Just off San Francisco’s Bay Bridge, on the small, industrial Treasure Island are a few small businesses not too many non-SF-natives know about. And even those savvy to the SF scene may not realize that past the first few buildings that house Winery SF, Sol Rouge, and Sottomarino, there is an even smaller, more independent winery stationed in an abandoned school house — Kendric Vineyards.

Pictures with abbreviated captions below. For the full article, visit Girls On Food.

No, it’s not glamorous — on the inside or the out. Walking through the winery, one will see all the bare-bone necessities needed in the world of wine — from barrels

to tanks…

…with not much room for anything else. But when it comes to the heart and soul of wine, that’s where Kendric’s beauty is bounteous.

Stew in his Marine vineyard. Photo courtesy of Kendric Vineyard website
Stew in his Marine vineyard. Photo courtesy of Kendric Vineyard website

I first met Stewart during the 2016 Pinot Days in San Francisco, where I was able to taste his 2013 Pinot Noir and his 2012 Reserve (click links for full reviews). Most recently, I had the pleasure of visiting his modest Treasure Island winery to taste and discuss some of his up-coming releases.

Barrel Tasting

There’s a lot of hard labor for Stew, working his own vineyard, crushing his own grapes, keeping a constant eye on the development of each of his wines. But then there’s the fun part — tasting.

The first barrel taste-test for us was his 2014 Sangiovese from his family’s Shenandoah Vineyard.

Straight from the barrel and into the glass, this wine had an intense perfume of bright red fruits — think cherries, raspberries, strawberries. Visually stunning, in the glass the wine has a crystal-ruby quality.

2015 Sangiovese: Same varietal, same vineyard, different year.

It’s amazing the difference a year makes. This wine is almost the polar opposite of its older sibling. Visually, the wine is quite cloudy. Aromatically, it gives off bigger, bolder, darker aromas.

2014-Syrah-Experiment

The 2014 Syrah “Experiment”

Kendric Vineyards’ 2014 Syrah is a great example of a wine with a lot of depth and complexity, but not necessarily what one would call a “friendly” drinker — it’s not unpleasant, it’s just unbalanced. Like a good chef, a good winemaker knows what ingredients he has, how they work together, and is willing to experiment with different ratios of those ingredients until the balance is perfected.

Added_2014_Viognere

 In Stewart’s case, his “other ingredient” is a beautiful 2014 Viognier with a soft, soothing texture, floral aromas, stone fruit flavors, with just a kick of acid in the back of the tongue. If you think about it, these are the perfect elements to work alongside and even uplift the 2015 Syrah.

Viognere_Syrah_2014

How much to add is, indeed, an experiment. The best way to conduct this experiment is by measuring quantities by the glass and tasting. Once a good balance is achieved, Stewart will figure out how much he’ll needed per barrel and the blending will begin.

More Info

Keep an eye on Kendric Vineyards — with wines that speak of both the land and the man behind the grapes, I know we’re going to see and taste amazing bottles to come.

Kendric Vineyards is a small operation. For more details about Stewart and his wines, please visit the Kendric Vineyards website, where you can purchase current releases as well as sign up for his mailing list to find out about future releases.

Stew and Stacy Selfie…cheers!

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