Kendall-Jackson Wine Center

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5007 Fulton Road, Santa Rosa, CA, USA - (707).571.8100 or ( 866.)287.9818

Kendall-Jackson Wine Center Santa Rosa Reviews

sylviandavid sylviand…
111 reviews
Enjoy a personal wine & food experience pairing Kendall-Jackson wines with Amazing Food.... Jun 02, 2008
Our daughter, Tara and her fiance' Robert suggested going to Kendall-Jackson Winery for a wine and food pairing. I had never been to one, but had heard about them from Tara. Tara, Robert, Morgan June (our middle daughter) and I drove over. Robert is a pastry chef at the winery.

The winery was located in the middle of a peaceful & orderly vineyard. It was so funny getting there as we turned off of crowded, busy, noisy Highway 101 onto Fulton road. 5 minutes later we were at a wonderful, tranquil, green and quiet oasis with beautiful gardens and lush rows of grape vines. The walk way was lined with beautiful and unusual plants, roses and statuary. There was a center piece three tiered fountain that set the gardens off perfectly.

We met a gentleman, Bruce Willis (the actor is actually named after him) who asked us where we wanted to sit for the tasting/pairing. I asked him where he suggested. He said, definetly the front. We went back out the front door and sat at a table in the garden setting. We had gotten white wine to stroll the gardens with. The waiters came out they combined two tables as we needed to have two persons to a table. When they brought out the wine we saw why. We each got five glasses of wine. The chef explained the qualities, taste and growing region of each wine. It was facinating to hear of the complexity of the growing conditions that make each type of wine.

The first was 2007 Grand Reserve Rose'. It had just been completed and released the day before (05/29/2008). It was a soft rose pink color. The second was a Highland Estates Camelot Chardonnay 2006. (I love that name). It was a soft golden wine. The third was a Monterey County Pinot Noir 2005. It was a light ruby color....quite beautiful in the glass. The fourth was Highland Estates Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2004. It was a bold red garnet color with enough clarity to be gleaming in a glass. We also had Late Harvest Chardonnay Monterey 2006. It was a dessert wine that was liquid gold in the glass. Chef Matthew Lowe explained the area the grapes were grown and why the grapes and wine had the qualities it did. It was complex and fascinating.

We sat and swirled the different glasses and smelled the wine in the glasses. It was amazing that each really did have a completely different and unique smell. A plate of foods were brought that were perfectly coordinated with the wines. The presentation of the foods was outstanding. It also included a chocolate truffle that Robert had made. (the desciption was: Cabernet and cream are infused with chocolate then the ganache mixture is rolled into truffle shapes and duted with cocoa powder... ) We had small cards that described (in detail) all of the foods and wines we were sampling.

~The Rose' was paired with sturgeon cured in sumac with radishes and pickled rhubarb. When eating the food with the wine it was amazing that we could taste the rhubarb flavor in the wine. Brilliant pairing in our opinion.

~The Chardonnay was paired with a chilled soup of potato and fennel Vichyssoise with shrimp poached in chardonnay. The shrimp was wonderful and the soup was so refreshing and different. The chardonnay was dry and crisp tasting and the soup brought it out perfectly.

~The Highand estates Pinot Noir was paired with thinly sliced smoked duck with mustard made from strawberries and radishes grown on site. A delightful looking and tasting treat.

~The Highland Estates Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon was paired with my absolute favorite food dish. It was tender, melt in your mouth lamb with Chimichurri... Wonderful and perfect blends of taste....paired with the full bodied Cabernet it was robust and fruity. The cabernet was almost a desert wine paired with the the chocolate truffles.

We also had the Carmel corn paired with Late Harvest Chardonnay Monterey 2006. The grapes are left on the vine until they are almost raisins then picked and processed into an amazing dessert wine. The label (I bought two) perfectly describes it: "Our winemakers call this "liquid gold" aromas of honey, apricot and honeysuckle meld together for a lush, robust and lingering mouthfeel"

I felt very privileged to meet and chat with three of the chefs: Executive Chef Justin Wangler, Chef Matthew Lowe and Chef Ryan Pillnow. (Robert knows them as he works there) All very personable, knowledgeble, and enthused about the wine process, growing of grapes and pairing of the wines and foods. I learned a great deal.

Recipes are listed on the website. It is: look under wine and food then recipes. I wanted to share one recipe that is easy yet unusual. This is directly cut and pasted from their site... Hope I am not breaking any laws posting it.

"Prosciutto Parmesan and Pine Nut Bruschetta

Serve with Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay

Servings: Makes 36 slices


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup diced prosciutto

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

ground black pepper to taste

2 French baguettes, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 cup toasted pine nuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, cream the butter. Blend in prosciutto, Parmesan cheese and ground black pepper.

Place baguettes on a medium baking sheet. Heat in the preheated oven until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.

Spread baguette slices with the butter mixture. Arrange on a large serving platter. Sprinkle with pine nuts." (From Kendall-Jackson site)

If you are in the area this is a unique and interesting experience. We were too late to visit the outdoor gardens but they are amazing from the pictures I saw. The setting was pretty and peaceful.

The wine and food were amazingly good. The three Chefs we met were knowledgeable, fun and friendly. The price is really reasonable for the quality of food and information you receive.

I am looking forward to going back again. David was not able to come as he was remodeling the top of our barn.... And he NEEDS to try this... he'll love it....
Tara & Robert at Kendall-Jackson. …
2005 Highland Estates Seco Pinot N…
Kendall-Jackson view from the road.
view of the roses and vineyards
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
homeres says:
i like going to wineries too!
Posted on: Aug 01, 2008
marksreynolds says:
Great review! We have never been to Ca, but when we do, we'll definitly check this place out!!
Posted on: Jun 05, 2008
FR-ank says:
thanks too ;)
Posted on: Jun 05, 2008
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