Six Wineries You Must Experience During Your Stay at Kenwood Inn and Spa

So many wineries, so little time.  Stunning Sonoma County sprawls 1,786 square miles, and is home to over 450 wineries with over 60,000 acres of planted vineyards. The area around the Kenwood Inn and Spa boasts some of the best!  We’ve narrowed down our picks for the top not-to-be-missed wineries offering unique experiences and vintners who constantly push the envelope.

For more than four decades, the wines of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards have reflected the finest mountain and valley vineyards in Sonoma County.  St. Francis Winery consistently produces luscious, elegant, fruit driven wines that best interpret the richness and distinct varietal characteristics of Sonoma’s unique, diverse terroir.

St. Francis Winery & Vineyard

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

Tastings at St. Francis Winery

Tastings at St. Francis Winery

Chateau St. Jean, with its gracious style, elegant architecture, inviting gardens and tasting rooms, is the quintessential Sonoma winery. The winemaking estate is located at the foot of Sugarloaf Ridge in the Sonoma Valley near Kenwood. Visitors to Chateau St. Jean enter a main courtyard surrounded by a lush garden. Inspiration for the garden was based on the classic estate gardens of the Mediterranean, as seen through the use of citrus-planted terracotta pots and the generous use of herbs and flowers. The winery has integrated existing site features and vistas into a landscape that is both relaxed and elegant to exemplify Sonoma wine country.

Chateau St. Jean 1 and 2

Chateau St. Jean

For over a century, five generations of the Kunde family have farmed an 1,850-acre estate in the heart of Sonoma Valley. Kunde’s winemaking mission is to carry on that tradition by crafting elegant, estate-grown, sustainably farmed wines with a real sense of place – beautifully balanced and expressive of their dramatic vineyard landscape.  Kunde’s breathtaking Mountain Top Tasting allows guests to sample the finest vintages at 1,400 feet, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Kunde Estate. Overlook the Sonoma Valley, and onwards to the San Francisco Bay, as you taste wine in this truly one of a kind setting.

Kunde Family Estate

Kunde Family Estate

Deerfield Ranch Winery’s tasting room is set in the center of their 23,000 square feet wine cave, in the heart of the production facility. Guests walk through the crush pad, around the fermenting tanks, through beautiful Redwood portal doors, into the cave past hundreds of barrels full of wine to the center of the wine glass shaped cave and into the Grand Room. Guests sit comfortably in overstuffed couches and chairs, instead of standing at a crowded tasting bar, as they enjoy a flight of five wines.

Deerfield Ranch Winery

Deerfield Ranch Winery

Eight, same-generation family members manage every aspect of the grape-growing and winemaking endeavors at Benziger Family Winery.   At Benziger Family Winery, the wines have character and conscience – they’re not only great in the glass, they’re grown in a way that’s good for the environment, too.   Every wine in the portfolio carries a third-party certification of green farming practices. Whether the vineyard is certified sustainable, organic or biodynamic, it’s carefully tended with the most eco-responsible methods available – the best way to make distinctive, authentic wines. At Benziger Family Winery, guests explore the differences between sustainable, organic and biodynamic growing practices.

Benziger Family Winery

Benziger Family Winery

Hamel Family Wines strives to make a limited quantity of consistently great wines, primarily from Bordeaux varietals, and, more importantly, to have fun while doing so.  Hamel Family Wines values quality over quantity, enjoyment over tedium, and building for long-term lasting success over short-term quick hits, and endeavors to produce the highest quality wines from grapes grown on their Sonoma Valley estates.  Hamel Family Wines vineyards are farmed sustainably with organic and biodynamic practices, always seeking to be mindful of their role as responsible stewards of the land. The winery is nestled up against the Mayacamas Mountains, providing guests with dramatic views over the gently rolling vineyards.

Hamel 3 and 4

Hamel Family Wines

Contact our concierge to arrange exclusive winery visits to compliment your stay, or view our luxurious selection of guest room packages. Cheers!

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A Kenwood Thanksgiving


Sonoma vineyards

Hotel exterior

Thanksgiving at the Kenwood Inn and Spa was filled with romance and a celebration of the season.  Surrounded by stunning fall foliage and striking colors coming from the vineyards, our guests enjoyed a special prix-fixe dinner presented by Chef John Schaefer.



First, Chef presented a warm salad of Brussels sprouts, toasted local walnuts, Granny Smith apples, and fresh lemon, drizzled with Figone’s 20 year aged Balsamic vinegar which was followed by an indulgent risotto with a golden raisin verjus.


Warm Brussels sprouts Salad with toasted local walnuts, Granny Smith apples, fresh lemon, and drizzled with Figone’s 20 year aged Balsamic vinegar

with Black Truffle, Wild Chanterelle and Hen of the Woods mushrooms and a golden raisin verjus

Risotto with Black Truffle, Wild Chanterelle and Hen of the Woods mushrooms and a golden raisin verjus

The main course of “Turkey Two Ways” featured garlic, herb and lemon roasted turkey breast as well as a leg of turkey stuffed with pancetta, figs and chestnuts served with house made blood orange cranberry sauce, Japanese sweet potato purée, herb glazed sautéed KIS garden greens, and rich turkey gravy.

Turkey Two Ways

Turkey Two Ways

The meal closed with guests savoring pecan pie with Bulleit bourbon and Comice pear glaze, and pumpkin pie with vanilla bean Chantilly cream.

Pecan pie and pumpkin pie

Pecan pie and pumpkin pie


With Christmas less than a month away, it’s the perfect time to book your holiday getaway at  Kenwood Inn and Spa where Chef will once again delight your palate with Sonoma’s finest flavors of the season. We can’t wait! Follow this link for more info and to RSVP:

Fireside dining

Fireside dining

In the kitchen

In the kitchen

Posted in From the Kitchen

Beyond The Art of the Vine

Wine Country Beauty

Each morning in Wine Country has a certain splendor to it, with steam drifting off the hills and morning dew glistening wherever you look. At times it looks as if the entire land is glowing with promise of abundance and beauty. It is only natural then that, those of us who inhabit our dear Wine Country, would be inspired to produce art. As poet Amy Lowell once said:

Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.”

Wine itself can be considered (and is considered by many) to be a form of art, though if we look beyond the vine for a few moments we will find ourselves in a land that is absolutely brimming with beauty created by (or brought to Wine Country by) our residents. In fact, art can b-

Hold on.


Don’t you think “residents” is too bland… We have all these terms to enhance the sound of wine growing regions, but we don’t have a better term for locals? No wonder we have a faux rivalry with Napa, if we view ourselves as Sonoma Countians (that’s a technical term and we are professionals) and everyone else as competitors… We need a new identity, something that unites us in our love for wine and the culture it creates. When it comes down to it, aren’t we all part of that very same Wine Country culture? Rivalry makes about as much sense, in this case, as the Greek city states fighting one another despite so many cultural similarities… From now on, let’s ignore the territorial borders drawn by the bureaucrats. Our borders are the vines, where they stop growing and we stop viticultural-izing (again, a very technical term) is where our borders are.

We’re also going to include the Redwoods, because they are pretty.

Let us instead call ourselves “Citizens of Wine Country.”

Therefore, Wine Country is brimming with beauty created and brought to the region by the Citizens of Wine Country (infinitely better!). These can be seen in many places, many forms, and at times can even be quite shocking! Elegant hillsides are accentuated by water features, intimate gardens, and every now and then a massive iron sculpture of a coyote or horse. If you dig a little deeper, you may even find a few hidden gems (Did you know there is a 1920 copy of Romeo & Juliet hiding away in the Hotel Les Mars lobby?)… So, when you visit, as you sip on your wine, don’t forget to savor the natural and not-so-natural beauty of Wine Country.


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