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