Kendall Jackson Winery Tour

When we learned that the Engage Pickleball Camp included a tour of the Kendall Jackson Winery, and a 4-course luncheon/wine pairing, we kind of rolled out eyes. We thought we were going to get a cheese and cracker platter with some typical grocery store KJ wine.

Well, we could not have been more wrong.

I think the KJ main building kind of gave us a hint to the quality of what were going to experience. It is incredible.

We started off with a tour of the gardens and the small farm that is used to provide all the greens used in the preparation of food.

We then were seated at a long table, where four wine glasses were at each seat. The photo below is a picture of the menu for the day, along with the wines that were going to be served.

After the first course (the salad) we were introduced to the Executive Chef, Tracey Shepos Cenami.

It would take too much time to write about her background and accomplishments, but let me just say her background is quite impressive. In addition, she is well-known enough to have appeared on the following TV shows: Guy’s Grocery Games (2023), Guy Fieri’s Tournament of Champions (2020) and Beat Bobby Flay (2018).

First Course:

As described in the menu, the first course was a salad that contained lettuce from the garden, sugar snap peas, a farm fresh hard-boiled egg, shredded gouda, and a shallot vinaigrette. I’m not one to rave about salads, but I will rave about this one. I thought the salad had a taste of meat in it, while my wife thought it had the taste of nuts. It turns out that it had neither. The Chardonnay that went with the salad was excellent.

Second Course:

The second course consisted of steelhead trout and Mycopia Mushrooms. Mycopia mushrooms are grown in Sonoma County and have been referred to as “no longer wild, but far from tame.” I thought that the fish tasted a bit like salmon, and it was delicious. I was surprised that the wine was a red wine, because I thought white wine was always served with fish. Shows you what I know!

Third Course:

The third course was beef done medium-rare or rare, served with a potato latke (a potato pancake with a crispy crust). The wine was a cabernet, my favorite kind of wine.

Fourth Course:

I am not a fan of goat cheese, but this mousse was fantastic, as was the cabernet that was served with it.

Fifth Course:

Dessert! Need I say more? Incredible. And the wine was a perfect match.

All in all, this was an experience we will never forget. Thank you Engage for including this in the camp.