Set into a peaceful vale, the winery structures and cave portals are an inviting blend of natural wood and stone. Harmoniously set into the landscape next to the aging caves dug deep into the cool mountain rock, the winery’s architecture intends to melt into the natural background of majestic mountains and enchanting vineyards. The aesthetic is a reflection of the philosophy of Kenzo Estate’s winemaking practices, respecting nature and the environment as an integral part of the process. Through the unspoiled and wild woodlands, only 145 acres of vines are woven around six lakes and the winery grounds, creating an integrated environment that is both tranquil and breathtaking.
The winery of Kenzo Estate stands at the heart of the property and closely accompanies the vineyard. The tank rooms are composed of two buildings in the style of the traditional California barn. The tank rooms are relatively peaceful during spring and summer, becoming active at the onset of harvest season. Sauvignon Blanc, usually harvested in September, is put into a bladder press, and pressed. Once the juice is extracted, yeast is added and the juice is transferred into oak barrels and stainless tanks to ferment for a 2-3 weeks. In the red winery, red grapes harvested later are carefully separated by hand, meticulously selecting only the perfect grapes for pressing. The juice is then moved by natural pressure to stainless-steel or concrete tanks, pumping over and punching down one to three times a day for two weeks. The process of mixing the fruit skin and its juice increases fragrance and flavor depth to better extract tannins. Additional very concentrated, astringent wine with high alcohol content is extracted from the fruit’s skin still remaining in the press. Based on Winemaker Heidi Barrett’s judgment, this wine may be united with the principal wine or moved into separate barrels. The red wine is transferred to oak barrels and aged in caves slowly over a period of twenty months. Fermentation in barrel aging will give the wines their mellow and graceful characters by transforming harsher malic acids into creamier lactic acids. The place where the forest and our vineyard coexist, at the heart of the winery our expert winemaking team transforms the purest, most perfect fruit into the highest quality, most elegant wines.
Even when the sunlight of a summer afternoon beats upon the vineyard, the wine cave stays cool. Lush greenery growing thickly on the hillside above absorbs solar heat and creates a cool, ideal environment for aging. Inside, a chandelier hangs from the ceiling as barrels made from French oak rest in neat rows throughout the cave, gradually aging the wine until bottling commences.
A visit to Kenzo Estate begins with a warm welcome by our team of professionals and a toast of Asatsuyu Sauvignon Blanc in our beautiful, gracefully-appointed Tasting Room. An elegant and serene atmosphere, the Tasting Room features flagstone flooring and oak furnishings with beautiful wood grains. After being welcomed in the Tasting Room, our hosts guide guests through the vineyard, the winery and the cave to expound upon the winemaking techniques of Kenzo Estate and the history of our remarkable property. Upon returning to the Tasting Room, guests enjoy a seated tasting of Kenzo Estate’s exceptional red wines. A charming patio enables our guests to enjoy wine tasting outdoors while observing the vineyard and the splendid scenery of the enchanting estate. By offering a unique tasting experience, Kenzo Tsujimoto seeks to share his love and passion for this special site with each guest who visits Kenzo Estate.