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2018 BEST Cabernet Sauvignon: Kunde Family Winery

Author: Cerrissa Kim and Petter Westby
May, 2018 Issue

“We truly are a family winery where all our employees have a voice in how we continue to move forward as a company—from the creation of our wines to the customer service in our tasting room.”—Marcia Kunde Mickelson, chief executive officer

Congratulations to Kunde Family Winery for winning Best Cabernet Sauvignon in the North Bay. Kunde Family Winery is not a stranger to winning medals and earning high praise, but this is the first year NorthBay biz readers have voted Kunde Family Winery into the top cabernet spot. “It’s tremendous to know that our consumers are appreciating and enjoying the results of our efforts when they taste a glass of Kunde Cabernet,” says Marcia Kunde Mickelson, chief operating officer at the family winery. She contributes the award to their family of employees. “We truly are a family winery where all our employees have a voice in how we continue to move forward as a company—from the creation of our wines to the customer service in our tasting room.” Both the Estate and the Reserve Cabernets are available as part of Kunde’s tasting room experience as well as distributed nationally. Perhaps to be enjoyed with a juicy grilled ribeye steak. 

The Kunde family has been growing winegrapes in the Sonoma Valley since 1904. The 1,850-acre property, with its dramatic shifts in topography, is located in Sonoma Valley just outside the quaint town of Kenwood along a two-mile stretch along Sonoma Highway. The rolling hills of the Kunde estate are known for the ‘Red Hill’ soil, which is recognized as a great foundation for producing complex wines, including stellar cabernets. All 20 varietals offered by Kunde Family Winery are 100 percent estate-grown and sustainably farmed, and the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from the terraced vineyards 1,400 feet above the valley floor where the fruit tends to have a unique flavor intensity and structure. If you stop by the Kunde Tasting Room today, you can also sample and enjoy the 2014 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, part of the Estate Series. It’s described as having dark, rich, bold flavors with chewy tannins lingering on the wine’s complex finish. Long warm days with cool nights in 2014 offered a great season for growing Cabernets, and the month of October allowed for optimal hang time and ripening, which resulted in an excellent vintage. As expressed in Kunde’s winemaker notes: “This estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon may be considered our house wine, but if this tastes like a house wine, I’d stay home any time!,” says winemaker Zach Long.
With well over a century of experience and success, and being on the fifth generation of Kunde family members at the helm, Kunde’s mission has evolved into what it is today: ‘To sustainably grow, produce and market distinctive ultra-premium estate bottled wines’. In support of their mission statement and looking ahead, Kunde Mickelson says, “Our goal is to craft exceptional wines that are true to their variety and over-deliver relative to their price point, and with the family concept at the foundation of all that we do. We are seeing some very exciting trends. We have experienced a significant growth in our consumer direct division—from Tasting Room visitors to the explosive growth of our wine club, and we have a very talented winemaker in Zach Long.” Kunde Mickelson adds, “Some newly replanted vineyards have now come in to production and are dramatically influencing the quality of our wines.” Nobody should be surprised when we see more from Kunde Family Winery in the NorthBay biz ‘Best of’ magazine issues over the years to come.




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