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Kenneth Volk Vineyards
Kathy Sullivan

Kenneth Volk VineyardsSummary:  Kenneth Volk Vineyards is a working winery. Visitors to the winery will see vineyards, a wine press and barrels. Enjoy the special, colorful flower gardens with picnic seating.

The tasting room is located in a large building, which is also the winery. A long simple-style counter is set up for providing tastings. Behind the counter a wall of oak barrels adds to the tasting experience.

Kenneth Volk VineyardsOn the other side of the parking area across from the winery, a large garden area has been established. The garden has a delightful layout with pathways and outdoor tables where one can enjoy a glass of wine.

Prior to owning the Kenneth Volk winery, Ken had founded Wild Horse Vineyard & Winery. After increasing production to 150,000 cases he sold Wild Horse and eventually purchased a winery in need of renovation.

Kenneth Volk VineyardsBryon Ken Brown began the Bryon Winery in 1981. In 1981 the four acres of vineyards were planted with Wente Clone Chardonnay. The Bryon Ken Brown winery was sold in 1994 to the Robert Mondavi Winery Corporation. In 2004 Kenneth Volk purchased the winery and vineyards.

When Ken purchased the winery, it had not been kept up and needed renovations. Ken spent a year renovating the building making it more efficient including adding insulation. The large barrel room has the barrels stacked five high. An innovative system has been introduced to make handling the barrels easier.

The winery tasting room is located in the building built in the early 1980s. Today the Kenneth Volk winery’s signature wines are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  He sources both varieties from Santa Maria Valley AVA. Ken prefers sourcing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Paso Robles AVA. The winery produces 15,000 cases and the wine has national distribution.

Kenneth Volk VineyardsWhite Wines

Chardonnay 2012 Santa Maria Valley AVA was named “Jaybird.” The name came from the term, “naked as a jaybird.” The light yellow wine with a green tint offered notes and tastes of apple and citrus. The finish was crisp and fruity. Estate Chardonnay 2011 Santa Maria Valley AVA, a yellow-color wine, was fermented in French oak. The aroma and taste were of pear and apple. The mouthfeel was silky. The fruit notes yielded to butterscotch.

Kenneth Volk VineyardsRed Wines

Pinot Noir 2011 Garey Ranch Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley AVA was a translucent ruby color. Raspberry notes were on the aroma and taste. The wine had medium tannins. Pinot Noir 2008 Santa Maria Cuvee, Santa Maria Valley AVA was ruby with a sienna tint. The wine offered an aroma and taste of licorice and raspberries. The wine had medium to bold tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity yielding to oak. Syrah 2010 Santa Maria Valley AVA Nielson Vineyard was a translucent red. The wine offered notes of dark fruit including black raspberries and blueberries. The wine had medium tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity.

Kenneth Volk Vineyards Cellar Door Club

The wine club at the winery is geared towards those who are familiar with and comfortable with using the Internet and email. The goal of the winery is to communicate by email. Members may choose the wines they would like to receive or will be shipped the pre-selected wines. Before each shipment, club members receive a newsletter detailing the preselected wines, with possible wine pairings and recipes. Members can either choose to receive these wines or can change their selection. For more information about the Kenneth Volk Vineyards wine club visit the winery website.

When visiting Kenneth Volk Vineyards purchase a glass of wine to enjoy in the garden after your wine tasting.

Kenneth Volk Vineyards
5230 Tepusquet Road
Santa Maria, CA 93454

GPS: N34º 52.261’ W120º 14.723’


Article written July 2014

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