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Kenzo Estate---Wine Tasting by Thomas Keller

Japanese Videogame CEO Opens $100 Million Winery with Big Names in Napa Valley

May 17, 2010

Kenzo Estate, a new winery in Napa Valley offering a wine tasting paired with the cuisine of Thomas Keller
Despite the current slump in the California wine industry, Kenzo Tsujimoto, CEO of the Japan-based videogame publisher Capcom Co., has opened a winery in Napa Valley with star power. Tsujimoto (whose company produced such videogame franchises as Resident Evil and Street Fighter) poured $100 million into creating Kenzo Estate, which sits on a 4,000-acre property and offers a tasting-room menu created by Thomas Keller of The French Laundry. Tsujimoto also tapped Heidi Barrett of Screaming Eagle, Grace Family and Dalla Valle fame as his consulting winemaker and David Abreu, who has worked with wineries such as Colgin and Bryant, as the vineyard manager.

Located on Mt. George on the east side of Napa Valley, the Howard Backen-designed winery opened to the public on May 1 after 20 years of preparation. 70 acres of vines were replanted, with another 30 acres in the works. Kenzo Estate's four estate-grown wines that are currently offered include a $60 Sauvignon Blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon priced at $150. Tastings are by reservation only. There are three different options available: $30 for four one-ounce pours, $50 for four two-ounce pours with cheese, and for $60, guests can have a wine-paired lunch by Thomas Keller.

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(Updated: 05/17/10 ET)

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