Otis Kenyon – Arsonist to Awesome Walla Walla Wine

Did you know that James Otis Kenyon was a name that caused some fiery reactions in the Walla Walla Valley in the early 1900’s?. That’s because when a new dentist came to town, he torched the competitor dentist’s home!  James did continue to successfully practice dentistry in the local hospital.

How is this story related to Walla Walla wine? After this event, James’ wife spirited herself and her sons to the town of Walla Walla. One of these sons, Robert Kenyon never told his son Stephen about his grandfather. Stephen thought his grandfather had passed on. When Stephen found his grandfather alive in Oregon almost 50 years later, they were reunited.

Now with four generations of Kenyon’s, Stephen Otis Kenyon returned to the Walla Walla area to make wine. One of the unique ways Stephen Otis Kenyon acknowledges his great grandfather James Otis Kenyon is with the creative wine labels. 

While at the Wine Blogger’s conference in Walla Walla, I had the opportunity of trying many of the delicious Otis Kenyon wines. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich earthy full bodied wine that was one of my favourites! We were sampling many full-bodied red wines, and this was such a stand out! My sister treated me with a bottle of this, and I’m looking forward to pairing this with a flank steak!

I also had the opportunity to taste the 2017 Otis Kenyon Roussanne. This was my very first taste of a Rousanne and I loved the bright fresh pear and citrus flavour of this white varietal. This grape is often grown in the Rhône area in France. I think this wine would pair very well with seafood and soft cheese.

The Otis Kenyon wines feature Bordeaux and Rhône varietals. Steve Kenyon purchased Stellar Vineyards in 2007. Tasting rooms are located in Walla Walla and Woodinville

I really enjoyed meeting Muriel Kenyon, the great-granddaughter of Otis Kenyon. I was impressed with her friendliness and her positive approach to serving wine lovers and the wine community.