Great wines can’t be made just anywhere – the best winegrowing regions boast a certain balance of warm days and cool nights, sufficient rain fall at the appropriate times, well drained sediments and soils and levels of solar energy that can ripen grapes without pushing them in sugar overdose or shriveling them into raisins. The correlation of wine character and soil type are well documented. Terroir and wine are connected.
Kenefick Ranch Vineyards are located in Napa Valley’s northern most AVA – Calistoga. The entirety of the Calistoga AVA is underlain by volcanic bedrock and sediments more geologically uniform than other Napa Valley AVAs with valley floor environments. Almost completely of volcanic origin, soils range from rocky, stony loam on the hillsides, to gravelly or cobbly loams on the alluvial fans, and heavier clay-silt soils in the valley center areas. Volcanic soils yield more minerals for limiting nutrients that grapes need and allow for better drainage which is better for root development. Further, thinner volcanic soils lead to less green growth and more concentration of flavor within the berries. As a reputable grower, we’re able to control vine quality and produce consistent flavors and characters within small vineyard blocks.
Calistoga AVA has the most extreme diurnal swing in Napa Valley of all AVAs, meaning the day time and night time change in temps is very large. Having a large diurnal shift means the grapes can relax and respire at night after a warm day, allowing for more acid retention; better overnight recovery, thus better balanced wines.
For nearly 25 years, Kenefick Ranch has sold its grapes to such prestigious labels as Caymus, Joseph Phelps, Shafer, and Pride Mountain. In 2002, Tom retired from neurosurgery and Kenefick Ranch began producing and selling its own portfolio of award-winning wines. And today – complemented by advanced vineyard techniques and state-of-the-art winemaking – Kenefick Ranch is still reminiscent of the working ranch it was during the nascent days of the Napa Valley.