Best Local Winery
Kent Rosenblum and company at Rosenblum Cellars know wines, especially zins and Rhône varietals, which are entirely worthy of the constant praise, gold medals, and high scores heaped upon them from loyal wine lovers, aficionados, and the wine press. Veterinarian-turned-vintner Rosenblum has spent the past thirty years transforming his at-home winemaking hobby into a preeminent urban winery with an international reputation. He taps California's great grape growers and brings a hands-on approach to most aspects of winemaking, from vineyard to crush to barreling. Rosenblum's zin bottlings rarely go wrong, and the winery has solid performance with Syrah, Petite Sirah, Chardonnay, and Viognier. This year Rosenblum sold the winery for $105 million to Diageo, the wine industry titan whose holdings include Chalone Wine Group as well as Acacia, Beaulieu, Chalone, Provenance, and Sterling. And while Rosenblum has agreed to remain with the winery for five years, only time will tell whether his stamp remains on his namesake.