' Our Winery - Kendric Vineyards

Our Winery

Stew with dogs
Kendric Vineyards is a small vigneron's operation.

I make a couple different bottlings of Pinot Noir, a couple different bottlings of Rosé (still and sparkling), a Syrah, a Chardonnay and a Viognier from my vineyard in Marin and a Sangiovese from my Mom's vineyard the Shenandoah Valley.

Eileen Burke is my wife. She has kept the roof over our heads at home which has allowed me to spend my days in the vineyard and the winery. While running her busy legal practice and serving on the San Anselmo Town Council, she also found time to raise our kids, Lucy and Owen. With so much time on her hands, I've suggested that wine marketing might be a fun hobby.

Kathleen and Kendric Johnson photo
  Kathleen and Kendric Johnson

Kendric Johnson was my Dad and is the person for whom this enterprise was named. He died in 2001 just as we were getting started. Naming the company after him is meant to both honor his memory and to impose his high personal standards upon the undertaking.

Kathleen Johnson is my Mom. She and I jointly manage the vineyard on her ranch. Besides providing the grapes for the sangiovese, she has been a source of both moral and material support throughout the long haul from planting to bringing wine to market.

My name is Stewart Johnson and I handle all aspects of production -- Grower/Winemaker/Spokesmodel. When I say "handle," I don't mean the photo-op level of participation common to the industry. Every vine and every barrel has my hand prints all over it.

I got my start in agriculture growing up in Amador County, working in prunes, walnuts and grapes. Later, on breaks from Grad School (Poli Sci) and Law School in the early 90s, I planted 4 acres of Sangiovese on my parents' land in Amador County. I subsequently added another 2 acres of Syrah there, but it was short-lived, having come from the nursery with both viral and fungal infections that did it in after 5 vintages. The Sangiovese grapes were all contracted to another winery for years, but starting in 2014 a few tons freed up, and I've been working with those on a semi-regular basis since then.

In 2001, having caught the Pinot Noir bug and after much prospecting, I started work on planting my own vineyard on a plot of pasture land in Northern Marin. The location is a couple miles west of Highway 101 where you pass Olompali State Park, off San Antonio Rd. and right at the Sonoma border. It's roughly equidistant between Tomales Bay and the SF Bay. I got the 8.5 acres (all Pinot except for a few short experimental rows) planted in 2002 and got my first crop in 2004. Other varieties were added via grafting in the vineyard, as I figured out both what I could ripen and where in the vineyard the Pinot performed best. 

I started making the wines (Marin Pinot and Shenandoah Valley Syrah) in other wineries' facilities, starting with the 2004 vintage. I eventually got my own production facility ("Winery" might be a little too grand a term) on Treasure Island fitted out and ready to process grapes starting with the 2013 vintage. I hope to be able to welcome visitors to a tasting room soon, but I've been saying that for years now. 
Treasure Island sunset