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Regional Flavor Profiles

Regional Flavor Profiles

It’s fascinating how the flavors and aromas of a varietal will change from vineyard to vineyard. Crisp apple in one region. Fresh peach in another. Our estate vineyards span California’s finest coastal growing areas … giving our winemakers an extraordinary palette of aroma, flavor and texture to work with.

From the northern reaches of Mendocino County along the coastal hillsides of Napa and Sonoma and south into the Central Coast, our vineyards each offer something unique, giving our wines depth and complexity.

  • Mendocino County hillside estate vineyards give our red wines intense, deep spice and cedar flavors and our white wines apple and pear flavors.
  • Sonoma County mountain and hillside estate vineyards add black cherry flavors to our reds while white wines find apple, pineapple and stone fruits.
  • Napa County mountain estate vineyards add wild blackberry and mocha characters to our red releases.
  • Monterey and Santa Barbara benchland estate vineyards give our white wines their citrus, lime, mango and pineapple flavors. Pinot Noir from these appellations shows red cherry and strawberry while Syrah gives black cherry, currant and jammy spice.

Chardonnay Five Ways

Chardonnay is an excellent example of how one varietal will develop unique character in different regions. Our estate vineyards in each of these regions receive a measure of maritime cooling influence, slowing the ripening process and keeping the fruit on the vines longer, which intensifies aromas and flavors. In addition to this constant temperature moderation, varying soil type and sun exposure further affect how the grapes develop.

A true chameleon in the vineyard, each of these areas produces Chardonnay of exceptional quality and classic varietal character – yet all are markedly different:

Wine Region

Typical climate

Classic Chardonnay Flavor Profile

Anderson Valley
Mendocino County
Steeply elevated vineyards cooled by strong ocean influence from adjacent Pacific coastline. Green apple, high acidity
Russian River Valley
Sonoma County
Lingering fog intrusions that creep up the Russian River from the Pacific cloak the vines daily and keep evenings cool. Ripe pear, apple, citrus flavors, and structure
Napa and Sonoma Counties
Consistent breezes from the San Pablo Bay cool temperatures on the rolling hillside vineyards. Citrus and peach aromas, delicate, balanced acidity
Santa Maria Bench,
Santa Barbara County
An east-west running valley funnels cool maritime influences into the Valley, moderating otherwise warm temperatures. Tropical fruit flavors, lively acidity
Arroyo Seco,
Monterey County
Persistent ocean wind and fog moderates temperatures in the vineyards, keeping fruit on the vines and extending the maturation process. Ripe lemon and lime, creamy texture

At the Winery

All these flavors come together in different ways once the fruit reaches the Kendall-Jackson winemakers.

  • For Vintner's Reserve wines and K-J AVANT Chardonnay, our winemakers layer the various regional aromas, flavors and textures together to create our consistent signature flavor.
  • For Grand Reserve wines, we narrow in on one or two regions to produce wines of more focused distinction.
  • Our highly collectable Stature wine is created using the absolute best from one or more of our estates producing the pinnacle of Kendall-Jackson winemaking excellence.


Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens
5007 Fulton Road
Fulton, CA 95439


Email: kjwines@kj.com
Toll Free: 800.769.3649
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