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Legends Behind the Craft

Nov 9, 2023

Meet Chris Kenefick, the CEO and Second Generation Proprietor of Kenefick Ranch Vineyard & Winery. The Kenefick family has owned the property in Calistoga since 1980. Chris's journey led him from a Napa upbringing to a career in hospitality in Denver. In 2016, he returned to Napa to follow his passion for wine.

Over the next five years, Chris delved into national wine sales, gaining comprehensive experience in the vineyard and winery operations. In 2021, he took on the role of CEO after his father's passing, carrying on the family legacy. Chris's unique perspective and passion continue to shape the exceptional wines produced in the Calistoga region, blending tradition with innovation.


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Chris shares the rich history of Kenefick Ranch, dating back to 1980, and his role in leading the family legacy

  • Chris shares insights in the evolution of sales distribution and the transition to direct-to-consumer sales

  • Chris talks about transitioning from selling grapes to producing wine in-house, focusing on small-batch winemaking

  • The discussion includes how contracts with other wineries work in terms of vineyard management and production

  • Discover the dynamics of working with grape growers and the relationships with vineyard partners

  • PR and marketing and strategies used to market Kenefick Ranch

  • Chris introduces their unique virtual tastings and addresses the challenges of not having a physical tasting room while expanding their wine club

  • Chris highlights the vineyard's certifications in Fish Friendly Farming and Napa Green

  • Chris shares his vision for the winery's future and how he envisions the evolution of Calistoga and Napa

  • Chris provides valuable advice for those considering returning to their family wineries


In this episode with Chris Kenefick

Join us on an exciting journey through the vineyards of Calistoga as we sit down with Chris Kenefick of Kenefick Ranch Vineyard & Winery. Take a trip down memory lane as Chris shares the rich history of his family's vineyard since 1980. Discover the evolution of Kenefick Ranch's distribution strategies, their foray into small-batch winemaking, and the intricate management of vineyard contracts. 

In today’s episode of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast, Drew Thomas Hendricks and Bianca Harmon are joined by Chris Kenefick, CEO and Second Generation Proprietor of Kenefick Ranch. Chris sheds light on the family legacy, the challenges of marketing a boutique winery, and the innovative approach of virtual tastings to bring the Napa experience straight to your home. Tune in for insights on sustainable certifications, future winemaking endeavors, and valuable advice for those considering a return to their family's winery roots.


Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Barrels Ahead.

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