Kick’n it at Kick Ranch: WBC Bloggers Unite

I am envious of those attending the first annual Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) in Sonoma County, CA on October 24-26. Marc and I planned on attending, but due to other commitments, we are not able to make it this year.

For those of you who are heading to the conference, I strongly recommend signing up for the Kick Ranch Vineyard Luncheon, which will kick off (no pun intended!) the event on Friday, October 24.

Kick Ranch vineyard was planted and is owned by Dick Keenan and Kathleen McNamara. It’s a location in Sonoma’s Rincon Valley near the western side of the northern flank of Spring Mountain, a location that

Wine Bloggers Conference

separates Sonoma and Napa Counties. Historical documents show that this location began producing grapes in the 1870’s later to be abandoned during prohibition and used as a Clydesdale horse training ground for many years.

Dick & Kathy Keenan acquired the property in 2000 and converted it to a vineyard that produces Sauvignon blanc, Syrah, Petite sirah and Viognier for a number of premium wineries, which include Paul Hobbs, Bedrock Wine Company,
Carica Wines, Enkidu Wines, Erna Schein, Loxton Cellars, Lynmar Winery, Pax Wines, Renard Wines, Rosenblum Cellars, Sangliere, Silent Morning Cellars,
and Shane Wines.

Kick Ranch
Kick Ranch Vineyard, Photo credit: Carica Wines
Dick opened Carica Wines in 2005 with winemaker Charlie Dollbaum, with the intention of producing extraordinary wines from small lots of premium Sonoma County wine grapes.

Marc and I had an opportunity to meet Dick Keenan and his lovely wife Kathy a few days ago

at the Monterey Wine Festival. Dick exhibits the charm and grace of one who graduated Yale Law but can hang with the likes of Marc or fit in with the techno geek Twitter freaks; translated he is gentleman and a scholar, a bit of a rogue and a ruffian and adept with the skills it takes to pay the bills.

We tasted the ’07 Carica Syrah and the ’06 Carica Sauvignon Blanc, and both wines were simply amazing which is why I strongly recommend attending the WBC Kick Ranch Vineyard Luncheon. It’s a great opportunity to sample wines from a number of vintners that work with Mr. Keenan and it’s a great way to compare and contrast what wineries do with grapes coming from the same vineyard.

The Kick Ranch event will also provide lunch from Chloe’s French Café, courtesy of Bacchus Vineyard Management.

Do yourself a favor and sign up for this event. Its one you won’t want to miss!


About the Author:

Editor and co-founder of, Pamela is a sommelier and former restaurant manager and wine buyer with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Court of Master Sommeliers & Center for Wine Origins certification. She has contributed to or been quoted by various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sommelier Journal, Vegetarian Times, VIV Magazine, UC-Berkeley Astrobiology News, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and USA Today. True to her roots, she seeks varietal and appellation integrity and is always passionate about finding the next great bottle of wine.


  1. Tim October 22, 2008 at 4:55 PM - Reply

    I’m headed to WBC, but I will unfortunately miss this luncheon. They added this to the event after I booked my flight. :-(

  2. enobytes October 22, 2008 at 5:17 PM - Reply

    Sorry you will miss it! Have a great trip and have fun at WBC.

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