When the history of Napa County's winemaking is rewritten many years from now, Kent Rasmussen will certainly be included. His Pinot Noirs are some of the best in the state.
A native Californian, born in San Francisco, Kent Rasmussen spent his early years in Belmont, on San Francisco's Lower Peninsula. He later attended high school in the southern California community of Whittier, where a foreign exchange program placed him with a winemaking family in Germany. Bitten by the winemaking bug, he started producing wine at home upon return to the States.
His passion and enjoyment of this hobby led Kent to take it to the next level. He decided to pursue his longtime grape growing and winemaking bug on a professional level. He enrolled at UC Davis and earned a Bachelor of Science in Enology. After graduating he gained valuable winemaking knowledge and experience at Robert Mondavi Winery, Domaine Chandon, Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery in South Africa and Saltram's Wine Estate in Australia's Barossa Valley, before starting his own Ramsay winery in 1986.
Ramsay (named after Kent’s wife Celia’s maiden name) is best known for its high quality, but lower-price wines. Ramsay Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon are often poured by the glass in wine bars and restaurants.
Since its modest beginnings in a Carneros garage on Cuttings Wharf Road in 1986, the Ramsay winery has evolved as its owners’ lives have changed. Part of this evolution recently included bringing Ramsay into the portfolio of Kent’s long-time business partner- 689 Cellars. In its new home at 689 Cellars, the Ramsay brand has undergone a label refresh, but the wines will remain true-to-form, representing some of the best values California has to offer.
Kent’s passion for winemaking is as strong as ever. He has often stated that the unfortunate truth about wine is that you only get one chance a year to make it; he jokes, “I think I’m finally figuring out how it all works!”
Deep purple-black in color with a rich nose of cedar, mint and black fruit. Full-bodied and structured, the wine bursts with layers of blackberry, boysenberry and blueberry. The wine has nice intensity, highlighting rounded tannins and a spicy earth-laced finish.
A WINE ABOVE
From picking the grapes, to blending them, Kent has had a hand in making every bottle of Ramsay wine that is produced. He leaves his thumbprint on each bottle to ensure that each wine is the best quality and blend possible.