Have you heard of Kaz Winery? If you are not from the Valley of the Moon, chances are you haven’t heard of this small, family winery in Kenwood. Sitting off Highway 12, tucked behind some of the wine giants like Landmark and near Chateau St. Jean, Kaz Winery is a small production (roughly 1,000 cases per year) winery marching to their own beat. Sonoma County, Wine Country, offers unique tasting experiences at each winery, but this one is a one-of-a-kind in Sonoma!
Kaz himself, his real name is Richard Kasmier, pours in the tasting room, makes the wine, runs the ship, and wears just about every hat possible when it comes to a winery. And the hats that he doesn’t wear are worn by his family members- a total team effort. A down-to-earth, funny, Sonoma guy, Kaz often greets you at the door to the tasting room. You’ll see his ‘goofy’ sense of humor portrayed in posters around the tasting room- aka. the Barn.
At the tasting room you’ll find old vintage labels slapped on the front of the tasting bar, and barrels filled with wine you can tap into and taste right out of your glass. There’s lots of cool things to look at on shelves, walls and the floors around the tasting room, which all speak to the Kaz Winery personality. Kaz will not only let you mix and match to create your own blend to taste straight out of the barrel, but he’ll provide you with your own bottle for you to take home your creation! You can also choose from one of the cool labels to make your take-home wine complete.
Another unique experience Kaz offers is his unique wine. Kaz farms organically and uses little or no sulfites in his wine and uses wild yeast when he can– this is how wine used to be made in the old days! The wine Kaz serves is often unique in varietal as well, including Barbera, Lenoir, Petit Verdot, Malbec and certain Ports. Kaz is the only winery in California that has the Lenoir grape- which is mostly found in Texas.
The tasting room is open four days a week Friday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment Tuesday through Thursday. Kaz will probably start you with a white and a blush wine, but then he’ll jump into the bold reds where he’ll have 6 to 9 to choose from before finishing with some ports! And get this, the tasting fee is only $5!
Since Kaz has a few grandkids of his own, the tasting room and spacious outdoor area are extremely kid friendly! This makes it easy for families to be able to enjoy a unique wine experience and not worry about their kids having a good time.
One final thing- if you are interested in the process of making wine and want to help out, you can sign up for his ‘Winemaking U’ where he’ll teach you how to hone your own skills at making wine.
Take a look below at some photos from our visit and next time you are in Kenwood- stop in and tell Kaz we said hello! Visit his website here: http://www.kazwinery.com/