Dating back to 1880, the 100-acre Blue Rock estate tells the story of how European winemaking came to Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. Italian immigrants brought with them olive trees, vine cuttings, and knowledge of grape growing. The region’s undulating golden hills and idyllic vistas even look reminiscent of Tuscany itself.
Blue Rock Winery was first settled by Italians who worked at the Italian-Swiss Colony winery just down the road. The original stone house was once Villa Maria winery, which closed its doors during the Prohibition Era. Acquired by Kenny and Cheryl Kahn in 1987, the Estate maintains much of its old world character. It even maintains its original olive trees that are now over 140 years old.
Adding onto the property, Cheryl and Kenny imported additional olive tree cuttings from Luca, Italy where some of the world’s best oil is produced. You’ll also discover organic vegetable gardens, a 130-year-old bocce ball court, and surrounding hillsides that offer incredible vistas. The hills are also inhabited by wild turkeys, feral pigs, and abundant wildlife.
Just like wine, some of the best things in life do not just change, they evolve: developing gradually into a better, more complex state with time. The same is said of Blue Rock’s commitment to producing vintages true to their European roots. Wines on the estate are crafted with the type of knowledge and modern finesse that only come with experience.
The estate winemaking traditions of Blue Rock are perhaps best summed up with the French term, terroir, which acknowledges the environmental factors that make the vineyard site unique including soil, weather, appellation, and to that effect, the human element as well.
Running an estate vineyard offers more control over the winemaking process, which yields handcrafted wines of distinction and soul that also give a sense of place. The name Blue Rock originates from the local soil studded with blue pebbles, rocks, and boulders of serpentine. The serpentine rock defines the unique flavor profile of the vineyard as it naturally yields a smaller quantity of grapes.
“A memorable wine is like a map of taste, a kind of liquid geography. It`s the intersection where man, plant, and planet meet.”
Kenny resolved to treat the soil on the Blue Rock Estate with the same care by embracing sustainable practices and producing his own compost on site. Growing up on a farm in Tennessee, Kenny was already familiar with the negative impact of chemicals and he resolved to farm Blue Rock sustainably.
Blue Rock truly values the symbiotic relationship that can be had between man and nature: the better we keep the earth, the better wines we can produce. The team constantly evaluates, then reevaluates, how to farm in order to have the least significant carbon impact. For example, Blue Rock recently invested in a barrel steam cleaning system that uses 97 percent less water than traditional cleaning methods. Further, every drop of water used in the winery gets recycled into irrigation water for the vines.
For a mid-day break, Blue Rock Vineyard offers Vintners’ Table Winemaker Lunches, a casual, private lunch for a gathering of 4 to 12 guests. A favorite location is The Villa Maria room which overlooks the vineyards with breathtaking views of the Alexander Valley. Chef-prepared four (4) courses from local ingredients are each created to complement Blue Rock wines.
For a luxury wine country wine tasting experience, Blue Rock wine club members as well as Inspirato members can visit the Blue Rock Vintner’s Cottage. A truly luxurious and unique wine country getaway complete with gourmet kitchen, two bedroom, 8 acres of private gardens, a heated pool, a fireplace overlooking the bocce court and vineyards.