Kenwood Wineries: Two-Day Tasting Itinerary

  • Guides
  • by DAISY BARRINGER
  • on APRIL 18, 2024
  • 9595
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Kenwood may be a small town, but it should not be overlooked when visiting Sonoma County. The wineries and picturesque views of this Sonoma Valley gem make it an excellent destination for wine enthusiasts seeking a relaxing experience without a lot of time spent in the car. We’ve compiled seven of the best wineries to visit on a two-day tour, so you can maximize your time while also enjoying the best that Kenwood has to offer.

Day 1

1
Wineries / Kenwood

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

The Mission-style tasting room at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, complete with a statue of St. Francis of Assisi and a bell tower that houses a 1,000-pound bronze bell cast in Italy (that rings on the hour), is another architectural delight along your Kenwood wineries tour. The tasting flights are a great introduction to the winery’s bold, full-bodied wines, which is best known for its Sonoma Cabernet, Chardonnay, old-vine Zinfandel, and Merlot. For those looking for something a little more in-depth, the award-winning five-course wine and food pairing is a fun way to learn more about the wine, meet new friends, and enjoy a delicious meal.

Insider Tip

Leave time to wander the well-tended grounds and take in views of the Mayacamas Mountains and the Wild Oak Vineyard, where a myriad of varietals are grown, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot.

Photo courtesy of St. Francis Winery

Details Visit Website
2
Wineries / Kenwood

Ledson Winery & Vineyards

About an hour and a half from San Francisco, “The Castle” is an architectural showstopper that’s not to be missed. And though the 16,000-square-foot, French Normandy-inspired structure and its sweeping staircases, cathedral-style windows, and hand-cut wood inlays are the initial draw, once you settle in to your tasting, you’ll realize that the hospitality and wines are the true protagonists in this story. The Classic Tasting at The Noble Tasting Bar is an excellent introduction to the myriad of varietals Ledson offers (the winery began with Merlot, but has since branched out to include more than 20 varietals and blends), while the Private Wine Tastings that take place in a personal suite or on a veranda overlooking the vineyard are perfect for those looking for something a little more in-depth and memorable.

Insider Tip

The Ledson Winery Marketplace sells gourmet sandwiches, salads, and other treats that you can buy for a picnic lunch to enjoy in the majestic Oak Grove on the property.

Photo courtesy of Ledson Winery

Details Visit Website
3
Wineries / Kenwood

Landmark Vineyards

Kenwood’s Landmark Vineyards is known for its Chardonnay and signature winemaking style, which uses whole cluster pressed grapes, fermentation by native yeast strains, and aging in French oak. It’s also set in a beautiful location at the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, which makes the Sensory Tasting a popular option. You’ll learn about the winery’s history and viticultural practices, tour the estate gardens, and finish with a guided tasting of their signature wines paired with artisan cheeses.

Insider Tip

If you’re venturing around Sonoma County and find yourself in the Russian River, do pay a visit to Landmark’s other location, the historic Hop Kiln Estate. Originally built in 1905, this unique estate has gone from drying hops for beer to being an acclaimed destination for Pinot Noir.

Photo courtesy of Landmark Vineyards

Details Visit Website
4
Wineries / Kenwood

Chateau St. Jean

Return to the morning’s European theme at Chateau St. Jean, a winemaking estate with a Mediterranean-style villa and rustic countryside gardens — reminiscent of those found in Italy and the South of France. Thought of as one of the leaders in single vineyard designated wines, this winery is best known for its Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. If seeing the gardens is a priority, The Chef’s Table tasting, which includes a tour of the grounds (glass in hand) followed by an amuse-bouche and wine pairing in the historic 1920s Chateau, is a fantastic option. If you’re looking to enjoy the views with a more casual vibe, Bottles and Bites, which includes a bottle of wine and a cheese and charcuterie platter to be savored in the picnic grounds under the redwoods, is the way to go.

Insider Tip

Chateau St. Jean is the only Wine Country winery with an escape room. You’ll have 60 minutes to solve puzzles and riddles to “unlock the secret of the Chateau” as well as tastes of wine along the way and at the conclusion.

Photo courtesy of Chateau St. Jean

Details Visit Website

Day 2

5
Wineries / Kenwood

Kenwood Vineyards

Kenwood Vineyards was founded in 1970 — well before Sonoma’s AVAs were established — and is dedicated to producing wines that capture and respect each vineyard’s distinct characteristics, including the iconic Jack London single vineyard, award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Syrah wines. At the historic tasting room dating back to 1906, you’ll have the option of the Wild Sonoma Tasting, featuring wines exclusive to the winery, or the Rugged Reds & Chocolate Pairings—perfect if you have a sweet tooth.

Insider Tip

If you’re looking to buy wine to enjoy later that day, the Six Ridges series, “crafted to reflect the wild of Sonoma” is an excellent and affordable option (especially the Pinot Noir).

Photo courtesy of Kenwood Vineyards

Details Visit Website
6
Wineries / Kenwood

Kunde Family Winery

For your last Kenwood winery experience, leave a couple of hours to enjoy the magical Mountain Top Tasting at this certified-sustainable property, known for its Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel. The guided experience begins with a vineyard tour followed by transportation to the tasting deck at an elevation of 1,400 feet. There, you’ll taste your way through a selection of small production wines while taking in stunning views of Sonoma Valley — a reminder of why Northern California is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Insider Tip

If the weather isn’t cooperating for the “Mountain Top Tasting,” opt for the seated “Cave Tasting” inside of an aging cave carved into the volcanic hillside (only available during the winter).

Photo courtesy of Kunde Family Winery

Details
7
Wineries / Kenwood

VJB Cellars

Walking around the stunning VJB Cellars property will have you feeling like you’ve been transported to the Italian countryside! This family-owned winery is heavily inspired by their Italian heritage, producing Italian wine varietals like Nebbiolo and Barbera, alongside Sonoma classics like Chardonnay. You don’t need a reservation for groups smaller than five, although you might want to book their Owner’s Tasting, a private tour with the owners, ahead of time.

Insider Tip

If you start to feel your stomach grumbling, head over to one of VJB Cellars’ on-site eateries for a taste of Italy. You’ll find wood-fired pizzas at Red Rooster, while La Cucina serves up charcuterie boards, salads, and paninis made with fresh ingredients (like homemade mozzarella).

Photo courtesy of VJB Cellars | Kim Carroll

Details

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