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: Lots of rain! Record-breaking, a big change from previous years. While flooding was a problem for some vineyards, our three estate properties managed the water perfectly and allowed for some moist soils for the first time in a while!
February/April: Bud break was slightly early this year but nothing compared to what we saw in 2016. The wet weather made it difficult to get our tractors in for the spring mowing, but eventually, we were able to get in before any risk of frost to the buds took effect. The spring was mild in temperature but extreme in growth. Like you would imagine the plants responded to the moist soil and it seemed as though the vines were never going to stop growing!
June: HAIL?! In June?!?! That was exactly our thought, a freak hail storm arrived in June, and while it caused for some nervous winemakers and grape growers, all nerves were alleviated once we saw the vineyards. Limited damage to the estate vineyards allowed everyone to breathe easy and proceed with the perfect growing season… or so we thought.
July/August: Minor heat spikes. The vines were enjoying the summer warmth, and it looked like crop quantity and quality were going to be superb once again this year. The first pick of the year was the Gewurztraminer on August 25th, marking the earliest pick for Baldacci Family Vineyards. We thought it was going to be a slow harvest in the beginning, and mother nature quickly reminded us that she was in charge!
September: HEAT! The first weekend of September brought record temperatures to the Napa Valley. Our watering protocol doubled, and it was a rush to get as much hang time on the vine as possible without cooking the grapes. The Pinot was the first hat to fall, quickly followed by Chardonnay and Cabernet right after. The first half of the month was picking fruit almost every day, until mid-September when things started to get back to a normal temperature and allowing for some of the last of the Cabernet to hang on the vine.
October: With our last pick of the season scheduled for Monday morning, we had an event occur that will forever be remembered in this Valley. The night of October 8th a firestorm broke out and for 10 days we were left just praying that everyone would be safe. We were lucky that none of our estate vineyards were in the line of fire, and that the remaining fruit that was to be picked has tested beautifully and signs of smoke taint are not apparent at this time.
November/December: We now have 30+ individual lots, all settled into barrel to spend the next 10 - 23 months quietly establishing their own personalities. Our 2017 Gewürztraminer will be bottled in late February while our 2017 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir 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: Purple Rain
Indulgence: French Fries
Fondest Memory: Floating in the Pacific Ocean
First Job: Selling Girl Scout Cookies, been selling ever since!
Last Purchase: Marble cheese board
Best Place to Pop a Cork: Poolside, Patio, or Party!
Soundtrack: Fly Me to the Moon ~ Frank Sinatra
Indulgence: Whiskey Neat
Fondest Memory: Camping in Big Bear with my family
First Job: A little diner on the beach
Last Purchase: Always coffee
Best Place to Pop a Cork: At dinner with friends or family
Fondest Memory: My birthday in Paris
First Job: Bussing tables at Brown Street Grill
Last Purchase: Red Shoes
Best Place to Pop a Cork: Any place with friends
Soundtrack: Harry Potter
Fondest Memory: Family trips to Sweden
First Job: Bag boy at Safeway
Last Purchase: shoes
Best Place to Pop a Cork: The beach
Soundtrack: Stand By Me
Indulgence: Tequila and whiskey
Fondest Memory: When I was little I would go to the river with my parents
First Job: winery
Last Purchase: sunglasses
Best Place to Pop a Cork: camping
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
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
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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