The Steven Kent Winery and the Future of Livermore Cabernet Sauvignon


The Steven Kent Winery is pushing Livermore Cabernet Sauvignon to new levels.  Here’s some more information and why it might be important:

Video Transcription:

The Steven Kent Winery Ghielmetti Vineyard Front LabelHi guys, Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures. I’m going to hold this up so you can get a little bit better look at it. This is a Steven Kent Winery single vineyard cabernet from Livermore, actually. This brings up a couple of interesting points and this is why I wanted to talk about this. First, Livermore is to the east of the city of San Francisco. There’s a long history in many different regions of the world starting with Champagne in Reims and going into large parts of Chianti being around Florence, of major agricultural centers sitting 45, 50, 100 miles, in that kind of range, around major population centers because they have this ease of sales thing that goes on.

Napa, Sonoma, the Santa Cruz mountains, and Livermore, interestingly enough, create that for the city of San Francisco. Livermore has largely been forgotten over the years and that’s … Pre-Prohibition, Napa and Livermore were thought of as equals in wine production. After Prohibition, really Napa continued to increase in quality and Livermore was, in some ways, left behind. In the past decade or so, that’s been starting to change. Steven Kent is really the one winery driving that change. They make a lineage cabernet. It’s a cabernet-based [plant 00:01:19] at least, that retails in the $150 range. They have a couple single vineyard cabernets. [Gilmedy 00:01:28] is this version, which will be going out in premium wine clubs this month. I think it helps to tell the story about how one winery can really help to raise the profile of everyone.

Livermore, for a long time, people in the industry thought that they were only capable of producing, say, a [$20 00:01:43] cabernet and not much above that. There’s [adherence 00:01:48] to Livermore cab and the growing conditions there that say that this, really, region can’t be much, much more. This is much more classic, old world than Napa is, for example. I think there’s something to be said for that. We’re going to be exploring Livermore a little bit more here in the coming days and weeks. I’m going to be exploring if Steven Kent is gaining the amount of sales that we might think that they are and if, really, people are going to be okay to pay the price that they’re charging for these.

The Steven Kent Winery Ghielmetti Vineyard Back LabelI’ve had this wine on a couple different occasions and at first I said, “No, I’m not really sure I can go there.” Because “there” is something really different for the industry. But, over time, I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to tell stories [irregardless 00:02:36] of where wineries are based. If the wine is good I want to be able to tell the story. Steven Kent’s a great example. This is a really, really nice cabernet in the $50-$60 range. It’s something that I think my wine club members are going to be excited to receive. We’re going to do a good job telling the tale and I hope that they enjoy it.

Once again, Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures and shipments upcoming.

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