A Good Example: Kenwood Wines Goes Green

Today we are bombarded on all fronts with so much rhetoric about “going green.” Now, let’s come clean on what it means to go green for a winery.

Kenwood Vineyards
, a winery located in the Sonoma Valley, was certified green in early 2011 and has been recognized by the State of California EPA for waste reduction. Established in 1970, Kenwood Vineyards produces premium wines that express the exceptional quality and character of Sonoma County vineyards. To achieve their green status, Kenwood has employed several practices to lighten the impact on our environment.

To control erosion, the vineyard is planted with cover crops and/or permanent grasses, and wheat and rice straw is spread with a straw blower built in their vineyard shop. All hillside vineyards are designed with an engineered drainage system to collect rainwater, which also prevents soil erosion. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) guidelines are employed for fertilization, chemical use and irrigation.

Winery pomace—solid waste such as seeds, skins, and stems left over after the wine has been pressed—and vineyard prunings are composted back into all vineyards and landscaping. Nesting boxes made from recycled wood are used to attract owls, which naturally control the rodent population. Duck boxes are installed at vineyards with irrigation ponds to avoid detracting from their natural habitat. Deer fencing is used on areas in which vines are located, and animals can move freely on the remainder of the open land, left in its natural state to maintain biodiversity.

On 125 acres of vineyards, no well water is used; water needs are met by using reclaimed processed water through subsurface drainage collection. All of the lighting in the cellar, barrel, and bottling buildings has been converted to high efficiency fluorescent fixtures. Kenwood harvests more than half of the estate tonnage at night to reduce the amount of energy used for cooling the grape juice, and they started a farm shop recycle program for drain oil, filters, cleaning solvent, old wood, steel, plastic and paper. Last, but by no means least, Kenwood Vineyards recently began releasing a significant percentage of its production in ECO Series™ wine bottles that require less energy to produce and ship. Here’s a toast to Kenwood Vineyards for reducing their carbon footprint while still producing excellent wines!

Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County, 2009
Sauvignon Blanc is a great way to usher in spring and this one will help you do so in style! All Sonoma County fruit is lively and light, and this is a perfect wine to sip (or guzzle) on the back patio while shaking off a particularly cool winter. Grab some girlfriends and enjoy the melon and citrus notes of this delightful wine. Find it at 12.99 or less!

Kenwood Vintage White, California, 2009
Not unlike its big sister, the aforementioned Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc, this is also a fun little vino that screams for warmer weather. It is lightly sweeter, with more melon and jasmine. Based in Sauvignon Blanc, it also blends 22% Chardonnay and 2% Muscat. Wonderful with light cheese or pasta, drink it in abundance for around $10 a bottle.

Kenwood Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, 2007
When you open this bottle of wine, the aroma will fill the space around you. It has rich red currant and raspberry followed by notes of vanilla and tobacco. Cabernets are generally full bodied and this wine is no exception. This is great to pair with “stinky” cheese or a juicy steak. Crank up the grill, open a bottle or two and settle in for a good meal. Find it at $14.99.

Kenwood Vintage Red, California, 2008

Zin, zin it tastes like sin! I love zins for their raciness and this Zinfandel based blend works in 6% Petite Sirah, 5% Merlot, and 3% Sangiovese. The wine producer describes it aptly as: “A delicious red wine with fruity raspberry jam character, combined with toasty oak and spicy notes of white pepper and cloves. Well-balanced with approachable tannins and smooth finish.” This is a great wine at around $10.

If you would like to try these varietals, pop into your favorite wine store, restaurant or come see us at one of the Blue Jean Wines tastings, where you can taste through the whole line of Kenwood Vineyards wines. Check us out at facebook.com/bluejeanwines. Cheers Y’all!


Everyone is talking about going green these days, so more and more business owners are being recognized for their efforts to reduce the waste. Now, since the winery has improved its wine production, the owner should contact one of the long haul trucking companies to be able to cope with the increased demand. Many people prefer products with the green label, so this should be considered.

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