Kenwood Vineyards is a 263-acre winery in Sonoma Valley. It was founded in 1970 and in 1999 it was acquired by Gary Heck, who also owns Korbel Champagne Cellars and other California wineries. The estate makes numerous wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah and dessert wines. It is also known for its 30 years of producing an artist series of Cabernet Sauvignon, in which artworks by living and deceased artists are used on the labels.
Russian River Valley AVA is named for the river that meanders from Mendocino County in the north until it finally runs into the Pacific Ocean north of San Francisco. The AVA is cool thanks to its proximity to the northern California coast and the river, and grape growers must learn to deal with regular fog. Nevertheless in recent decades the AVA has become one of the best in the state, meaning that its wines often earn excellent reviews and have considerable cachet. The AVA status was awarded in 1983 and today the appellation has 15,000 vineyard acres. Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape though Pinot Noir has also been very successful in recent decades. Russian River Valley Pinot Noir are known for being rich, lush and filled with concentrated fruit and berry flavors. Russian River Pinot Noirs are today considered some of the best domestic Pinot Noirs.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.