Kelly Family Vineyards - January-February Vol 1 2020



Wine Down WWW. KELLYFAMI LYV INEYARDS . COM | 707 . 255 . 5688

SLEEPING BUT NOT STAGNANT Winter in the Vineyard

three separate occasions throughout the winter months, we sweep through our 10 acres of vineyards to examine our canes and determine which ones to cut back and which canes are fit to bud come springtime. They’re cut from 3–4 feet tall down to a mere 6–8 inches, and then again to a small nub so the vineyard might look barren to the untrained eye, but for us, this is when all its potential can be cultivated. It’s a delicate process that we don’t take lightly because it’s our opportunity to adequately prepare for the next growing season. The critical step of selecting and removing canes has a direct domino effect on how many buds will emerge come spring. Underpruning may lead to a canopy that doesn’t allow for enough sunlight or too many bunches of grapes and a reduction in quality. But overpruning means we’re prompting the vines to grow more leaves than fruit come spring, which isn’t an ideal result when you’re trying to make wine. For these reasons, we have a team of viniculture experts with decades of experience working in vineyards. They move through the vineyard every winter with an expert eye for pruning, cutting all the canes to a uniform length and then again leaving a very short cane that will bud this year’s crop. And it’s all done by hand so we can ensure the process gets the time and care it needs.

When you think of wine vineyards, you likely picture luscious green rows of leafy vines and big, bulging grapes as far as the eye can see. While this is the ideal picturesque scenario for any winemaker from bud break through harvest, or spring through fall, this fantasy landscape isn’t what you’ll see at Kelly Family Vineyards or any other vineyard during January, February, and March. Instead, you will see what looks like bare, dead sticks. But just because it looks like there isn’t much happening during our “sleepy” season, that doesn’t mean a lot of essential steps aren’t taking place both above and below ground. That’s because the process of making great wine never really sleeps. Any worthwhile winemaker will tell you that great wine is made in the vineyard, and this is entirely true. If you don’t have a healthy vineyard, your wine simply won’t turn out the way it should. Crafting great wine starts with the care you put into your vines, and this understanding allows us to bottle some of the best, award-winning cabernet sauvignon that the Napa Valley has to offer. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to prep the vineyard for the bud break that occurs in early spring, usually around early to mid-April. We begin by going through the vineyard and pruning, or cutting back, on the canes and cordons of the vines. On

Pruned vine ready for April bud break

WWW. KELLYFAMI LYV INEYARDS . COM | 1 Gene Kelly For most, winter means staying indoors and hunkering down for hibernation. But at Kelly Family Vineyards, it’s just the opposite. We take pride in working hard on our vineyard at every moment of the year, because we know that truly superb wine is crafted by the care you put in from the ground up. I know that you will experience it in every glass of KFV wine. friendly” and sustainable. We respect the land, and we are concerned about the soil for future generations. Knowing how to grow wine grapes means understanding what your plants are doing during each part of the year. In winter, the trunks and canes of the vine are barren and dormant above ground, but below the surface, each plant is meticulously directing energy to its roots. This gives them the ability to soak up the nutrients in the soil so they can stay strong and survive the winter months. For this reason, we take special care with our soil too, imbibing it with propriety nutrients fit for healthy vines. We farm in such a way that we are certified “fish-

CREATE YOUR OWN ODYSSEY Mythical Adventures Await in the Mediterranean

of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern-day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ġgantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures. ITHACA, GREECE If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey — minus the mythical monsters, of course.

One of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.” This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. SICILY, ITALY One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food. GOZO, MALTA While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical island

Join the Kelly Family ell F ily S IGN UP TO BE A PARTNER

At Kelly Family Vineyards, we believe in the power of family. Like any team, a family is stronger in numbers, which is why we’d like to offer you the opportunity to join Kelly Family Vineyards as an official Family Partner.

wine releases, year-round access to the Kelly Family Vineyards picnic area, Kelly Family Vineyards logo gear, and more. For those of you in the wine business, your membership may be tax deductible, as would your travels to the Napa Valley when you decide to come out and visit us. Kelly Family Partners are an elite group with a passion for exceptional wine. If you’d like to be a member of our proud club, get in touch to inquire about the full details or go to to sign up.

For those wine enthusiasts seeking a high level of prestige, our Family Partners receive many perks, including access to exclusive bottlings and an invitation to our Kelly Family reunions and other vineyard events. At these events, you’ll meet many business owners, learn all about wine and winemaking, and of course, eat great food and drink exceptional wine while soaking in the beauty of Napa Valley.

Partners also enjoy other special benefits, including access to limited

2 | 707 . 255 . 5688

When Napa Became King THE JUDGMENT OF PAR I S

WHO I S THE KELLY FAMI LY ? Learn a Little About Our Family and Our Wine

Gene; his wife, Paula; and their son, Jacob are the proprietors of Kelly Family Vineyards, an award-winning vineyard and winery in the Oak Knoll District of the Napa Valley. Gene and Paula have lived in Napa for over 45 years, growing up there and attending local schools.

In addition to operating the vineyard and winery, Gene is a serial entrepreneur, educator, published author, certified gunsmith, direct marketing expert, business coach, and board-certified protection professional (CPP). He has also served on several nonprofit boards. Gene is passionate about business and helping others succeed.

When asked about the Kelly family history and the vineyard, Gene states:

Today, the Napa Valley’s status as one of the world’s best wine-growing regions is a given, but that wasn’t always the case. Less than 50 years ago, California winemakers were considered scrappy upstarts whose bottlings paled in comparison to those made in Europe. One event, the Judgment of Paris, changed that reputation forever. In 1976, a British wine merchant organized a tasting competition unlike any other. He put chardonnays and cabernets from California alongside their exalted counterparts from Burgundy and Bordeaux, respectively. The event’s judges comprised some of the most respected names in the French wine world alongside only a single American. Though the wines were to be tasted blind, nobody expected the American bottles to show well. However, the American wines ended up with the highest scores in both the white and red categories. The 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay and the 1973 Stag’s Leap Cabernet, both hailing from Napa, took home the highest honors. In a single tasting, the wine world was turned upside down. The Judgment of Paris laid the groundwork for the Napa Valley to become what it is today. It alerted everyone to the potential of the land to produce wines of the very first order. Though the French media refused to cover the event at the time, the results also benefited France’s wines. It made people question their preconceived notions and reinvigorated their competitive spirit. It’s a lot harder to evolve, after all, when you don’t have any competition pushing you to do so. As somebody who makes wine in Napa today, I can’t help but feel a responsibility to the land and the wine producers who’ve come before me. We work on hallowed ground and seek to impart the California sun in every bottle. That’s a big responsibility, but it’s one we’re honored to take on. If you want to experience Napa in a glass, email us at

“Our Kelly family branch decided to expand westward, finally putting down deep roots in the world-famous Napa Valley in 1968. During the past 40-plus years, we have established ourselves as advocates for agricultural land preservation of what has been described as California’s Garden of Eden — the Napa Valley. “The Napa Valley is one of the world’s premier wine-growing regions. Just 2% of all the wine produced in California comes from the Napa Valley, and of that, an even smaller percentage comes from the prestigious Oak Knoll District appellation. Our ultrapremium 10-acre cabernet sauvignon vineyard is part of this special district. It’s located on the valley floor, right at the base of the western hills running along Dry Creek Road. We only produce very minimal quantities each year, which is why it is available only by allocation. “The making of ultrapremium wine begins in the vineyard. The vineyard workers lovingly tend the vines to ensure that the grapes will achieve full flavor in late October or early November. At harvest, they go through the vineyard early in the morning, picking our grapes by hand, rather than using the massive machines favored by bulk producers. “After the grapes have been harvested and “crushed” (de- stemmed and pressed), they go through the fermentation process, which involves special strains of yeast. During the next year, the new wine will be placed first in tanks and then moved to small oak barrels to age. Once fermentation is complete, the wine spends more than 18 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels. After all these steps, the wine is finally ready for bottling. After we bottle, we continue to age our Estate Wines for another year. Our process requires a four- year investment, but it results in our award-winning Kelly Family Vineyards wines.”


Kelly Family Vineyards



WWW. KELLYFAMI LYV INEYARDS . COM | 707 . 255 . 5688

inside this issue

1 2

Winter in the Vineyard Your Epic Adventure Awaits Become a Kelly Family Partner Who Is the Kelly Family? Napa Beats the Pants Off France Why Napa Is Perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon



Why Cabernet Sauvignon? Kelly Family Vineyards specializes in growing, producing, and crafting the very best cabernet sauvignon. We focus our small batches on this exquisite wine not only because it’s one of our favorites, but also because our location in the Dry Creek area of the Oak Knoll District of the Napa Valley means our vines produce some of the most intricate and complex flavors that you can’t recreate anywhere else in the world. Our gold medals prove it! the form of fog. This coverage drops the temperature enough to slow ripening to an optimal speed. BECAUSE I T ’ S ‘ K ING ’ IN THE NAPA VALLEY

But much of the magic is found in the soil of the area. Several types of soil are good for cabernet sauvignon, so long as they have good drainage and low fertility. Low fertility forces the vines into a state of stress earlier in the growing seasons, which prompts them to ripen grapes rather than grow leaves. But what makes our small area of the Napa Valley especially useful for growing cabernet sauvignon grapes is the presence of volcanic soil in the area. It provides an additional earthy, almost dusty taste to the wine, qualities that aren’t commonly grown elsewhere. Kelly Family Vineyards’ cabernet sauvignon is a San Francisco Chronicle double gold winner. Its nose of lavender, vanilla,

blackberries, caramel apple, and smoked bacon make it elegantly feminine. Its well- integrated tannins and silky mouthfeel make way for flavors of blueberries, dark chocolate, cassis, and pink peppercorns underneath, with a prevailing floral layer of roses and key lime blossoms. It’s lengthy and refined finish will leave you excited for your next sip and wondering why you’ve waited so long to indulge in the wonderful cabernet sauvignon.

Cabernet sauvignon grapes are best suited for a warm and sunny climate that doesn’t get too hot. That’s because these types of grapes taste the best when they can ripen slowly. Many locations in California are becoming increasingly hotter and hotter, but Napa Valley’s location protects it from these climatic increases. Being located on the San Pablo Bay causes an induction effect during the night, which delivers more cloud cover come morning, often in

4 | 707 . 255 . 5688

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online