Kenwood Rosé of Pinot Noir: The wine for a Sonoma County hike
Hiking past vineayrds to enjoy a bottle of wine and a picnic is nothing new to Jack London State Historic Park.
Author Jack London purchased his ranch in Glen Ellen in 1905 and made it his home, writing in his studio at the ranch cottage while he built his dream house, the ill-fated stone-and-timber Wolf House. Besides the ruins of the Wolf House, there's much more to see on the park grounds.
Hiking trails wind around the Jack London vineyard, which has been farmed on contract to Kenwood Vineyards for decades by relatives of the author, up to a pond where London and his wife, Charmian, entertained visitors with swimming parties, and on through the conifer and oak forested slopes of Sonoma Mountain.
Kenwood Vineyards & Winery, located in Sonoma County's Valley of the Moon, recently partnered with the Sonoma County Trails Council. The winery has committed $100,000 in funds, plus staff volunteer days, to help maintain parks and trails. And Kenwood Vineyards 2017 Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir ($22), although not made from grapes grown at the London vineyard, is a robust pink wine in the spirit of the park and the season. It's a deep pink cherry ChapStick hue, with bright cherry flavor to match.
If a bit on the sweetly maraschino side of cherry flavor, it's basically dry on the finish and a good argument in favor of this hot-pink style of rosé wine, like a bold Italian rosato, and is neither hot tasting nor has the feel of a watered-back high-Brix saignée. It's like the essence of cherry on the spectrum of red Pinot Noir fruit flavors, delivered in a crisp, dare I say gulpable, chilled beverage.
There are those who'd like to tell you that rosé, particularly Pinot Noir rosé, should be this or that much lighter, paler hue.
Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, 707-938-5216