Sonoma County region
Celebrating the rich farmland and heritage of Sonoma’s Magnolia Peninsula, Outlot Wines gets a fresh start in the hands of one of California’s top wine industry families.
A tribute to Sonoma County’s rich agricultural heritage, Outlot Wines is an ultra-boutique winery aimed at capturing the spirit of the land and the sentiment of preservation through three unique bottlings: a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon, all authentically representing the terroir of the Sonoma County vineyards from which they are from. The entity is owned by the father-son team of Steve and Dennis Kreps, who have long been involved in the wine industry with their highly successful import, distribution and marketing company, Quintessential Wines, which is headquartered in Napa Valley.
Both Steve and Dennis Kreps began their careers in the wine business as sales representatives, working their way through prestigious distributing and import companies across the country. Steve Kreps began his career in 1973, and Dennis in 1991, bringing a combined 78 years of experience in the fine wine business. In 2002, they formed Quintessential Wines, focusing on representing family-owned and operated wineries with terroir-driven wines from the best winegrowing regions in the world. Quintessential has grown slowly and steadily over the years, and today has become one of the leading import and marketing companies in the U.S. - it was even named Wine Enthusiast’s Importer of the Year in 2020.
2020 was also the year that Steve and Dennis Kreps purchased the Outlot Wines brand from another wine company, yearning to breathe new life into this little label that they felt had so much potential. It was an opportunity they couldn’t refuse, to use their abundance of resources and history in the wine business to nurture and grow the Outlot Wines brand to become a world-class winery in the heart of one of California’s top wine regions. The Kreps plan to keep the label small, but will eventually add new wines to the portfolio and expand on the vineyards they are currently sourcing fruit from.
The name ‘Outlot,’ by the way, is a tribute to Healdsburg’s Magnolia Peninsula which is located just outside downtown Healdsburg. The area has a rich past brimming with stories of historic ranches and pastoral farmland and has long been famous for its rich soil. Nurseries and orchards thrived here since the late 1800’s, and ultimately gave way to the abundant vineyards of Healdsburg today. In the early 1970’s, the region was threatened by development and farmers fought to protect the land, which stands as a testament to stewardship to this day. An ‘outlot’ is a parcel of land not intended for building, but rather one with boundless potential - a perfect description of Sonoma’s rich landscape.
The Kreps family is closely involved with winemaker Robert Pepi Jr. when crafting the trio of Outlot wines and selecting the premium vineyard sites throughout Sonoma County. These appellation-specific varietal wines authentically represent some of the most desirable vineyards in Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Mendocino County, resulting in wines that are expressive, unique and distinctly Sonoma County in style. We hope our Gold Wine Club members enjoy Outlot Wines!
Bob Pepe Jr - Winemaker
Acclaimed winemaking consultant Bob Pepi Jr. is the winemaker behind Outpost Wines. Bob’s career in the wine industry dates back to 1966 when his father purchased a vineyard in Napa Valley’s Oakville District. In 1980, Bob and his father (Robert Pepi) founded Robert Pepi Wines and saw great success over the years, earning accolades and excellent scores for their wines. They eventually sold the winery to Jackson Family Estates (Kendall Jackson) in 1994, leaving Bob free to become a consulting winemaker. Ever since, Bob has worked mainly in California, but has also traveled to Argentina, Chile, Colorado, and Texas.
With over 40 harvests under his belt and considerable wine business background and acumen, Bob Pepi Jr. has been a valuable asset to Outlot Wines. He also crafts wines for his own boutique label, Eponymous, and a handful of other small, family-owned wineries in the Napa Valley/Sonoma County regions.
Wine Wizard: Test Your Wine IQ
1. Why is Sonoma County such a great region for growing wine grapes?
There are two prime reasons that Sonoma is the world-class winegrowing region it is today - climate and soil - and the variety of each provide a plethora of microclimates and incredible terroir. Sonoma’s climate is ideal for growing grapes, with long, dry, sunny, warm days followed by cool nights with ocean breezes and fog. The oceanic fog drifts through the Petaluma Gap region, into the interior valleys and works a unique magic on the grapes - not only does it help preserve acidity and complexity in the wines, but it helps create daily temperature swings of 40 degrees or more. This is ideal for grape’s flavor development as it helps grapes to ripen in a balanced way, preserving aromas, freshness and acidity. Sonoma’s soil is also important, featuring a wide range from rich and loamy to volcanic/rocky and well drained. With the Mayacamas Mountains, the rolling hills of the Carneros, the Russian River Valley, coastal hills, and other geographical features, Sonoma County has more soil types than all of France!
2. How many wine regions are in Sonoma County?
Sonoma’s range of unique terroirs is reflected in the county’s 18 distinct AVA’s (American Viticultural Areas), each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the most well known AVA’s include Alexander Valley, Carneros, Dry Creek Valley, Knights Valley, Petaluma Gap, Rockpile, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, and Sonoma Valley.
3. How much of Sonoma County is planted to wine grapes?
Surprisingly, only six percent of Sonoma County is planted to vineyards (about 63,000 total acres of vineyards). Sonoma’s vineyards are set against a beautiful backdrop of redwood forests, crashing ocean surf, broad plains and grasslands, a lush river valley, mountains, and rolling hills. Sonoma wine country is an excellent setting for outdoor adventures, while discovering and sipping on world-class wines.