In 1970, a San Francisco neurosurgeon visited Napa Valley for the first time, and as happens with most introductory trips to wine country, he fell in love with it. Eight years later, Dr. Tom Kenefick discovered and purchased what would become Kenefick Ranch Winery – 250 acres of ranchland in the foothills of the Palisades. Though Dr. Kenefick came from a family of Irish farmers, he’s famously quoted on the winery’s website that he “didn’t know enough about viticulture at that point to make such a good decision.” Until he passed away in 2021, Dr. Kenefick credited the brand’s ultimate success to a “great guardian angel.”

Today, Kenefick Ranch Winery is helmed by Dr. Kenefick’s two children, Caitlin and Chris, who spent most of their childhood weekends in the vineyard. Caitlin remembers driving a tractor during her teenage years while her friends were all hanging out and Chris recounts exploring the hills and reservoirs as a kid, as well as how the first sips of his father’s wine defined his approach to the category. This includes the wine named after him, Cabernet Sauvignon Chris’s Cuvee, which was Kenefick’s first label and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2022.

“Growing up, we didn’t understand the region and our site specifically,” shared Chris. “As we grew older and started comparing our wines to the rest of the region and other parts of the world, we started to understand what a truly special place it is.”

Before Chris’s Cab, Dr. Kenefick had been producing wine for 22 years – focusing on Bordeaux varieties for which he had a soft spot. After successfully launching the Kenefick label, Caitlin received her dedicated wine as a Cabernet Franc Select. Four more were released: a Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot, as well as their two blends under the Pickett Road label.

As the winery looks to 2023, they are prioritizing sustainability, building on their existing certifications of Napa Green Vineyard and Fish Friendly Farming since 2017, Director of Consumer Sales & Marketing, Kristina King, shared, “We really take our responsibility as stewards of the land seriously; it’s important we leave it better for future generations.”

King recognizes that sustainability contributes to the brand’s longevity and builds on the multigenerational engagement – instilling Dr. Kenefick’s founding principles on the third generation – as well as consumer experience, which will be furthered with the completion of the new tasting room. Until then, the winery remains closed for in-person tastings but encourages virtual tastings through its two quarterly wine clubs.

The Collector’s Club ships out three bottles in March, May, September, and November. The team suggests selections, but members can make changes to their orders to best suit their preferences and budget. For Case Club members, 12 bottles are shipped out in the same months with the same flexibility for adjustments before shipping.

For anyone seeking to familiarize themselves with the brand before committing to one of the clubs, Kenefick Ranch Winery offers two virtual tasting packages: Heart of Kenefick Ranch comes with three core wines to the Kenefick brand and Pickett Road contains six bottles. Both packages include a private virtual tasting appointment.

FOR MORE INFORMATION // www.kenefickranch.com