Although we are seeing less fruit, everyone on the ranch agrees that the quality of the fruit is much better than previous years. So far we have seen a long slow growth rate with no heavy heat spike.
Since the harvesting of the Reds is full swing you can expect all team members of Kenefick Ranch to be running at the opportunity to help out in the fields! This year we will mainly be harvesting at night using overhead lights and headlamps to make sure we are getting all the fruit. We always hand pick our fruit to make sure that none of the grapes are damaged before making it to the press. Usually Merlot and Cabernet Franc are among the first varietals to get harvested with the Cabernet Sauvignon and other thicker skinned grapes coming in right after them. On average, our team will be harvesting 20 tons of grapes a day till the end of the season!
Patrick Chapman and Chris Kenefick were proud to represent team Kenefick Ranch at this year’s Harvest Stomp party at Regusci Ranch. The event was amazing and raised over $1.3 million dollars for the Napa Valley Farmworkers Foundation and the Napa Valley Grapegrowers. After pouring at the tasting event, the team enjoyed a fantastic dinner and partook in some great dancing surrounded by the vines and of course, great friends!
Earlier this month Tom Kenefick, Patrick Chapman, and Chris Kenefick attended the annual Calistoga Harvest Dinner. The weekend actually started on Saturday where we were pouring our wines at the Calistoga Wine Experience which showcased wineries in the local area. Sunday’s dinner has long been a favorite in the community. This year we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Judgement of Paris with a special toast to our friend and neighbor Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena. The event is one that typically sells out in a day so if you are looking to join the party next year, make sure to get your tickets early!
Lastly, Chris Kenefick has been presented with the opportunity to head back east to visit some of our east coast markets. Chris originally planned the trip to attend his high school reunion at Vermont Academy in Saxton’s River Vermont but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend some additional time out east. If you’re in the New England area in late September, keep in eye out for Chris in his travels!
The harvest of 2016 is officially underway! This morning we started harvesting our Sauvignon Blanc which yielded about 16 tons of grapes. Tom, Chris, and winemaker Kent Jarman were on hand and all were saying that the grapes looked and tasted fantastic! Needless to say, this is the most exciting time of the year in Napa Valley because we see all the hard work from the past year finally paying off. The reds have almost fully gone through veraison, the changing of color and full ripening of the grape, and should be following the whites into harvest in the next few weeks.
In late July the Kenefick’s took to the road to visit Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Starting at the Sun Valley Wine Auction, Tom, Caitlin, and Chris attended the gala dinner on the first night which raised $1.5 million for the Sun Valley Center for the Arts. After the gala, Caitlin and Chris managed to stay awake to close down the dance floor which I’m sure comes as no surprise to those who have met them. From Sun Valley Tom and Chris traveled to Bozeman, Montana for a few days of marketing which included restaurants in Big Sky and Livingston. The next stop on the adventurous road trip was to pick up Tom’s new toy, an 18 foot classic wooded canoe, from Swan Lake, Montana. The gentlemen at Morley Cedar Canoes did absolutely amazing work building a custom canoe from scratch for Tom which included the KR emblem on the bow of the canoe. After spending a few days on the cattle ranch in Montana, Tom and Chris started their journey to Jackson Hole for a few days in the market. Jackson Hole has always been one of the locations we are better known in and the boys will most likely be back in January to do some public tasting event. Stay tuned for dates when they get closer!
Although we are starting the busiest time of the year, Team Kenefick is still finding time to get out to events in the area. This coming Friday, Director of Sales Patrick Chapman and Chris Kenefick will be heading to a tasting for internet bloggers in Lodi. Amongst the many celebrations in the Valley that happen this time of year, Kenefick Ranch is excited to be a part of the Calistoga Wine Experience and the Calistoga Harvest Table both taking place in our hometown Calistoga in early September. If you are attending either event on September 10th or 11th, please make sure to stop by the tasting room and say hi!
Salud and here’s to a bountiful 2016 harvest!
3-4 lbs. tri-tip roast
4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1/3 cup of kosher salt
1/3 cup black pepper
1/3 cup garlic salt
1 Tablespoon of Oregano
Using a sharp knife, cut small slits into the top of the roast. Stuff the slits with the thinly sliced garlic.
Mix together salt, pepper, garlic salt and oregano. Cover the entire tri-tip with the rub. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Take the meat out of the fridge 20 minutes before grilling.
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.
Place the meat directly above the flame for 5-10 minutes per side (depending on your desired doneness) to sear the meat and lock in the juices.
Turn the grill down to medium heat and continue to cook for another 25-30 minutes (depending on desired doneness, thermometer should read at least 145 degrees F for medium rare). Let stand, covered loosely with foil for five minutes before slicing.
Serve with your favorite Kenefick red wine.
Every vineyard is a unique place, a complex mix of climate, grape varietal, topography, grape growing tradition, and even grower personality. Currently in the vineyard we are doing canopy management – ie: removing leaves from around the bunches and secondary shoots called laterals. This allows more sunlight on the bunches to help with the formation of full flavor profile at harvest time. We also hedge the rows to eliminate excess shoot growth which helps eliminate grassy flavors in the wine. Grape flowers are beginning to form on the vines and if pollinated correctly will provide a grape in the right conditions. Pollen grains from the male (stamons) will drift over to these bean-bag like ovaries 1/8" away and, wah laa, grapes are formed. As these grape bunches form we'll constantly monitor their growth and the vines balance to harvest.
Tom & Chris recently held a winemaker dinner at the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere. This is the club that Tom raced a Soling for 15 years and the family still has a cruising sailboat in the harbor. The dinner had beautiful food pairings with four of our ranch wines (Pickett Road White, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc & Pickett Road Red) as well as the two Kenefick 'halo's - Founder's Reserve and Doctor's Cuvée. The Founder’s Reserve was recently awarded a gold medal & the Doctor’s Cuvée a silver medal, in the San Francisco International Wine Competition. SINCE ITS INTRODUCTION in 1980, the (SFIWC) has been setting the standard for professional wine judging.
Tom is attending the annual meeting of the Neurological Society of America being held at the Powerscourt Hotel in Dublin, Ireland and then leading a group of 10 neurosurgeons and wives. On a 3 day tour & tasting journey to Bordeaux. Chateau Rothschild and Chateau Latour being two of the more noted stops. There’s a Kenefick connection here. . .Chateau Latour, who, in 2013, purchased our across the street neighbor’s, Araujo Estate (now re-named Eisele Vineyard Estate), is in contract with us for Kenefick Ranch fruit.
On the marketing front we'll be pouring our wines at the Oakland Wine Festival on Saturday, July 16th at Sequoyah Country Club in Oakland, CA. Visit www.oaklandwinefestival.com for more information. Tom, Caitlin & Chris are scheduled to participate in the Sun Valley Wine Auction on July 21-23rd. If you are attending be sure to come by our table. Additional information? www.sunvalleycenter.org/wineauction.
Enjoy wine from
30+ Calistoga wineries
Sample culinary delights by local
Chef Rick Warkel
Listen to live music by award-winning
Hot Club of San Francisco