In 2008, Kent Price and his wife, Andrea, moved their family from their lifelong home in Kansas to the San Francisco Bay Area. The inspiration for this move was to expose their four children to a different cultural experience, and to show them how to get involved with a new community. That same year, this philosophy was driven home even more clearly when Kent underwent a quintuple bypass. Though he loved his career in real estate development, he recognized the experience as an opportunity for a second chance to live life and pursue his passion for winegrowing and winemaking.
Kent’s interest in wine began in the mid-80s when he started reading books about wine, going to tastings and making trips to California’s Napa Valley to explore the region and its wines. As he learned about the process of winegrowing and winemaking, he began to see parallels to what he was already doing in real estate. “The thing I enjoy most about real estate is starting with a piece of land and ultimately creating an experience for the customer. It’s very similar to wine. The land is the foundation. From this foundation you grow an experience that can become a part of people’s lives in a meaningful and enjoyable way.”
In 2008, Kent began making his own wines at a custom crush facility. He delved deeply into the process, visiting top vineyards, making harvest decisions, and being actively involved in the winemaking from punch downs to grape analysis, fermentations, blending and bottling. “I loved everything about it, from the vineyard soil under my fingernails to sharing the finished product with my family and friends.” During this period he met noted winemaker Rudy Zuidema. The two became good friends, and found that they shared similar beliefs about wine and life—beliefs that dovetailed with Kent’s vision of establishing a winery.
In 2010, Kent founded Kent Price Wines with Rudy as his winemaker. “I knew our focus would be Napa Valley. These were the vineyards and wines I’d first fallen in love with—the ones that spoke to me most clearly. I set out to make wines where people could taste and experience the ground where the grapes come from.”
At Kent Price Wines, Kent is involved in every detail from vineyard selection to fermentation, blending and bottling, but his greatest affinity is for the work in the vineyards. “I’m fascinated by the growing process, everything from soil amendments to canopy management and pruning—it all goes back to that idea of good foundations and a genuine connection with the earth.” Kent also works closely with Winemaker Rudy Zuidema at all stages of production. “Making wine engages the creative side of my brain like nothing else. And though it’s really hard work, I find it very relaxing and fulfilling—it is such a natural, thoughtful and complete process.”
Kent lives with his wife and four children in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is actively involved in fundraising for UCSF Medical Center and Kansas University Medical Center, where he serves on the board guiding long-term growth. As part of his family’s mission to help battle heart disease, a percentage of the sales of all Kent Price wines goes to fund research into heart disease.