I am the owner of and winemaker for Kesner Wines. A transplant from Massachusetts, I came to the Napa Valley in 1977, where both my family and I have been involved in the vineyard and winery ends of the business for over 30 years. I grew up in the vineyards. On frost patrol at 4 AM, learning to drive a vineyard crawler at age 11, stealing great bottles of wine from my parents cellar as a teen... Read more
I am the owner of and winemaker for Kesner Wines. A transplant from Massachusetts, I came to the Napa Valley in 1977, where both my family and I have been involved in the vineyard and winery ends of the business for over 30 years. I grew up in the vineyards. On frost patrol at 4 AM, learning to drive a vineyard crawler at age 11, stealing great bottles of wine from my parents cellar as a teenager, helping my mother in the microbiology lab at Mondavi...growing grapes and making wine was not in my blood (despite my grandfather being a Canadian bootlegger during prohibition) but it was a very large part of my upbringing. Looking back, it was pretty clear where my life path would take me.
From 2000 to 2008 I managed Hudson Vineyards in Napa where I grew fruit for some of the most highly regarded wine programs in the country. It was an opportunity to work with some of the true masters of the craft, and an amazing run. The summer of 2008 marked a change in course, when I joined Kistler Vineyards in Sebastopol as Assistant Winemaker, to work side by side with one of those masters. At Kistler, I am spending the seasons split between the field and the cellar, as the two should be and clearly are inseparable in the making of great wines.
We now live in northern Sonoma County, where the pull of coastal climates and ancient seabed soils have awakened a new period of intrigue, exploration and discovery for Kesner Wines. As good as our wines are, and have been, they stand to only get better. We are on the doorstep of some of the most exciting vineyard locales in the North Coast. I'm like a kid in a candy store.
Since our inaugural vintage, every wine we have made has been on the Highly Recommended Wines list at the French Laundry in Yountville. We have quietly secured placements in many of the best restaurants in the country through the support of sommeliers who recognize something special in our bottlings. Word of our brand has spread one bottle at a time. I am humbled by the response to our efforts.
The best vineyards need very little manipulation, having found their own balance through subtle guidance. Having realized that the best wines shined in the light of the same approach, I have allowed at every turn, the opportunity for the vineyard to speak through the wine. It is a very old method of making wine, and follows the greatest of traditions.
Kesner Wines are made in a natural, non-interventionist style. The wines that result from this approach sing of both the vintage and the vineyard. The hope is that the growing season leaves a heavier print on the wine than does the hand of the winemaker.
It is my sincere wish that our efforts will not only meet, but exceed your expectations.