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 response 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 and Merlot. 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 Syrah is produced under the family name, Allwin. Finally, the Frederich Gewürztraminer accounts for 20% of the total tonnage grown in Napa County and is 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 5-10 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 and all three of our estate vineyards looked textbook 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 our canopy management was pro-active and we were just finishing véraison. Bets were placed on which day would be our first day of harvest.
September/October: Our Gewürztraminer was picked on September 7th 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 wine making 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 saw dust 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 7
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
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.
Please contact us...we'd love to hear from you!
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