Kendall Jackson Wine Tasting & Culinary Gardens

Well, hello there! I am running a little behind and am still exhausted from working 6 days last week. It really took the wind out of my sails but I should be back to normal soon.

Let’s see… last I left off, it was Brandon’s birthday and we went out and had a nice dinner together.

Bran's Bday

He loves posing for pictures…

Bran's Bday (2)

I decided to take him to a place in Danville named Esin and it turned out to be really good, especially the warm fudgy brownie that they served along side vanilla bean ice cream…


Yep, I looked about 7 months pregnant after that meal. I was sure to let Brandon get a side view of my belly so he could see what he’s in for down the road. Winking smile

Although Saturday was consumed by work, we made sure to take a day to relax together on Sunday. Unfortunately, our family is on the other side of the country so we weren’t with our Moms for Mother’s Day but they were definitely in our thoughts. Red heart

For our time together on Sunday we decided to take a trip to Kendall Jackson’s Wine Center in Sonoma County.

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As soon as you enter the property you can see it is meticulously manicured and there are beautiful rose bushes everywhere.

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Although we had planned to go to Kendall Jackson at some point, we picked this particular Sunday because we had heard about the Heirloom Tomato Festival Plant Sale they were having that day.

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I am obsessed with heirloom tomatoes but they can be pretty expensive so we thought it would be fun to pick up a plant and try to grow a few on our own.

They had a large tent set up behind the tasting room with a ton of different varieties of heirloom tomato plants and everything was very well organized.

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The different color balloons are to let you know what color tomatoes the plant will produce and they also had signs letting you know which plants were in that section.

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The plants also had individual labels to let you know what size tomatoes to expect and where the seeds came from; there were quite a few from Germany and Italy. We decided on one red, one yellow, and one purple plant that all are supposed to give large, beefsteak tomatoes. I can’t wait until they start to blossom!

After picking out our plants, we put them in the car and made our way back to the tasting room. All of the staff there were incredibly friendly and they immediately offered us a tasting of Chardonnay. We wanted to do a wine and cheese pairing but all of the tables with umbrellas were full so we decided to walk around the gardens while we waited for a table.

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The Culinary and Wine Sensory Gardens at Kendall Jackson’s Wine Center are planted on 2 and 1/2 acres and have a wide variety of flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables.

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Some sections of the garden include vegetables and herbs from different parts of the world and they use these to help inspire their Culinary Team when creating the food and wine pairings.

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Ugh, and they had all of this gorgeous lacinato kale! This is my favorite kind of kale and I just got done making a salad with it for dinner the night before (recipe to come soon!).

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It is also called dinosaur kale or black kale and it is a traditional staple in Italian cuisine, especially in Tuscany. I dream of eating kale in Tuscany…sigh.

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They also had a nice collection of rainbow chard…

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And this stuff that kind of looked like broccoli…

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There was also a cute little lady bug enjoying the broccoli plant.

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Even though it wasn’t overly warm, we made sure to enjoy a glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc to keep us cool as we explored the gardens.

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Other sections are of the gardens are meant to allow you to use your senses as you pass through the garden, imagining the flavors and aromas in certain varietals of wine.

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How cute are the little pomegranate buds?

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I had to resist picking the strawberries…

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After working up an appetite for some cheese, we decided to head back through the small patch of vineyards toward the tasting room.

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We were able to get a table with an umbrella and there was also a nice breeze to keep us cool. It was a perfect day to be outside with some wine!

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The wine pairing we tried included five different wines along with a glass of sparkling water.

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As well as five different cheeses and different foods to help reset the palate in between each tasting.


Although I am usually a Sauvignon Blanc drinker, I really enjoyed the Avant Chardonnay so we took home a bottle for later.

Overall, it was a really fun and relaxing experience and I highly recommend stopping by Kendall Jackson if you are ever in Sonoma County. (The wine and cheese pairing is $25 per person in case you were wondering.) After all of that fun, we stopped and got some dinner on the way home and then ended-up in bed at 9pm. #oldfarts

Between working extra hours, eating out, and drinking a lot of wine, I am looking forward to a week of normalcy with healthy, homemade meals. I hope your week is off to a good start and I’ll see you soon!


How was your weekend? Have you ever done a wine and food pairing?