Kenwood

Kenwood

Jan. 4, 2011


Kenwood sits at the north end of Valley of the Moon, framed by mountains and vineyard vistas and is home to award-winning wineries. The area is known for its mild climate and volcanic soils, an ideal recipe for creating the perfect bottle of wine.

A quiet town, Kenwood is rich with history. Kenwood is located on the Rancho Los Guilicos Mexican land grant. In 1887, the Sonoma Land & Improvement Company, which owned the property on which the town now sits, laid out lots in anticipation of the railroad which would arrive the following year. The infant community tried on may names: Rohrerville, for one of the owners of the land company; Los Guilicos, and then South Los Guilicos, for the Mexican land grant.

A number of townspeople were unhappy, complaining "Guilicos" was hard to pronounce. Around 1895 a vote was taken to change the name again. One story says that Kenwood won because many of the settlers had come from Kenwood, Illinois. Another traces the choice to the fact that many landowners in the area were from old English families and so were familiar with London's Kenwood House. It is possible that both stories are true, and the name's permanence stemmed from its acceptability to different groups.

The family oriented village is home to about 1,500 residents. Two beautiful state parks—Annadel and Sugarloaf—border Kenwood and provide access to hiking, biking and camping. Sugarloaf is also home to the Ferguson Observatory, with one of the largest amateur telescopes open to the public in the U.S.

A number of special events occur in Kenwood each year, including Heart of the Valley Barrel Tasting and the Festival of Lights in late November. The hamlet of Kenwood and its surrounding landscapes are uniquely beautiful among the treasures of the Valley of the Moon.

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