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Kent Rosenblum stays in wine game

Submitted by on 1, January 28, 2009 – 8:30 amNo Comment

Kent Rosenblum may have sold his eponymous winery to global beverage giant Diageo early last year. But he’s not out of the wine business.

At a newly leased, 40,000-square-foot warehouse on Alameda Point, Rosenblum is assembling a tasting room where a collection of small vintners will offer their wares. And Rosenblum himself hopes to have wines for sale by April. He’s calling the venture the Rock Wall Wine Company.

“I love the winemaking. That’s my own creativity,” Rosenblum said. He said his deal with Diageo allows him to do side ventures like this one. He got started in August of last year.

His hope is to make the Point – which is already home to St. George Spirits and Hangar One Vodka – a tasting destination. He also plans to open up his new space, which is at 2301 Monarch Street, for concerts, parties, weddings and other events.

So far, Rosenblum has signed up three wineries to showcase their wines at his new spot – local R&B Cellars, John Eppler’s JRE Wines and Dick Keenan’s Carica Wines – and he said he’s talking to a half dozen others. He expects to be fully up and running sometime in the next two to six months.

His wines, made with grapes from Sonoma, will include chardonnays and cabs, a sparkling grenache rose – and the Zinfandels he’s been famous for. “The focus is on the wines we love to drink,” he said. He said he expects to keep things small. We’ll see if his fans allow him to do that.

Rock Wall has already hosted a fundraiser for local Rotarians. And on February 20, it’ll host P.S. I Love You’s “Dark & Delicious,” a tasting event that will include 30 petite syrahs and food from 20 chefs. The event is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door. In addition to the food and wine, they’ll have a silent auction and an artist who willt each you how to paint a vineyard scene.

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