Format may change depending on web browser.

Kenneth Volk Vineyards - Cellar Door Club
 Pickup Party
 Featured Wines
 Upcoming Events

{ Welcome }

Our June 2016 Cellar Door Club shipment features four wines perfect for your summer barbeques and picnics: Our 2010 Merlot and 2011 Cabernet Pfeffer, our 2014 La Rosa Loca and an ancient white Burgundy varietal – our 2014 Melon de Bourgogne.

June Shipment

2016 Growing Season

Although this El Niño has not been as generous as the hype would have led one to hope for, it was certainly a better winter/spring rainfall season than the previous five years. Even more important, the northern California snow pack was more significant than recent years. Yes, we have to be water-wise and preserve this precious resource. The reality climate change throws off even the El Niño cycle. There is just no telling when a weather event will happen. The bloom and fruit set in the Santa Maria Valley is respectable, however, too many caps remain on set berries posing a potential home for Botrytis to get a foot hold to bring havoc.

Home Ranch Rehabilitation

In preparation for the future replanting of our Estate Vineyard property, we have completed growing our first crop of Kodiak Mustard and biofumigation of Nematodes, shredded and incorporated the material for it to compost and off gas in the soil. We are preparing to plant another summer crop of mustard that should grow faster in the warmer conditions. We also removed by hand over six tons of brick to boulder sized rock from the surface soils of the property.

For the third year we have been fortunate to have a nesting pair of Red-tailed hawks have a successful brood on the property. To watch this pair through their courtship, in air consummation, nest building, defending their territory and caring for their young has been a great experience. Out of respect for these magnificent wild creatures this is not something we have allowed visitation to.

Young fledgling getting close to leaving the nest.

Misidentification by the BATF

Two of the wines we are featuring in this shipment have been victims of misidentification in the vineyards of California by Foundation Plant Services and by our Federal Government’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF): Melon de Bourgogne and Cabernet Pfeffer.

In 1987, the BATF was attempting to update the list of approved great names for the use on wine labels in the United States, as well as coming into compliance with the European Economic Community’s desire to stop the use of European place names on American wine labels.

It is understandable why European countries would not want American wines to be labeled things like Burgundy, Johannesburg, Medoc, Chablis, Tokai, Champagne or other European appellation names.

The BATF greatly underestimated what a challenge this would be and that they would face opposition from all sides - The American wine industry, European governments, the Federal Government and the California Wine Institute. Like so many trade deals, we missed the uprights and many still feel we failed to kick the ball at all. The BATF buckled to the pressure of large wineries in California that had already been using the names. Hearty Burgundy, Burgundy, Chablis and Champagne are some true generic wines to be grandfathered in to continue the use of the names. However, after March 2006, no label approvals would be made for wineries that did not have prior use of the name in the federal register.

Then, in a stroke of genius, the BATF decided to change the name of the misidentified grape variety in California thought to be Pinot Blanc, allowing the use of the name “Melon” or “Melon de Bourgogne” for what had been Pinot Blanc in California. Needless to say, the linguistically challenged staff of the BATF was not making friends with their European counterparts.

There are believed to be over 8,000 genetically distinct grape varieties on earth and many more that have become extinct. It is hard to believe our Government only recognizes a few hundred of them. Every time an American vintner wants to use a new varietal on a label it is quite a paper chase to present the evidence to the bureaucrats in a way they can accept the use of the name.

Pick Up Party
Pick Up Party

Cellar Door Club Pickup Party

Saturday June 4, 2016
from 12 – 3pm

Calling all Cellar Door Club members and friends! Stop by the Santa Maria tasting room any time between 12 and 3pm to pick up and taste the wines in your June club shipment.

June’s pickup party will be a complimentary Open House event with live music by Different Strings and food available for purchase from Cubanissimo food truck! Bring your friends and family and stake your spot in the backyard to have lunch and enjoy the music while sipping on KVV wine.

Reservations are appreciated, but not required. If you are usually a Shipping Member but plan on picking up your June at our open house, please email us and let us know so we’ll have it ready for you.

Please email your RSVP to

Upcoming Events

June 4, 2016 — Cellar Door Club Pickup Party Open House

12 – 3pm, Kenneth Volk Vineyards Santa Maria Tasting Room

June’s pickup party will be a complimentary Open House event with live music by Different Strings and food available for purchase from Cubanissimo food truck! Bring your friends and family and stake your spot in the backyard to have lunch and enjoy the music while sipping on KVV wine. Reservations are appreciated, but not required.

June 5, 2016 — 29th Annual “Afternoon of Epicurean Delights”

11:30 – 3:30pm, Chapman House, Shell Beach, California

The 29th annual Afternoon of Epicurean Delights will be celebrated at the tranquil and picturesque grounds of the historic Chapman House by the Sea, nestled on the bluffs of the Pacific Ocean in Shell Beach. Proceeds benefit the Health & Prevention Division of Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, which provides medical, educational & advocacy services for over 10,000 under-served families, women, men and youth throughout our county. Guests at the event are invited to stroll through the serene gardens, take in the panoramic ocean views, and sit poolside while tasting food and beverages from SLO County's most renowned and award winning restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries, and confectioners. Guests will also enjoy a variety of live music and can participate in a silent auction with items featuring local art, hand-crafted jewelry, premium and reserve wines, get-away weekends, gift baskets, and much more. Fifty plus of the most renowned food and beverage purveyors will be participating in the event. For tickets, please visit:

June 10-11, 2016 — 19th Annual Celebration of American Rhone Wines

Golden Gate Club, San Francisco

Rhone Rangers converge on the city by the Bay June 10-11 for the annual celebration of American Rhone Wines. That’s right, your favorite Rhone winemakers are back in the city for a two-day celebration. From winemaker dinners, to seminars to grand tastings and a new VIP section it’s the premiere Rhone tasting of the year. For more information, please visit:

June 25, 2016 — Santa Barbara Wine Festival

2 – 5pm Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, California

The 2016 Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ will take place along the banks of Mission Creek at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Mingle with winemakers, bakers, and chefs in the sunshine, under the oak trees. Guests enjoy the best of Central Coast Wines and try their luck in the “Every Cork Wins!” raffle. For tickets and more information, please visit:

August 6, 2016 — LA Celebration of American Rhone Wines

Skirball Center, Los Angeles

Details to be announced!

September 24, 2016 — San Diego Zoo Food, Wine & Brew Celebration

6:30 – 11pm San Diego Zoo, San Diego, California

Enjoy a wild evening of food and drinks from more than 150 restaurants, wineries, and breweries. Dance to live music, meet exotic animals, and more! All proceeds from this event go directly to our San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy. For tickets and more details, please visit: