Thursday, May 17, 2018
At a private home on Liberty Hill, San Francisco
Kesner Wines was formed in 2002 during Jason Kesner’s tenure managing Hudson Vineyards in Carneros, CA. It’s focus - Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the North Coast with some Grenache mixed in for good measure. Great sites, thoughtful farming, and a non-interventionist winemaking approach drive the wines. All “tenets” are informed by years in the vineyard with no manipulation of the wine through additions which allows for a more transparent impression of place and vintage. At Kesner, the most important day in the life of any of their wines is the day on which the fruit is picked. Vintage characteristics are encouraged as the hope is that the growing season and the site leaves a heavier print on the wine than does the hand of the winemaker.
Jason approaches winemaking from a very strong foundation in the vineyard. He grew up in the vineyards in California, learning to prune, drive tractors and turn on wind machines to ward off frost, at an early age. He believes that more winemakers should own a well worn pair of pruning shears. Winemaking (at its core) is an extension of farming. While at Hudson growing fruit for many of the top winemakers in the country - then sorrowfully seeing his year's work leave on other people's trucks, drove Jason to stay up all night and hand press a single barrel of Chardonnay. The light bulb went off - a cycle was complete. Kesner’s inaugural Chardonnay’s first placement was at The French Laundry in Yountville, CA. It has garnered that placement with every vintage since.
In 2008, Jason left Hudson Vineyards and the Napa Valley, and moved to northern Sonoma county to join Kistler Vineyards for a 9 year “Old-World Apprenticeship” at Steve Kistler’s side. As assistant winemaker, Jason split his time between the vineyards and the winery. In 2014, Jason was named winemaker and upon Steve Kistler’s retirement this past December, Jason became Director of Winemaking and Vineyards at Kistler Vineyards.
We will be pouring
2015 Heintz Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
2015 Rockbreak Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
2015 Halfmile Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
2105 King’s Russian River Pinot Noir
2015 Old Vines North Coast Grenache
$75 per person