Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom Society

In 2000, Robert and PJ Rex, founders of Deerfield Ranch Winery, purchased 47 acres to expand their winery and vineyards. Encompassing 14 of those acres is the Kenwood Marsh, the last remains of a wetlands ecosystem that once covered much of the small village of Kenwood in Sonoma Valley.


The Endangered Kenwood Marsh Checkerboom

The Kenwood Marsh is one of only two places on earth – Kenwood and Knights Valley, both in Sonoma County - where the endangered Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom plant exists.

“We’ve spent six years restoring the wetlands,” states P.J Rex. “After 30 years of cattle grazing, along with the rampant spread of non-native Himalayan blackberry vines, there were only a handful of Checkerblooms left when we started."

Working closely with California Fish and Game’s rare species botanist, Gene Cooley, Deerfield Ranch Winery and the USDA’s National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) teamed up to develop a program to protect and expand the population of the endangered Checkerbloom.

NRCS found Deerfield’s marsh restoration program attractive due to the small number of remaining fresh water marshes in Sonoma County, along with the rare plant. Their wetland specialists are providing expert advice as well as financial support through a shared cost program. Lead biologist, Kate Symonds of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visits the marsh habitat regularly to assess the Checkerbloom’s progress and help adjust the conservation program.

To permanently protect Kenwood Marsh, the Deerfield Ranch Winery granted a conservation easement to Sonoma County and established the Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom Society to assist with the fundraising for restoration and maintenance of the marsh.

Throughout the year, the winery organizes numerous fundraising events to support the Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom Society—events which also provide opportunities to taste great food and wine and experience this magical environment.

The winery has recently bottled a special wine with a Checkerbloom label. Profits from the sale of this wine are donated to the restoration effort.

Kenwood Marsh Art Work

The winery donates 30% of all art sales to the Checkerbloom Society.

Click on Images for additional details

Adopt a Giraffe

Kenwood's tallest residents, two adult giraffe sculptures, now live on the Kenwood Marsh island.

The giraffes were donated to the Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom Society to be the mascots for our wildlife/wetlands preservation efforts.

The male, Checkers, is sixteen feet tall and his companion, Checkmate, is just a little shorter. Their baby, Bloomer, can be found wandering the cave promoting the "Adopt a Giraffe" program.

You can adopt a baby giraffe (only about five feet tall) to support the Kenwood Marsh restoration and either take it home with you or let it roam free on the marsh island with Checkers and Checkmate.

For further information contact PJ Rex or catch Bloomer next time you visit the tasting room.

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Deerfield Ranch Winery
Office: 1310 Warm Springs Rd • Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Winery and Tasting Room: 10200 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, CA 95452
Tasting Room Hours: 10:30 to 4:30 daily
Office: 707.833.5215 • Fax 707.833.1312
Tasting Room 707.833.2570 • Winery Office and Lab 707.833.2565
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