Reflections of a Vintner recounts the lessons learned, relationships forged, and observations made from an insider’s nearly fifty-year journey through the burgeoning wine industry in Napa Valley. From the mid-seventies, when there were less than fifty wineries, to the present, with over eight hundred, Tor Kenward shares his recollections as the region became a world-class wine destination.
Following the calendar year, each chapter opens with the challenges and opportunities a winemaker faces that month—in the vineyard, winery, tasting room, and out on the road. In addition to the wine knowledge Kenward imparts, the vintner shares stories of his friendships with legends of the modern American food and wine scene, including Julia Child, André Tchelistcheff, Andy Beckstoffer, and Robert Mondavi, among others.
Kenward’s hard work as a vintner was recently acknowledged and celebrated. In the October 2021 Judgment of Napa, held forty-five years after the historic Judgement of Paris, TOR Cabernet was judged to be #1, outscoring legendary Bordeaux châteaux, Napa Valley, and international peers by leading critics and sommeliers. TOR wines, coveted by connoisseurs worldwide, received seven perfect 100-point ratings from leading critics for their 2018 Napa Valley wines.
An iconic winemaker, Kenward has written, taught, and lectured on wine most of his adult life. What he is most often asked about are not facts or numbers about his wines, but the stories behind them. These are stories of inspiration and wisdom that shaped his journey. With Kenward’s impressive connection to Napa Valley and his legacy of creating inimitable wines, Reflections of a Vintner offers entertaining insights into an often intimidating and complex but highly enjoyable world.