Keenan Winery

Keenan Winery

Combining both the art and science of winemaking, our passionate commitment to quality is evident in every aspect of producing world class wines – from using only the finest grapes to the Portuguese cork in the bottle.

We invite you to visit historic Keenan Winery in the Spring Mountain District of the Napa Valley. Enjoy our handcrafted, small production wines produced by our solar powered, sustainably farmed vineyards. See and taste for yourself why in the last nine vintages, 47 wines have been awarded 90 to 97 points by Robert Parker Jr.

High in the Mayacamas Range, at an elevation of 1,700 feet above the Napa Valley floor, are Spring Mountain and the Robert Keenan Winery and vineyards. This area was first identified as prime vineyard land by Peter Conradi in the late 19th century when he planted 100 acres of terraced vineyard in Zinfandel and Syrah grapes. The Conradi Winery operated until Prohibition when the vineyards and winery fell out of use.

In 1974, Robert Keenan purchased 180 acres of forest on the defunct Conradi Winery site. No vines remained. Only the crumbling walls of the former winery and a few old broken tanks told of its history, but Robert was certain the mountain top vineyards would be perfect for an estate winery. He replaced tree stumps and rocks with rows of Cabernet and Chardonnay, hired an engineer to redesign the original winery structure, and brought in a contractor to begin construction. The winery was made operational just in time for the harvest of 1977. From that time on, Keenan has earned a great reputation for producing wines of intense character and renowned acclaim.

Keenan focuses on three varietals—Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. It produces nearly 14,000 cases per year. Combining the dedication of experienced winemakers with a commitment to excellence, the Robert Keenan Winery has distinguished itself as a maker of exceptional wines—in limited varietals and quantity: wines for sipping, wines for enjoying, wines for enhancing any occasion. In the last eight vintages, 42 wines have been rated between 90 and 97 points by Robert Parker Jr.

While the beauty and history of the land are appealing, it is the richness of the soils that makes the hillside perfect for an estate winery. These soils are, in great measure, responsible for the dramatic intensity of the fruit associated with the ultra-premium wines produced at Robert Keenan Winery. The winery recently completed a solar power system on their property. The system will supply all of the winery's power needs.

The 2006 Napa Valley Summer Blend Chardonnay is the winery's first release bearing the words "Solar Powered and Sustainably Farmed." When the winery's reds are released in the fall they will carry the same "Solar Powered and Sustainably Farmed" phrase on the label.

Keenan reclaimed nearly 50 acres from the mountain forest. Three areas of hillside are planted with Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Merlot grapes. These hillside grapes first produced big, "monster" wines so popular in the late 1970s. Now the winery carefully controls and finesses the abundant flavors of the hillside-grown grapes, producing wines of unparalleled complexity, richness, and elegance.

Chardonnay was the first Keenan wine released and it immediately established the winery as a leading producer of Chardonnay. The Cabernet grapes came into leaf and the resulting Cabernet vintages were immediate successes. The 1978 was voted the best California Cabernet of that vintage. The 1986 Cabernet was acclaimed as the 42nd best Cabernet in the world by Wine Spectator. In 1978, Keenan purchased a small volume of Merlot grapes as a way to also acquire some desired Chardonnay grapes. The resulting Merlot proved extremely popular and Merlot became a permanent part of the winery's selection. The reputation of the Keenan Merlots was solidified in 1988 when tastings of the Keenan Merlots against the world-famous Petrus wines (Merlots) resulted in a virtual draw.

Michael Keenan is the son of our founder, Robert Keenan. He is our new President and brings the same love of Spring Mountain and its wines as his father. Michael has been associated on and off with the winery since he was literally a child. This makes him a vital new member of our team and a man who can be counted on to continue the heritage and quality which people have come to trust in when they drink Keenan wines. Michael's wife, Jennifer Walker Keenan, is the design and artistic consultant of the Robert Keenan Winery image. She has designed the labels and redecorated the dining and wine tasting room. Jennifer is on call for the look and feel of all special events.

As a proven winemaker for over 20 years, Nils Venge is widely recognized for his attention to detail and personal supervision of the winemaking process from vine cultivation to bottling. He is reputed as being one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon makers in the Valley, producing big, opulent wines which have tremendous cellaring potential. He was the first American winemaker to ever receive a score of "100" from Robert Parker, Jr. of The Wine Advocate for one of his 1985 Cabernet Sauvignons.

Before joining Keenan as assistant winemaker in January of 1995, Randy Kewell previously worked as assistant winemaker at Lakespring Winery in Yountville for seven years, where he was in charge of all cellar operations from crush to bottling. Randy's wife, Laura, is Keenan's tasting room manger, and is in charge of special events. Randy, Laura, and their children Cristopher and Terry, live in an historic house located on the Keenan Estate.

The Winery has announced the return of Keenan’s special Summer Blend. If you visited Keenan Winery last summer, you may have noticed that a wine was missing from the tasting list: the Summer Blend. The Summer Blend is Keenan’s small production white wine that’s been a tasting room mainstay since its first release back in 2002. The wine is medium bodied with intense floral aromatics and is delightful straight out of the refrigerator or ice bucket; hence the name “Summer Blend” – a wine to enjoy on a hot summer day or evening. Sadly, we were unable to produce this delicious wine last year, but we’re back on track with the 2013 Summer Blend.

The scheme for creating the Summer Blend starts with great Chardonnay. For most vintages, the blend includes eighty to ninety percent Chardonnay. The Chardonnay component of the blend supplies backbone, structure, depth, and wonderful acidity. It’s the aromatic Viognier that sets the wine apart though. The Chardonnay is transformed into a different creature by including a small amount of this floral, perfumy Rhone varietal.

Over the years the amount of Viognier integrated into the Summer Blend has varied from ten to twenty-five percent. Two vintages (2006 and 2007) also included another floral Rhone varietal: Marsanne. In addition to Chardonnay and Viognier, our 2012 Summer Blend incorporates Albariño, a grape varietal that began being cultivated in the U.S. in the mid 1990's but owes its history to Spain and Portugal.

The Summer Blend is a small production wine for Keenan, with total cases bottled ranging anywhere from 150 cases up to nearly 500 cases for the 2009 vintage. This year we bottled just 300 cases. So stop by the winery for a taste, and let us know if you’d like to stock up as we expect this wine to be sold out by September.”

Robert Keenan Winery combines both the art and science of winemaking with a relentless passion for producing fine wines for your enjoyment. From using only the finest grapes to the Portuguese cork in the bottle, the Keenan commitment to quality is consistent. The wine is testament to these efforts. One taste and you will note the Keenan difference. However, why limit yourself to only one taste?

We invite you to come and visit the historic Robert Keenan Winery in person. Enjoy our handcrafted, small production wines produced by our sustainably farmed vineyards. Bring a picnic lunch and take in our beautiful vineyard and valley views from our picnic area. We are available by appointment seven days a week and can be reached at (707) 963-9177 or by email at rkw@keenanwinery.com.