Keith Kenison of 14 Hands Winery
14 Hands Winery is one of the most amazing success stories in the U.S. wine industry. Starting in 2005 as a producer of restaurant-only wine, 14 Hands today produces over 2 million cases of wine distributed nationally and internationally in restaurants and retail outlets. The name “14 Hands” is rooted in place, referring to the height of wild horses that once roamed the hills of Eastern WA, and appropriate for a winery located at the base of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. 14 Hands is part of the parent company Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, but operates independently in a beautiful new facility opened in 2014 in Prosser, WA. Keith Kenison has been at the helm as head winemaker for 14 Hands since the earliest restaurant wines were created. An Oregon psychology major turned Washington winemaker, Keith has led 14 Hands to its current status as Washington’s second largest winery.
14 Hands is known for quality wine at affordable prices, and this combination helps explain its remarkable success. Most 14 Hands wines available in retail outlets display a label with brightly colored wild horses and sell for $10 or $12 a bottle. The Hot to Trot blends have been phenomenally successful, with the red blend now one of the best-selling red blends in the U.S. The 14 Hands Brut and Brut Rosé sparkling wines made with the traditional Champagne method are an amazing bargain at $15 a bottle. In 2014, 14 Hands added Reserve wines to its line-up, which are $22 and $35 per bottle, and are sold only in the tasting room or online. There is also a Vintage Series wine that is the best of the vintage each year. The 14 Hands wines are so well known and popular that the winery produces official wines for the Kentucky Derby.
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