My wife, Kathy McNamara, and I have been involved in the wine business for 20 years, since 1992 when we invested in what was a little winery — Rosenblum Cellars. My interest in wine grew and I found talking to Kent Rosenblum and his small crew about their winery fascinating. In 1998, after working on a trial that took 6 years, Kathy encouraged me to find something that I could enjoy if I ever decided to move away from my law career. To her surprise, I told her I was interested in becoming a grape grower! And so, I began an education and a search for land to plant a premium vineyard. In 1999, after looking at many potential sites from Ukiah to Paso Robles, I found the perfect hillside site in Sonoma County to plant a new vineyard – and learned that a vineyard had flourished there 120 years earlier! We began planting our new vineyard in 2000.
We chose the name Kick Ranch as a play on our names – Kathy and Dick – but also a way of honoring our neighbor with his Clydesdales
The prior owner of the land that was planted as Kick Ranch lives next to the vineyard, and he raises Clydesdale horses. In fact, what made him willing to sell us his land was our agreement to give him a “Clydesdale Easement” allowing him to train and drive his Clydesdales on our vineyard roads.
We chose the name Kick Ranch as a play on our names – Kathy and Dick – but also a way of honoring our neighbor with his Clydesdales — and we know it’s a name that makes people smile, as they play with the name too. We chose to call the vineyard a “Ranch” to recognize the Mexican – American workers who tend to our vines and often call the vineyards where they work “ranches.”