The winery in California Sonoma Valley
(Region North Coast
) was founded in 1906 under the name "Pagani Brothers Winery". The run-down business was taken over in 1970 by Martin Lee (now deceased), his son-in-law John Sheela and his two sons Marty and Mike. It was named "Kenwood Winery" after the nearby town. The “Family Association” subsequently brought about a true revolution and caused a sensation with the wines. The winery was founded in 1998 by the famous sparkling wine house Korbel
(Gary Heck) bought, both companies then became the Anheuser-Busch beer group in 2002. The vineyards cover 112 hectares with the white varieties Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, French Colombard, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as the red varieties Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan Noir, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel.
Varietals (grape varietal wines) are mainly produced. The wines are available in six lines: “Vintage” (lower price segment), “Sonoma Series” (Varietals from Sonoma County), “Yulupa” (especially for restaurants), “Reserve” (Single Vineyards), “Jack London” and “Artist Series ”produced. The "Jack London" line uses grapes from the former "Beauty Ranch" of the famous writer Jack Londons (1876-1916) at Glen Ellen. The management of this ranch was (besides writing) his main occupation from 1911 until the death of Jack London. Vines are cultivated on the ranch today. Kenwood buys grapes from there and presses the three varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.
The Kenwood "Artist Series" is a successful combination of art and wine and is often called Château Mouton-Rothschild
designated by America. It is very popular among wine collectors worldwide. The red wine has been produced from the best Sonoma Valley grapes since 1978. The style has changed over time. Originally, the wine was made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with a strong emphasis on oak barrels. Then it changed to a Bordeaux style with smaller proportions of Merlot and Cabernet Franc as well as more subtle barrique aging. The label is designed annually by an artist. Local artist David Lance Goines was commissioned for the first year in 1975. The work showed a naked woman lying in a vineyard.
When the label came to 1978 BATF
) was submitted for approval, Kenwood received the unequivocally negative answer: "The picture must be deleted, more precisely the BATF considers it obscene and independent according to the regulations 27cKR". Only 80 boxes with the “naked woman” were allowed to leave the winery. A second ironically meant label, which represented a skeleton in place of the naked woman, was also not allowed. The label, which was finally approved, showed a grassy hill with a river, titled "Hilly landscape". In 1997 the "naked woman" was submitted to the BATF again and, as a sign of how times are changing, also approved and used for the label of the 20th birthday edition of the 1994 vintage. The previous works of art represent many periods and art movements from impressionist to modern. The best known are 1979 "Seewolf at the lighthouse", 1981 "Golden Gate Bridge" and 1989 "Jacqueline" by Pablo Picasso.