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The Land of Opportunity

Our History

A Dream Realized

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Kenzo Tsujimoto first achieved success as the founder of Capcom, a Japanese developer and publisher of video games.  During that time, he became enchanted with the Napa Valley after the historic 1976 Judgment of Paris, which launched Napa Valley wines onto the world stage.

As Capcom’s business expanded into the United States, Kenzo sought a serene location to offer an outdoor alternative to the company’s indoor electronic sporting business. His affinity for California wine country and vision to build an outdoor retreat led him to a 3,800-acre mountain valley in Napa’s southeast corner.

History-Items

In 1990, Capcom purchased the land.  However, the business plans fell through and Kenzo ultimately purchased the property from the company, thus beginning the story of Kenzo Estate.

In 1990, Capcom purchased the land.  However, the business plans fell through and Kenzo ultimately purchased the property from the company, thus beginning the story of Kenzo Estate.

Kenzo Estate’s philosophy focuses on a natural winemaking process.

Five times the size of New York’s Central Park, Kenzo’s precious parcel was the site of an equestrian center, which had also served as the training grounds for the U.S. Equestrian Team.

Five times the size of New York’s Central Park, Kenzo’s precious parcel was the site of an equestrian center, which had also served as the training grounds for the U.S. Equestrian Team.

The land attracted local vintners with is sprawling acreage, natural water sources and unique terroir. Kenzo and his wife, Natsuko, along with wine industry friends such as the late, legendary Robert Mondavi, mutually recognized great potential to cultivate the land to vineyard.

The land attracted local vintners with is sprawling acreage, natural water sources and unique terroir. Kenzo and his wife, Natsuko, along with wine industry friends such as the late, legendary Robert Mondavi, mutually recognized great potential to cultivate the land to vineyard.

In 1998, vineyard development began with the first rootstock of Bordeaux varietals planted in 1999. Two years later, Kenzo Estate harvested grapes. Although wine was made from the fruit, the vintage was never released.

In 1998, vineyard development began with the first rootstock of Bordeaux varietals planted in 1999. Two years later, Kenzo Estate harvested grapes. Although wine was made from the fruit, the vintage was never released.

In 2001, Kenzo met famed viticulturist David Abreu who engineered vineyards for premier wineries such as Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate and Colgin Cellars. He proposed that the two work together to grow grapes of the highest quality.

In 2001, Kenzo met famed viticulturist David Abreu who engineered vineyards for premier wineries such as Screaming Eagle, Harlan Estate and Colgin Cellars. He proposed that the two work together to grow grapes of the highest quality.

Abreu joined under the condition that he could replant the entire vineyard. This massive undertaking would ensure varietals and terroir were matched to perfection in the healthiest vineyard ecosystem possible.

Abreu joined under the condition that he could replant the entire vineyard. This massive undertaking would ensure varietals and terroir were matched to perfection in the healthiest vineyard ecosystem possible.

Kenzo agreed, and in 2002 replanting operations commenced with vines, soil and even the smallest rocks in the ground removed. Each block was planted to extract the purity of the vine’s heritage and varietal characteristics.

Kenzo agreed, and in 2002 replanting operations commenced with vines, soil and even the smallest rocks in the ground removed. Each block was planted to extract the purity of the vine’s heritage and varietal characteristics.

“My desire is to create the best wines imaginable.” – Kenzo Tsujimoto

In 2003, celebrated winemaker Heidi Barrett joined the team. Dubbed by Time Magazine as “The Wine Diva of Napa Valley,” Barrett crafted some of the most sought-after Napa Valley cult wines, including Screaming Eagle and Dalla Valle. Kenzo and Natsuko were captivated by Barrett’s elegant, artistic approach to winemaking. The three collaborated to fulfill Kenzo’s vision: create superior, yet accessible wines that could stand among the world’s best. Ms Barrett left the team in 2022, and Marc Nanes moved into the role.

In 2003, celebrated winemaker Heidi Barrett joined the team. Dubbed by Time Magazine as “The Wine Diva of Napa Valley,” Barrett crafted some of the most sought-after Napa Valley cult wines, including Screaming Eagle and Dalla Valle. Kenzo and Natsuko were captivated by Barrett’s elegant, artistic approach to winemaking. The three collaborated to fulfill Kenzo’s vision: create superior, yet accessible wines that could stand among the world’s best. Ms Barrett left the team in 2022, and Marc Nanes moved into the role.

By 2005, the Kenzo Estate vineyards were ready for the first harvest, realizing Kenzo’s 15-year pursuit to produce wine.

By 2005, the Kenzo Estate vineyards were ready for the first harvest, realizing Kenzo’s 15-year pursuit to produce wine.

In 2008, a celebration was held to present Kenzo Estate’s first vintage of wines – 2005 rindo, murasaki and ai – at the Tokyo Imperial Hotel. The graceful wine labels were designed by renowned designer Tamotsu Yagi.  The inaugural vintage sold out immediately.

In 2008, a celebration was held to present Kenzo Estate’s first vintage of wines – 2005 rindo, murasaki and ai – at the Tokyo Imperial Hotel. The graceful wine labels were designed by renowned designer Tamotsu Yagi.  The inaugural vintage sold out immediately.

In 2009, construction concluded on the state-of-the-art winery and production facilities, as well as the 20,000 square feet of natural aging caves. Finally, Kenzo Estate wines could be officially "estate bottled." Then, in 2010, the beautifully appointed tasting room was completed and primed to host guests.

In 2009, construction concluded on the state-of-the-art winery and production facilities, as well as the 20,000 square feet of natural aging caves. Finally, Kenzo Estate wines could be officially "estate bottled." Then, in 2010, the beautifully appointed tasting room was completed and primed to host guests.

Kenzo and Natsuko welcomed friends and partners to commemorate the Tasting Room’s Grand Opening in 2010. Guests were officially welcomed to experience the beauty of Kenzo Estate and its stunning wine collection.

Kenzo and Natsuko welcomed friends and partners to commemorate the Tasting Room’s Grand Opening in 2010. Guests were officially welcomed to experience the beauty of Kenzo Estate and its stunning wine collection.

In 2009, Marc Nanes was appointed as the estate winemaker to assist Heidi Barrett in crafting Kenzo Estate’s growing wine portfolio. In 2022, after 19 successful vintages, Heidi Barrett stepped away, and Marc was named Kenzo Estate's Winemaker by Kenzo and Natsuko Tsujimoto. "We believe that Marc has the expertise to continue to create award-winning wines of consequence, and we look forward with anticipation to the new energy he will bring to the winemaking process, incorporating his deep understanding of the magic of Kenzo Estate wines."

In 2009, Marc Nanes was appointed as the estate winemaker to assist Heidi Barrett in crafting Kenzo Estate’s growing wine portfolio. In 2022, after 19 successful vintages, Heidi Barrett stepped away, and Marc was named Kenzo Estate's Winemaker by Kenzo and Natsuko Tsujimoto. "We believe that Marc has the expertise to continue to create award-winning wines of consequence, and we look forward with anticipation to the new energy he will bring to the winemaking process, incorporating his deep understanding of the magic of Kenzo Estate wines."

In 2016, Kenzo and Natsuko opened a namesake restaurant, Kenzo Napa, to share authentic Japanese cuisine alongside the Kenzo Estate wines. Having managed five Kenzo Estate restaurants in Japan, Natsuko again took the reins in design, operation and marketing at Kenzo Napa. Her unwavering vision and commitment to excellence is a key factor in the restaurant’s ongoing success, which includes four consecutive Michelin Star ratings, and Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence annually.

In 2016, Kenzo and Natsuko opened a namesake restaurant, Kenzo Napa, to share authentic Japanese cuisine alongside the Kenzo Estate wines. Having managed five Kenzo Estate restaurants in Japan, Natsuko again took the reins in design, operation and marketing at Kenzo Napa. Her unwavering vision and commitment to excellence is a key factor in the restaurant’s ongoing success, which includes four consecutive Michelin Star ratings, and Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence annually.

“It was a dream to share this unique and extraordinary site with guests from around the world.” – Kenzo Tsujimoto

Kenzo Estate, named a “Top 100 Winery in the World” by Bonfort’s Wine & Spirits Journal, and Kenzo Napa, a four-time Michelin Star recipient, are now enmeshed in the fabric of the illustrious Napa Valley wine and culinary scene.

Kenzo Estate, named a “Top 100 Winery in the World” by Bonfort’s Wine & Spirits Journal, and Kenzo Napa, a four-time Michelin Star recipient, are now enmeshed in the fabric of the illustrious Napa Valley wine and culinary scene.