Sonoma County region
"Our grapes and the resulting wines won seventy-six 90+ ratings in the last ten years"
A relatively new winery from one of Sonoma’s premier grape growers, Overland Wines is owned by Dick Keenan and his wife Kathy. Taking a page out of history, the Keenans named their project ‘Overland’ to honor the first settlers who migrated from Iowa to California in the mid-19th Century. They released their first wines to the public in 2010.
The winery got its start many years prior to that when Keenan decided to begin the search for the location of his vineyards. As Dick Keenan explained, “I did some research and found that the original settlers in Rincon Valley who planted vines here came more than 2,000 miles to begin anew their quest for happiness. By 1875, more than 25 acres of vineyards had been planted. Over the years, the vines disappeared so we were determined to bring back the vineyards to their former state. I wanted to create the same atmosphere the first settlers experienced, a new life and a new business. Much of the same intent can be found in today’s small wineries that must struggle for their very existence.”
The resultant efforts officially became Kick Ranch (‘K’ for Kathy and ‘ick’ for Dick), and for the next 17 years, the property that consisted of more than 100 acres became a high quality producer of fruit for many Sonoma and Napa Valley wineries. In fact, Kick Ranch’s fruit and the resulting wines have won nearly 100 90+ ratings in the last ten years.
The Keenans finally decided it was time to make some wine of their own, and Overland Wines became a reality. They keep their overall production quite small (less than 800 cases per year) and continue to sell fruit to over 15 different wineries - many of which would purchase more fruit if it was available. Unfortunately, Kick Ranch only has 42 acres under vine and there is little additional property to develop.
Overland Wines is a wonderful example of a person finding perfect harmony with design and execution. Dick and Kathy are farmers first and foremost, but enjoy producing limited batches of their Overland wine to celebrate the early history of the land where Kick Ranch vineyard is located. Enjoy!
Dick & Kathy Keenan - Owners / Winemakers
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
My intent is for The Argonaut, our flagship wine, is to express how our farming practices, the weather and winemaking come together in each vintage year at Kick Ranch. Prior to the start of the 2011 growing year, I chose certain rows of our Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Petite Sirah grapes for The Argonaut. 2011 turned out to be a cool growing season, which presented a challenge to make sure that the grapes ripened sufficiently before harvest. For some varieties, we dropped almost 50% of our potential crop to insure this. Close attention was key. After early rains, our vineyard workers pulled by hand all leaves above the fruit clusters to insure that sun and winds dried the fruit and prevented any rot. Daily we weighed the benefits of additional ripening versus losing flavors with cool October temperatures to decide when to harvest. We harvested each of the four grapes reserved for The Argonaut on different days.
After harvest, our attention shifted to all the winemaking decisions - over fermentation, barrel choices and how long to age the different wines until blending. 2011’s cool season produced lower alcohol levels that gave us the opportunity for many blending trials. Our goal was a complex wine with layers of aromas and fruit, silky tannins and a finish that goes on and on. True to our intent, this wine shows some of the leanness that comes from the coolness of the 2011 vintage with balanced acidity.
I am very proud of the effort that produced this wine and I hope you enjoy it very much.
Owner of Kick Ranch and Overland Wines