Kunde Winery started with Louis Kunde in 1904. The historic vineyard was first planted in 1879, with cuttings from Chateaux Margaux and Chateau Lafite Rothschild. In its second century, the winery is still family owned and operated by the 4th and 5th generations. Maintaining a balance of their historic vineyards with modern winemaking techniques, the Kunde family has been quietly developing new plantings, farming, and winemaking practices. It is time to revisit Kunde Winery.
Marcia Kunde Mickelson, Kunde Winery COO, explains, “We began our vineyard redevelopment program in 2009 to ensure that our property was producing the best fruit possible. In many blocks we planted new and heritage clones as well as rootstocks specifically matched to the conditions of the site. In other blocks we revamped our trellising systems, increased vine density, and modernized many of our farming and harvesting protocols. To take full advantage of our viticulture upgrades, we hired winemaker Zach Long in 2011 to help us reshape our winemaking program.”
Under the supervision of Zach Long, Kunde has reduced production levels and elevated quality and style of their wines, resulting in wines with more complexity and depth. Kunde sees themselves as stewards of the land; resulting in sustainable farming practices that include nurturing the soil, respecting the native ecosystem, and reducing their environmental footprint. Sustainable practices extend to the winery as they have made significant strides in energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste management. These steps have earned them the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing designation.
The Kunde family winemaking mission is “to craft elegant wines with a real sense of place – beautifully balanced and expressive of our dramatic vineyard landscape.” Nestled in the heart of Sonoma Valley, Kunde’s wines are 100% estate bottled, reflecting their distinct soil, climate, and topography. Winemaker Zach Long shares,“Kunde Family Winery is one of the most unique properties in the Sonoma Valley and the quality of its estate-grown, sustainably farmed fruit is a winemaker’s dream. My goal is to not only produce the absolute best terroir-driven wines possible, but to also uphold the legacy of the Kunde family by letting the vineyards speak through each bottle of wine I craft.”
The wine program at Kunde Family Winery showcases a collection of varietals that champion the very best of what our estate has to offer. The Estate Series wines are intended for everyday enjoyment. They are fresh, balanced, and approachable. These wines are available nationally. The Reserve Series features signature wines from their best vineyard blocks, rows, lots, and barrels. They are concentrated, complex, and age worthy. These wines are available to wine club members, fine restaurants nationally, and direct from the winery. Finally, the Destination Series is a collection of proprietary blends and small lot, vineyard designated wines that are crafted to reflect the diversity of the Kunde vineyards terroir. These wines are only available to wine club members and direct from the winery.
2016 Kunde Family Winery Magnolia Lane Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley USA ($17): pale lemon; pronounced aromas of ripe stone fruit, grapefruit, tropical fruit, lemon zest, and soft white floral notes; crisp and refreshing on the palate, racy pronounced acidity, loads of tart citrus, long, mouth-water finish.
2015 Kunde Family Winery Reserve Chardonnay Sonoma Valley USA ($45): pale gold; ripe apples and pears, citrus, crème brulee, a hint of caramel, sweet baking spice; smooth creamy mouth-feel, honey notes upon entry but mid-back palate transitions to ripe orchard fruit and citrus notes, round and elegant with medium acidity, judiciously oaked for maximum enjoyment, long, mouth-watering finish with a spicy zest.
2014 Kunde Family Winery Malbec Sonoma Valley USA ($35): deep ruby with purple hues; pronounced aromas of ripe black cherries, blackberries, black raspberries, plums, dried roses, black pepper, smoke, licorice, cocoa, baking spice, and tobacco; full body wine that is balanced and well-structured, racy and elegant with grippy tannins and medium+ acidity, a very pleasing Malbec.
2013 Kunde Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Drummond Sonoma Valley ($50): Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Malbec; deep ruby; medium aromas of ripe black cherries, plums, blackberries, dried herbs, chocolate, baking spice notes, fresh picked tobacco, and cassis; silky smooth on palate, layers of flavors and textures, rich and round with medium+ acidity and grippy tannins, full body, well-structured, long balanced finish.
To learn more about the Kunde family, the winery, vineyards, events, and to purchase these wines visit the Kunde Family Winery web site.
*Disclaimer: Wines were received as media samples; all thoughts and opinions are my own.