Tor Kenward is the proprietor of TOR Kenward Family Wines and Vineyards in Napa Valley, California, and a consultant to several high profile California wineries.
In 2001, Tor retired as Vice President/Winery Spokesman of Beringer Wine Estates after two decades on its multi-winery executive committee, to launch TOR Kenward Family Wines. From 1977 to 2001 he was very influential in shaping Beringer's highly acclaimed Reserve wine programs. The Beringer 1986 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and the 1996 Reserve Chardonnay were both honored Wine of the Year in the Wine Spectator.
Beringer acquired many leading California wineries (Stags Leap, Etude, Souverain, Chateau St. Jean, among others), built the Meridian and Maison Deutz brands from the ground up, and managed a diverse, successful import division, while Tor served as Vice-President. Regular visits to Europe's great wine growing regions and wineries through the 80s and 90s inspired Tor's plans for each of these California wineries wine and food educational programs.
In 1987, Tor and internationally known chef and teacher Madeleine Kamman mapped out the foundation for the School for American Chefs at Beringer. For over a decade, the program taught many leading chefs that are working today. Julia Child asked Tor to serve on the national board for The American Institute of Wine and Food and Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts. He served for a decade on each of these boards. 1995 - 1997 Tor served as AIWF's National Auction Chairman for their annual Rare Wine Auction, and chaired their tribute auction dinner celebrating Julia Child's 70th Birthday Party in Washington, DC.
Tor was on the first steering committee for the Napa Valley Wine Auction (currently the world's most successful wine auction) and the first Premier Napa Valley Wine Auction (currently the world's leading trade wine auction). Through the 80s and 90s Tor served on numerous other local and national wine and food boards and steering committees. He was often quoted in leading wine publications representing the wine industry, was interviewed on the Today Show, CNN, and was the industry spokesperson on 60 Minutes anniversary segment on the French Paradox.
TOR Kenward Family Wines are small production, terroir driven, single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays and a limited line of Rhone varietals under another label, ROCK. The wines since inception have received the highest praise and scores from the leading wine critics. Robert Parker said early on, "Having known Tor for over 15 years, I know that he is the consummate connoisseur of many things, including music, wine, and food, so it is not surprising he is able to translate his passion and discriminating taste into an impressive portfolio of wines."
Country born: United States
Years in the wine industry: 30+ years