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February 2008

Youtube users can sneak preview new reality TV series that asks the question -- who wants to be a wine maker?

Kinkead Ridge and Harmony Hill featured on the nationally-syndicated PBS TV show, America's Heartland, Series 3, episode 311. Click here.


Kinkead Ridge featured in January Cincinnati Magazine, the Wine Issue. Photos by John Johnston,
Available on line at The January password is WINE or click here

Photos by John Johnston,


"Kinkead Ridge Winery is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the finest estate-bottlers this side of the Mississippi, winning a rare double-gold medal in the 2006 American Wine Society Competition for their 2004 cabernet franc. In 1998, after 10 years of growing pinot noir at the Chehalem Valley Vineyards in Yamhill, Oregon, 60-year-old Ron Barrett, along with his partner Nancy Bentley, relocated to Ohio to start their own vineyard. Regional soil maps, Barrett says, revealed this land's ideal composition: 30 inches of neutral to slightly base soil, underlain by hundreds of feet of broken limestone. "World class grape soil," he says. Spend some time on this 126-acre farm with its immaculate vinifera grape vines -- cabernets, viogniers, and rieslings, petit verdot and syrah, roussanne and sauvignon blancs -- and you gain an almost romantic appreciation of the viticulture lifestyle. Which is a mistake. "I would never call it romantic," Bentley says. "You never see all of the problems that occur, all of the weather disasters around the corner." And the work: Each of these 5,000 vines is hand-pruned from 30 shoots down to two or three. And then there's the around-the-clock "punchdowns" to stir the wines, and the hand bottling, corking, and labeling. Still, among the purveyors of his wine, Ron Barrett is a rock star. As someone who can just as easily discuss the prehistory of southern Ohio as the merits of pairing a premium Viognier-Roussanne blend with goat cheese, people seek his knowledge and company. A recent case of his wine sold for twice its value after he autographed the box. "I call it 'the gene, " Bentley says. "People call and say they want to start a vineyard", and I say "We'll have to see if you have the gene." For people like Ron, it's in their blood. They have to do it. But it's an extreme amount of work." --Brent Donaldson

"The first whiff nearly knocked me off my feet. I was standing on a rickety metal ladder leaning against one of the large fermentation vats in the space -- really not much more than an oversized garage -- where Ron Barrett makes his wine.... read more from editor Jay Stowe...


A review of the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (sold out at the winery) was posted on 12/24/07 on Mark Squires Bulletin Board, on For those of you who still have it in your cellars, you may find this interesting.

Greg, NYC: 2004 Kinkead Ridge Cab Sauv, Ohio River – "What to say about this wine that Loren brought. I was simply floored. If you are not going to expect much in the way of wine from a state, that state has to be Ohio. Or so I thought.

Not true.

The wine was stunning, partly because my expectations were so low and even more because it was so damn good. That was a real cab. The nose demonstrated the expected varietal cassis and herbal qualities, the palate had the tart black fruit, a touch of herbs, some tobacco, a bit of wood that hasn't yet integrated fully – in short, just a wonderful young cab. And seventeen bucks. I'm trying to think of a cab from California that delivers at the same level for the price. Perhaps Beckmen? BV Rutherford? I'd like to try this blind with some of those. This was just a wonderful surprise from Ohio."


Kinkead Ridge 2004 Cabernet Franc rated one of the Top 100 Exciting Wine Finds, international list compiled by Tom Stevenson, British editor of the New Sothebys Wine Encyclopedia and publisher of the paperback Wine Report 2008. "Succulent, intensely flavored fruit, ripe, supple tannins, and a truckload of flavors--from cherries, cassis, chocolate, and cream, to vanilla and coconut."--Sandra Silfven, Atlantic Northeast editor of the 2008 Wine Report "This shows what promise there is in Ohio." --Tom Stevenson

Kinkead Ridge Winery accomplishments, 2002-2007

2003 Viognier/Roussanne named one of the Top 100 Exciting Wines in the World, Tom Stevenson, British editor of the New Sothebys Wine Encyclopedia

         2004 Cabernet Franc named one of the Top 100 Exciting Wines in the World, Tom Stevenson, British editor of the New Sothebys Wine Encyclopedia. Only 12 American wineries made the list

         2004 Cabernet Franc, Double Gold Medal, American Wine Society competition. 1000+ international entries, only 2 Double Gold Medals

         2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Gold Medal Finger Lakes Wine competition. The only vinifera wine from Ohio to win a gold medal. Only 15 were awarded internationally for Cabernet

         Featured on nationally-syndicated PBS TV program, America's Heartland

         Featured on Ohio-syndicated PBS TV program, Our Ohio

         Kinkead Ridge video “The Romance of the Vineyard” one of five finalists in the Wine Spectator video contest

         Kinkead Ridge featured on the cover of Ohio magazine

         Kinkead Ridge listed in Kevin Zraly's American Wine Guide (former sommelier of Windows on the World, World Trade Center)

      Kinkead Ridge wines praised by Bernard Portet (founding winemaker of Clos du Val) and Melyvn Masters (restauranteur, author)

Kinkead Ridge mentored the winegrowers of Harmony Hill, Meranda and LaVigna

         Kinkead Ridge wines featured on the Dish TV show, with Chef Jean Robert de Cavel

         Kinkead Ridge featured in Ladies Home Journal and Country Living (courtesy of the Farm Bureau)

         Kinkead Ridge 2006 Viognier/Roussanne rated one of the top 2007 favorite wines, the WineBuzz magazine and wins Gold Medal at the American Wine Society competition.

         Kinkead Ridge featured in Ohio Wine Country Excursions

         Kinkead Ridge featured in From Garden Gate to Dinner Plate, Food and Farms of Ohio

         Kinkead Ridge featured in national magazine, Wines and Vines

         Kinkead Ridge wines reviewed by Mark Fisher, Dayton Wine Blog

         Kinkead Ridge wines reviewed by Jon Christenson, Columbus Dispatch

         Kinkead Ridge 2005 Cabernet Franc featured currently at Pigalls and JeanRo Bistro

         Kinkead Ridge wines featured by Chef Julie Frances, Nectar

         Ohio wine dinners, Kinkead Ridge featured at Rhapsody, Sturkeys, Daveeds, Bexleys Monk, Lindeys German Village, Iron Horse Inn

         Kinkead Ridge wines reviewed by Lenn Thompson, New York wine writer

         Kinkead Ridge wines reviewed by Sandra Silfven, Detroit Daily News

         Kinkead Ridge newspaper articles, too numerous to mention

         Kinkead Ridge wine poured at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. and by Senator Voinovich

         Kinkead Ridge the only non-distributor winery to pour at Gourmet Sensation

         Kinkead Ridge invited to pour at Fleur de Fetes, Dayton

        One of four wineries (and the only Ohio winery) featured in the January Cincinnati Magazine 



We visited the big winery trade show in Sacramento, Unified Symposium; had lunch with our old friend Dick Erath, who was gracious enough to let us visit his new vineyard and home in Wilcox Arizona. We woke up to a view of a winter vineyard, mountains in the background and sand cranes flying overhead. Then we spent four days in New Mexico and Arizona with Brad and Armanda of LaVigna ( Ron was excited that the price of a screw cap machine has dropped in half from two years ago, around $17,000 to $8,000.

Kinkead Ridge featured in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Realizing the Fruits of Their Labors. 

Unfortunately, due to the Direct Shipping legislation passed in Ohio, we will no longer ship direct to consumers. The law states a consumer may only receive 24 cases of wine per year. The state is collecting data from wineries and shipping companies with regard to who received wine. We would have no way of knowing if we shipped the 25th case illegally. Click here to read what the press says about this legislation.  For alternatives to shipping, please call us.

We are often asked about food and wine pairings. This is a great site to browse, Natalie MacLean's Food Matcher.

Kinkead Ridge is listed in the short "well-known wineries" section in the Ohio section of Kevin Zraly's 2008 Wines of America.




I fished around in the cellar tonight and opened a 2004 Syrah. It was absolutely wonderful.

Look at this photo... Travel Magazine has a contest called "Where Are You"...what do you think about this photo?

a) Sunrise over Mt. Hood, Oregon
b) Sunrise over the great pyramids, Egypt
c) Sunrise over Kinkead Ridge Vineyard, the front barn

If you guessed "c", you're right!

Photo by John Johnston

Here's the same photo during the day:


"Why  go for those long distance relationships when you can find love in your own back yard." 


Brillat Savarin noted two features which distinguish man from beast:
1. Fear of the future.
2. Desire for fermented liquors.

   Words on Wine: 

Last night, my friend and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her,
"I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids
 from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."
 She got up, unplugged the TV, and threw out my wine.
 She's such a bitch.

Famous quotes throughout history about wine. Click here.

Funny drinking quotes:

"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the wine I drink I feel shame. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the vineyards and all of their hopes and dreams If I didn't drink this wine, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this wine and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
~ Jack Handy

Click here for more funny drinking quotes.