Porthos | The Wine Insiders
Rosenblum Cellars
Rosenblum_Logo_Black.jpg The Tale of an Urban Winery

In 1978, veterinarian Dr. Kent Rosenblum and his wife Kathy founded Rosenblum Cellars. Over the years Rosenblum has been hailed as one of the top American wineries and called a “mecca for zin-fanatics.” Embodying nearly three decades of winemaking tradition, Rosenblum has evolved from a passionate home-winemaking operation into a world-class winery. Today, Rosenblum Cellars is recognized as one of North America’s most acclaimed producers of zinfandel and Rhône varietal wines.

After years of making wine out of their family home, the Rosenblums took their love of winemaking to the next level in 1978. In partnership with several close friends they established Rosenblum Cellars. With Kathy acting as his assistant winemaker and helping with the crush, Kent made Rosenblum Cellars’ first vineyard designated zinfandel. Made using fruit from the now-renowned Cullinane Vineyard in Sonoma County, this wine won praise and began to establish Rosenblum Cellars’ reputation as a winery with a talent for zinfandel.

Inspired by his early success, Kent began to refine both his philosophical and stylistic approach to winemaking. He focused on crafting exceptional vineyard designated wines using grapes farmed from mountainside, head-pruned, old vines. With many wineries touting their estate vineyards, Kent chose a different path, deciding instead to create a diverse palette of fruit for Rosenblum Cellars. From Sonoma and Napa, to Santa Barbara, Paso Robles and beyond, Kent actively sought out the best vineyards and growers in California. In the winery, he mixed traditional and innovative winemaking techniques to craft soft and sumptuous wines that celebrated the distinctive terroir and character of each vineyard.

To honor the commitment made by his vineyard partners, Kent personally oversees every wine. “We are like thirty little wineries rolled into one. We may have 120 small lots of grapes, but each is managed as if it is the only one. Specific yeasts are carefully selected for each lot. Fermentation is done in very small batches. We punch down by hand. All of this is quite labor intensive, but it is gentle and yields a more complex, balanced wine than more automated processes.”

By 1987, Rosenblum Cellars had moved to its current home in Alameda, California. Through constant refinement of traditional methods and selective use of new technology, Kent and his winemaking team keep Rosenblum Cellars at the forefront of enology. From the picking of riper fruit to manage tannin bitterness, to the use of more than 30 strains of yeast from around the world, and barrels from 55 different coopers in the United States, France, Hungary, Australia and Russia, Kent and his team work constantly to perfect their methods.

The last decade has been an exceptional one for Rosenblum Cellars. The winery has continued to gain the respect and appreciation of both the public and its peers, and has been honored with numerous gold medals and 90-plus scores. Still loved for its world-class zinfandels, Rosenblum has also established a reputation for crafting acclaimed Rhône varietals in its own ripe and robust style. This unique approach has culminated in a diverse portfolio of award-winning wines in several categories, including its Reserves, Vineyard Designates, Appellation Series and Cuvée Series. Rosenblum Cellars is currently distributed in every state and sixteen countries.