You might not know the person, but if you love wine, you’ll know the name.

Tor Kenward, one of the few people on the planet to mark a perfect score of 100 in producing wine, has finally found time to put all his wisdom and thought into a memoir.

Kenward’s “Reflection of a Vintner, Stories and Seasonal Wisdom From A Lifetime in Napa Valley,” has him sharing his secrets of the past 44 years,

This is not the story of one vintner pushing his boundary of wines, but rather a deeper story about all those who have made the Napa Valley and Northern California wine country a destination place for food and wine.  

Kenward’s story sheds light on the history of Napa and all of its icons like Robert Mondavi and Julia Child (whom Kenward calls mentors) and how they have put the Napa Valley on the global map as a world-class food and wine destination.

It chronicles an important part of U.S. history, the wine industry in Napa Valley, told through his personal stories. From the beginning in the 70s, when there were no destination restaurants or hotels, to the meteoric rise of Napa, and his deep understanding of wine and food. The chapters are the 12 months of the year in the life of the beloved Napa vintner. 

At TOR Winery

Chicago Scene caught up with Kenward and he talked about the years-long friendship with his mentors.

“It was just the right place at the right time, we were exploding with our interest in food and wine at that time, Julia was an icon and we became very good friends, I joined a couple of boards she was head of and we just had an amazing history watching Napa Valley grow in the last 50 years,” he said.

Throughout his career, Kenward has brought in wine writers, chefs and “would-be celebrities” to help pick, sort and crush the grapes. It was these early winemaking experiences, and interviews and work with the great winemakers, that earned him a rare “cult following” in the industry and shaped his beliefs about winemaking. 

To learn more about Kenward and to purchase his book, click here.

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