A celebration of winemaking excellence.
And great wine experiences.
Kennedy Cellars’ beginnings can be traced back several decades ago as the region’s premier winemaking school, teaching wine enthusiasts the precision of balancing both art and science to create their own award-winning wines. As one of those students, Jack Kennedy’s intense love for wine and winemaking grew into a lifelong passion. In 2016, he purchased the school and has transformed the school into a truly remarkable education experience.
Fast forward to today. After years of perfecting the winemaking process and partnering with many of world’s greatest vineyards, Kennedy Cellars has evolved the education experience into one of the region’s leading and most intimate restaurant winemakers.
At Kennedy Cellars, we’re much more than a winery and private-label solution for leading restaurants. We’re an extension of your restaurant and vested in your success and delivering a wine experience that enhances your customer’s culinary experience. Our team prides itself on delivering a truly unique private-label offering through a unique blend of experience and expertise that is uncommon amongst today winemakers.
From our family to yours.
Jack visits South Africa on a mission to discover the top grower of Pinotage grapes to be shipped to Hammonton (NJ) for production. Ron Lanza, winemaker for Lanza Winery and grower of Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 169 from LMP vineyards in Suisun Valley, visits Kennedy Cellars. Jack decides he wants to produce Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 169, Pinotage, and Chardonnay as his three signature Kennedy Cellars’ varietals.
Jack sends Holly to South Africa to study the history and production of Pinotage wine. Holly connects with Grettchen van der Merwe, our South African grape exporter (and fellow winemaker) and visits the vineyards from where the school’s grapes are sourced. To begin working firsthand with South African grapes, Grettchen arranges for Holly to participate in two separate harvest internships at Cederberg Winery and Rupert & Rothschild. During her travels, Holly also meets Beyers Truter at Beyerskloof Estate Winery, which is considered the home of Pinotage.
Over the years, Jack’s basement evolves into a winemaking laboratory and experiences its fair share of wine accidents and broken bottles, including a Jackson Pollock decor of ubiquitous wine splashes. Having outgrown the basement and celebrated by his family, Gino’s School of Wine in Hammonton (NJ) is discovered as his new winemaking home.
After suffering a severe accident, Jack’s neurologist prescribed a daily glass of red wine to organically manage his blood pressure. A previous beer drinker, Jack’s “prescription” quickly transforms him to a wine enthusiast. Soon after, he becomes aware of the cost of this new passion and decides to become a home winemaker with a vision of making premium wine in his own basement.