Kenwood, California is an unincorporated town in Sonoma County, California, United States, located on State Route 12 between the cities Santa Rosa and Sonoma. It lies east of Sonoma Creek in the upper part of Sonoma Valley, a region sometimes called the Valley of the Moon. Bennett Mountain lies southeast of the town, and Sugarloaf Ridge to the northwest.
Like all of Sonoma County, Kenwood is considered part of the Wine Country. Viticulturally, it lies in the Sonoma Valley AVA. The Kenwood area is known for vineyards and wineries, restaurants, and a European-style resort. An area landmark is the Kunde Estate Winery on State Route 12, which was first planted in 1879.
Kenwood Plaza Park, located two blocks south of State Route 12 at 200 Warm Springs Road, is managed by the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department.
Under Mexican rule in the 1800s, the community was part of an Alta California land grant named Los Guilicos. In 1887, the Sonoma Land & Improvement Company, which owned the property on which the town now sits, laid out lots in anticipation of the railroad which would arrive the following year. The infant community tried on many names: Rohrerville, for one of the owners of the land company; Los Guilicos, and then South Los Guilicos, for the Mexican land grant.
A number of townspeople were unhappy, complaining the "Guilicos" was hard to pronounce. Around 1895 a vote was taken to change the name again. One story says that Kenwood won because many of the settlers had come from Kenwood, Illinois. Another traces the choice to the fact that many landowners in the area were from old English families and so were familiar with London's Kenwood House. It is possible that both stories are true, and the name's permanence stemmed from its acceptability to different groups.
Ray Flugger founded Flowmaster, Inc. in 1983 while working out of a small barn in Kenwood.
Western California Telephone Company provided telephone service to Kenwood, Los Gatos, Morgan Hill and Novato. In the 1970s it was acquired by General Telephone, (later GTE and then Verizon). These four areas are now all served by Verizon. Part of Oakmont, a large residential development within the city limits of Santa Rosa, is actually inside the Verizon service area, causing that portion to have Kenwood prefixes. The area code for Kenwood is 707.