Within each of us lives a legacy, a story waiting to be told. Stories, like wine, are meant to be shared.
The tradition of storytelling, as a method for passing down customs, history and heritage through the generations, is a uniquely human attempt to embrace eternity. The place where the storytelling occurs is almost as important as the story. The energy, the connection to one another, the desire to listen and then to retell the tale, creates the framework for an enduring legacy. Without a place, a space to commune, the legacy quickly becomes a faded memory.
On a cellular level, my body rejoices each time I walk among the vines. I know this because my blood pressure drops and my mind is calm. ~ Thomas Baldacci
The Honey B Vineyard, located on Cuttings Wharf in the Carneros AVA, was added to the estate vineyard portfolio in 2008. The 23-acre property is planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot and Gewürztraminer. The Sorelle Chardonnay and Elizabeth Pinot Noir are the cornerstone offerings from this vineyard. The Syrah and Merlot are often found in the Fraternity blend, while in exceptional vintages, a barrel selection of Allwin Syrah is produced. Finally, the Gewürztraminer, which accounts for 20% of the total grown in Napa County, becomes our Frederich Gewürztraminer, a rare, bone-dry expression perfect for everyday drinking.
In 2013, the estate vineyard porfolio once again expanded with the purchase of the Stella Knight Vineyard. The 8.5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are located in Calistoga, at the base of Diamond Mountain. The region is one of the hottest parts of the Napa Valley, with a soil series of volcanic bedrock and sediment - ideal growing conditions for premium wine grapes. Calistoga’s unique geology and climate offer another opportunity for Rolando and Ricardo Herrera to explore new personalities of Cabernet. Stay tuned for a single vineyard offering of Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2014 harvest.
January: Our vineyards started the season with a full soil moisture profile, for the first time in four years.
February/March: Bud break was earlier than the average for Napa Valley by at least five to ten days. We delayed pruning to stall bud break in case of an untimely frost. Fortunately, temperatures were favorable, with virtually no sustained cold and plenty of rain to wash potassium and phosphorus salts from soils, which had built up during the drought. Healthy vines need some salts, but higher levels can reduce the number of clusters.
April/May: Virtually no rain, with mild temperatures that allowed for an even set. All three of our estate vineyards looked picture-perfect with cover crops in full growth.
June: Cluster counts were perfect at 20 per vine, and the shatter from the 2015 vintage was now a distant memory. Because of the heavy spring rains, we did not need to irrigate. Leaf growth was vigorous and we spent extra time shoot thinning and positioning.
July/August: We had a couple of week-long heat waves that challenged our new clusters, but fortunately, we had been proactive with our canopy management and the grapes were just finishing véraison.
September/October: Our Gewürztraminer was picked on September 7 and the 2016 harvest was officially underway. We harvested 156 total tons, with Cabernet Sauvignon accounting for nearly half of the total. We finished the entire harvest on October 15 and we are very pleased with the balance and texture of this season.
November/December: We now have 35+ individual lots, all settled into barrel to spend the next 10 - 23 months quietly establishing their own personalities. Our 2016 Gewürztraminer will be bottled in late February while our 2016 Chardonnay should see a cork sometime in early August.
Tread lightly, coax gently, wait patiently... my passion for winemaking started with my respect and humility for nature. Every year, we choreograph a dance between what we want our grapes to become and how they finally arrive. ~ Michael Baldacci
The winemaker’s craft begins here, in the cellar. This is the place where the relationship is forged and the mutual respect is affirmed.
Soundtrack: Remember the Titans... you will thank me later.
Indulgence: Vanilla milk shake. Yes, I am the guy who gets a vanilla milkshake...
Fondest Memory: My mom's birthday celebration
First Job: Sweeping houses at a job site at 13... I am still finding sawdust in my ears.
Last Purchase: 50 Nespresso pods... the intense pack, for harvest
Best Place to Pop a Cork: Side patio with my family
Soundtrack: Air Bud, 7th Inning Fetch... I am more of a baseball guy.
Indulgence: Baconator bites
Fondest Memory: When I first saw Michael... I knew it was love at first sight
First Job: Retrieving ducks for my grandpa when I was 2
Last Purchase: Stain remover. I am still getting used to being inside so much.
Best Place to Pop a Cork: My grandparents' back patio after a swim
Soundtrack: O Brother, Where Art Thou
Indulgence: Dark chocolate
Fondest Memory: Marriage proposal on the Great Wall of China
First Job: St. Helena Little League Concession Stand
Last Purchase: Two for one Dolphin Uglies
Best Place to Pop a Cork: Under the stars
Soundtrack: Rocky III
Indulgence: Vanilla ice cream popsicle dipped in chocolate
Fondest Memory: December parties with parents, brothers and sisters
First Job: Irrigating trees and plants with my brothers at a nursery at age seven
Last Purchase: Cowboy hat
Best Place to Pop a Cork: With family at Christmas
Soundtrack: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Josh beat me to Pulp Fiction, it's kind of a toss-up between the two)
Indulgence: Eggs Benedict. If it's on the menu I'm getting it.
Fondest Memory: The birth of my daughter
First Job: Working for my father's vineyard management company. Age 12, just like Josh.
Last Purchase: Restoration Hardware Armoire and Desk, yeah I know...
Last Fun Purchase: 3D robotics SOLO drone
Best Place to Pop a Cork: Dinner with my family
Soundtrack: Pulp Fiction
Indulgence: Three Twins chocolate ice cream
Fondest Memory: The day I asked my wife to marry me.
First Job: Vineyard worker for my dad at age 12.
Last Purchase: Silver Tone Metal 1/2PT Male Pig Filter Waterer Nipple Drinker - 3 pieces
Best Place to Pop a Cork: Anywhere with friends
Indulgence: Homemade chocolate chip cookies
Fondest Memory: Spending Christmas at home with my sisters
First Job: Swim coach for the Del Amigo Dolphins
Last Purchase: iPhone 6 Armband
Best Place to Pop a Cork: Family Game Night!
Soundtrack: Despicable Me
Indulgence: My mama's cooking
Fondest Memory: The first time I held my beautiful daughter
First Job: Cellar and vineyard work at age 10
Last Purchase: Diapers for my daughter
Best Place to Pop a Cork: Dinner with my family
To each of us, family is everything. When we purchased the Stags Leap property, almost 18 years ago, Brenda and I knew that we had found a place for our clan to stay connected through the generations.
The love of our family is at the center of our lives. Our family winery is an expression of this legacy, through the wines created with great pride in the heart of the Napa Valley. Tom can often be found riding a tractor through the vineyards, playing fetch with our Cab Lab, Beau, or sipping a glass of Cabernet on the patio, while Brenda is frequently spotted snapping pictures amongst the grapes or accessorizing the tasting room with new-found treasures.
Kevin began working at Baldacci Family Vineyards during the summers between semesters at Loyola Maroymount University. In 2011, he graduated with a degree in Marketing and History and moved to San Francisco to pursue a marketing careerin technology and software. Today, he continues to live in San Francisco and works for Salesforce.com as a Product Marketing Manager.
Kevin is a regular visitor at the winery where he loves visiting the staff, especially his brother Michael. He continues to help the family business with the management of the winery’s website and all social media sites.
Michael also attended Loyola Marymount University where he attained a degree in Political Science. Following his graduation in 2012, he moved to Napa to become the Winery President. Michael’s passion for wine and the family business is unparalleled and he is directly involved in the winemaking and viticulture operations, on a daily basis.
If you visit the winery, you can find Michael working in the cellar or walking the vineyard with his dog Beau.
Having obtained an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and a MBA from Santa Clara University , Tommy currently lives in San Francisco and works in the finance industry. When his hectic schedule allows, he brings a passion for hard work along with a creative flair to the winery. Tommy loves new ideas and concepts. Our family relies on him to push the boundaries to bring even more enjoyable experiences to our winery guests.
An avid football and “Horned Frog” fan, Matthew has just graduated from Texas Christian University with a Communications degree. Matthew will be contributing to our social media sites while he seeks full time employment. His other interests include music and anything related to sports. Matthew will be a regular visitor to the winery… bringing his southern hospitality and charm certain to make all guests feel welcome.
Year after year, our family strives to make wine that fuses the story of the vines with stories that can be shared while the wine is enjoyed. And our legacy? To create wines for you to drink as you write and tell your story.
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