If you're planning a trip to Sonoma County, be sure to stop by Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens. Start off with their wine and food pairing, then end your visit with a stroll through their gardens.
Huge thanks to Kendall-Jackson for hosting our recent visit. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!
I was born in Santa Rosa, California but moved away when I was a child. Growing up, we spent summers in Northern California. I remember always driving past a large beautiful winery, but it wasn't until last month that I got to finally got to experience all that Kendall-Jackson has to offer.
For an unforgettable tasting experience, the Wine and Food Pairing at Kendall-Jackson is not to be missed! Learn about their history, the wine, sustainability programs, and what they're growing. The Wine and Food Pairing is a unique experience that focuses on a selection of their small-production, limited-release wines.
Wine Tasting at Kendall-Jackson
You have plenty of options to choose from when planning a tasting at Kendall-Jackson! They offer Signature Tastings, Estate Tastings, Garden Tours & Tastings, Wine & Food Pairings, Wine & Chocolate Pairings, Wine & Cheese Pairings, and Private Experiences.
Last month, my husband and I enjoyed the wine and food pairing, as well as the garden tour and tasting. It was such a fun experience because we were walked through each course and then able to see the gardens where our food came from.
Be sure to check out their back patio, demonstration vineyards out front, and find the bocce courts for a game or two!
Wine & Food Pairing at Kendall-Jackson
We scheduled our tasting around lunch time and it was a beautiful time of day to dine al fresco. When making your reservation, be sure to make note of any food allergies or intolerances.
Everybody was so friendly, welcoming, and accommodating! The menu changes with the season and you may notice subtle differences based on what's available in the garden.
Trust me when I say that our dietary restrictions did not restrict us from tasting delicious dishes! Everything we tasted was spectacular. The chefs are truly talented and I highly recommend this experience for everyone.
For the wine and food pairing, we were encouraged to have a sip of wine, introduce the food, then take another sip. With each new dish, Chef Matthew Lowe or a staff member would explain our dish and the wine pairing. Everything below was prepared dairy-free and egg-free!
Dish: Farmer T's Lettuces, Plums, Beets, Radish, Fennel, Ume Vinaigrette
Wine Pairing: 2018 Jackson Estate Panorama Vineyard Rosé (Monterey County)
This salad was the perfect start to our tasting. The vinaigrette was amazing and brought all the flavors together. We were greeted with the rosé and able to enjoy it throughout this first course.
Dish: Wild King Salmon, Horseradish, Potato Salad, Summer Squash, Trout Caviar
Wine Pairing: 2017 Jackson Estate Fulton Ranch Chardonnay (Russian River Valley, Sonoma County)
I have been eating more seafood lately, so I was very excited to see salmon on the menu. Of course, everything on the dish was great but there was one standout ingredient... The edible succulent iceplant was a surprising and refreshing treat!
Dish: Snake River Farms Coulotte Steak, Carrot and Pumpkin Purée, Tokyo Turnip, Tatsoi
Wine Pairing: 2015 Jackson Estate Trace Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon (Knights Valley, Sonoma County)
I typically don't eat a ton of meat, but When In Rome... or California!! I decided that if I'm going to branch out, this would be the opportune time – prepared by a chef/culinary & garden educator and sommelier!
I'm so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried the steak. It was unreal! Absolutely delicious alongside the purée and turnip.
Dish: Vegan Cheesecake with Plum-Verjus Sorbet, Candied Almonds, and Pinot Noir Jelly
Wine Pairing: 2016 Vintner's Reserve Muscat Canelli (California)
Each dish was incredible but this one was outstanding! Each ingredient perfectly complimented the next. I'm still dreaming about this luscious decadent dessert.
Towards the end of our trip, we were kicking ourselves for not purchasing their Muscat Canelli! Hopefully we can grab a bottle when we're back in town for Thanksgiving.
Kendall-Jackson Garden Tour & Tasting
We finished our pairing with a box of caramel corn and were greeted by our tour guide, Matthew Zurich to start the Garden Tour & Tasting. The tour is an hour long experience offered twice daily and limited to a maximum of 15 guests.
We learned that the Kendall-Jackson Estate Gardens are set on approximately four acres and offer seven distinct garden spaces with seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more. Our host was extremely educational and fun! Being able to learn more about the history of the area plus family history, all while sipping on refreshing wine, made for an unforgettable day.
It was really incredible to walk through the sensory gardens while learning about the history of Kendall-Jackson and finding out what they are currently doing to plan for the future. We also got to see where our food came from, which was a great full-circle moment!
Check out this video with Tucker Taylor, the Lead Culinary Gardener at Kendall-Jackson! He talks all about the gardens, produce, their farm to table experience, how the sensory garden helps guests taste wine, and more.
If you haven't checked out Kendall-Jackson yet, definitely add it to your list of places to see! It's such a beautiful winery with great wine, sprawling vineyards, and so much to do.
Have you experienced the Wine and Food Pairing at Kendall-Jackson or the Garden Tour and Tasting? Let me know what you favorite part was!