Kitson Wines is the dream of Brad and Svetlana Kitson. We have a passion to make great wine while being as sustainable as possible. It starts by finding like minded vineyards with excellent grapes and letting those grapes become the wine they were meant to be. Intervention is minimal to allow expression of the vineyard and vintage. We intend to stay small so that each wine will receive the care it deserves.
Our primary focus is on Pinot Noir. It seems as though Pinot Noir offers so many avenues to explore. Great Pinot Noir is grown in numerous regions along the west coast. Over time, we plan to make Pinot Noir from many of those different regions. Our personal preference is to the more elegant style with typically a bit more acidity and a bit less alcohol. We feel these wines are more nuanced, go well with food and have the potential to age gracefully.
After a couple of decades in Silicon Valley, Brad was looking for a new career path. While out wine tasting, Svetlana suggested winemaking would offer an outlet for creativity and family oriented lifestyle. Vineyards were a common sight for Brad growing up in the central valley and on numerous trips to visit relatives in the Napa Valley. It felt like coming home. Never has better advice been given.
The journey began with a return to school to get a master’s degree in Viticulture & Enology at U.C. Davis. While in school, Brad began to work at Farella Vineyard in the Napa Valley. Farella offered the hands-on opportunity to gain immediate experience with the most compelling Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone varietals. The next step was to become a consulting winemaker, the highlight being the opportunity to make Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay for Georg Rafael Vineyards.
The image of the car used on our logo and label has special meaning to us. It was taken during a parade in San Francisco, circa 1916 or 1917. The car was a Hudson Super Six. More importantly, Brad's grandfather, Hugh "Hud" Huddleston was the driver. Hud made his way to wine country from Virginia, by way of Colorado, Arizona and San Francisco. He didn't come to Napa to grow grapes, but instead to open the very first car dealership. During the depression, with prohibition recently repealed, his work took him to the fledgling wineries throughout the Napa Valley. According to Brad's mother, Beverly, Hud often brought home wine as payment, instead of money, in those tough times.