Kick Ranch is a 40-acre premier vineyard resting on the western slope of Spring Mountain in the Mayacamas Mountains. The sustainably-farmed property is near the Napa County line along the eastern reaches of Santa Rosa. It is part of the Fountaingrove District American Viticultural Area, a famed stretch of rolling hills made of rich soils derived from ancient bedrock and the Sonoma Volcanics.
The climate in this part of Sonoma County is cool and coastal, dictated by Pacific winds that race through the nearby Petaluma Gap. South-facing vine rows attract optimal sun exposure by day while cool, foggy evenings enhance flavors and extend the growing cycle.
Vineyard slopes are generally moderate (5-15%) for the southern two-thirds of the property while the northern portion is considerably steeper (25-50%). The rocky volcanic soils of this hillside are prized by vintners from all over the region.
Originally planted in 2000, Kick Ranch has since earned a remarkable reputation for producing exceptional Rhône and Bordeaux varietals with marked minerality. The name is a fusion of the vineyard’s previous owners, Dick and Kathy Keenan. Since the estate’s inaugural vintage in 2004, there have been 82 Kick Ranch wines that have scored 90 points or higher by the leading critics – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, The Wine Spectator, The Wine Enthusiast, and Steven Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat describes Kick Ranch as one of Sonoma County’s “marquee vineyards.”
A relative newcomer to California wine, the Fountaingrove District AVA was established in 2015. While situated more inland than other northern California appellations, this 38,000-acre slice of rolling hills remains tempered by cool ocean winds.
Here, a quintessential mix of Bordeaux and California grape varieties thrive in iron-rich volcanic soils under extended growing seasons. Named after a former utopian community founded in the late 1800s, Fountaingrove District covers a sizable elevation range, stretching from roughly 400-2,000 feet above sea level. Many have dubbed this fertile appellation “the Eden of the West.”