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Kimwood Ranch is a unique property full of natural resources and abundant wildlife. The fertile bottom ground and rolling hills provide an abundant habitat for bear, deer, squirrel, quail, wild turkey, wild pig, coyote as well as songbirds, raptors and red tailed hawk.
The ranch began as a commercial cattle operation for Ed, Lillian Kimmel and their boys. Originally, the property was a dairy farm. By the late 70s, Ed and Lillian moved to the ranch full time, residing in the original ranch house built in 1916. Life on the ranch was a joy for the family – raising chicken, sheep, cows and growing fresh vegetables. The lush land allowed for family adventures and future opportunities.
In the 80s, the idea of growing wine grapes sparked Ed’s interest. The neighboring counties of Napa and Sonoma, having spectacular vineyards, inspired the thought that Potter Valley could produce an equal quality fruit and be a viable agriculture for the ranch. Ed took the initiative and spoke with neighboring winemakers and first planted Chardonnay Grapes. In1986 this replaced the permanent pasture, except one field for the remaining cows.
Ed’s dream was fulfilled by harvests in 1989 and 1990 before he passed away in 1991. He loved driving his Ford tractor while workers handpicked the grapes. Loading the big truck with 2-ton bins, and driving to the scales to drop off 6 tons of Chardonnay grapes, bestow memoires and early stories for the Kimmel Family to share around the dinner table.
Lillian and the boys continue to farm the property under the caring guidance of Mark Welch, vineyard manager. In 1997, Mark expanded the vineyard by planting twelve additional acres of Merlot. Ed had always wanted to grow a “red” grape. The Merlot was planted in Ed’s honor on the knoll across Williams Creek. It was one of his favorite spots to spend time at the end of each day looking over his ranch.
The ranch property ideal location provides special growing conditions because the vineyards lie on the west side of the valley against the foothills between Redwood Valley and Potter Valley. This pocket of land has excellent soils and is blessed with afternoon breezes that cool the vineyard. The combination of excellent soil, afternoon breezes and proper canopy management produces high quality grapes consistently.
In 2007, Lillian and the boys, Jim, Gary and Dennis decided to save a few choice lots from the harvest for their own brand and Kimmel Vineyards was created. Kimmel Vineyards is a family endeavor covering three generations. We are very proud and deeply excited about having the ability to craft wines from land we love and know so well.
Focusing of two varietals: Chardonnay and Merlot, we desired to seek a winemaker with equal passion for hand crafted, small lot wines. We found our match in Bruce Regalia, who has led us through every step of our inaugural release of the 2007.
In addition to our Chardonnay and Merlot, we now offer Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Our varietals perfectly express what we cherish about this land. We are thrilled to bring Kimmel Vineyard wines to you.