As much as you hear me complain about how hard it is to find great under twenty dollar Cabernet, you almost never hear me say the same of Pinot. The reason is it pretty much doesn’t exist.
Pinot is way too finicky, thin skinned, and late ripening. By its very nature, it takes way more time, labor, and is prone to reduced production. Throw in the fact that most good Pinot is now grown in just a few pockets of the world – and suddenly you have to also add in additional costs for vineyard rent.
And outside of Burgundy – there’s nowhere in the world consistently producing better Pinot (and Chardonnay) than California’s Russian River Valley. The big names of all bought in by now – sending land prices racing; Paul Hobbs, Phelps, Kistler, Kosta Browne.
So how do you keep prices down today in the Russian River Valley? You have to be there first. Kenwood is a mini-vineyard empire built entirely by pioneering each of their new vineyards over the years – setting up shop in hitherto undiscovered territories. Their consistency and getting the most out of their land is second to none.
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