Deerfield Ranch Winery,
in Kenwood, the heart of Sonoma Valley, is an award winning, certified organic producer, winery crafting 15,000 cases annually. Robert Rex and associate winemaker, Cecilia Valdivia, and their team, make small lots of handcrafted wine from more than 26 carefully selected vineyards in Sonoma County. Specializing in blended wines, Deerfield is at the forefront of this modern yet traditionally based style and on the cutting edge of California winemaking techniques. Deerfield wines are renowned for their brilliant colors, rich and wonderfully complex flavors and a long finish. They tend to be fruit forward, with gentle tannins and low acid. The wines are crafted to appeal to the new, younger wine drinker while exhibiting complexity and depth that a studied wine geek or connoisseur will recognize and enjoy.
Robert Rex is a “Renaissance man” possessing a great palate and an exceptional talent for winemaking. He is a chemist, graphic designer, woodworker, and an accomplished gourmet cook. He has the ability to fix almost anything. With the harvest of 2010, Robert celebrates 38th consecutive years of winemaking. Robert is consulting winemaker for several small wineries that make their wine at Deerfield. He teaches hands-on winemaking at Deerfield and several of his students have started their own wineries and attained their own renown. Robert is an accomplished and entertaining speaker and lecturer.
Robert and PJ, his wife and business partner have lived in Kenwood, Sonoma Valley, for 28 years. Their beautiful hilltop retreat, Deerfield Ranch, is the original home of the Deerfield Ranch Winery, now expanded to a second and larger facility on Sonoma Highway in Kenwood. Robert’s brother, Martin Rex is spearheading construction of the new gravity flow 45,000-case winery, probably the last grand winery to be built in the Sonoma Valley. Stage I is complete with 23,000 square feet of cave with a tasting room in the Grand Room in the center of the cave. A traditionally designed “barn” style building, designed by architect, and brother, Michael Rex, serves as the winery. A staff of sixteen helps make everything happen. Deerfield is a green winery. 98% of the process wastewater is recycled on site. Extensive wetlands, forest and habitat on the forty-acre property are being restored and husbanded. The estate vineyards are organically farmed.
“Making wine is like gourmet cooking. We start with the finest ingredients, grapes farmed by growers who put as much attention into their vines as I do into the wines. Great wine begins in the vineyard. We have worked with the same growers year after year to perfect a partnership to produce the best wine. By drawing from many vineyards we get grapes from appellations where varietals grow the best. We allow the grapes to fully vine ripen, hand pick and sort all the fruit, and use the most gentle production techniques. We make wine by hand in small lots and taste the wines constantly so to profit from its constant change. We experiment with the latest ideas and techniques while operating from a foundation of tradition. We nudge the wines in one direction or another to make them lovely in appearance, fruity in the nose and delicious. Attention to balance retains aging capability. The wines are clean, have very low histamine and sulfite levels so that they produce no headaches or allergic reactions.”