After drinking a bottle of 2012 Idle Cellars Viognier at lunch last week at The Girl and Fig I decided it was time to stroll the Kick Ranch Vineyard.  We source our Viognier, Grenache and Petite Sirah from Kick Ranch right outside of Santa Rosa.  Owned by Dick Keenan, a retired San Francisco attorney, this 23 acre vineyard is a primo Rhône varietal plot with spectacular Syrah, Viognier, Petite Sirah and Sauvignon Blanc.  It was such a relief to see the reservoir filling up nicely and the land green and lush.  I’ve always found that the Viognier plot at the top of the vineyard is in the perfect location for that varietal.  The plot is flat and gets good mineral build up from the hillside drainage which rises steeply to the east.  It’s also slightly shaded during some parts of the day by a row of trees next to the plot to keep the fruit from heating up too much in late summer.  We make Viognier from Kick Ranch every other year so look out for a 2016 vineyard designate.  Our 2014 is currently for sale through our website at

We also make an award winning Grenache from Kick Ranch.  At Idle Cellars we didn’t hop on the Pinot Noir bandwagon that’s been going on over the last decade, but we wanted to include a lighter fruit forward wine in our inventory.  Being huge fans of Châteauneuf du Pape, and Spain in general, we settled on Grenache to play that part.  We started making Grenache from Kick Ranch in 2009 and have been making more and more each year.  We’re producing about 250 cases of Kick Ranch Grenache every harvest.  Our 2013 Grenache is the current release.  Keep your eyes open for other wines from Kick Ranch.  Dick does a good job of selling grapes to up and coming winemakers, helping them to gain some credibility in an otherwise very competitive market.  We’re also trying to throw a pop up dinner in the vineyard some time at the end of the summer, so keep your eyes peeled.

Ari Heavner