When Chris and I decided to launch Von Holt Wines, our all-consuming desire was to locate vineyards that produced grapes with singular personalities. Making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were not enough; we wanted our wines to be as unique as the heads of state Chris spent his life protecting as a Secret Service agent (and to taste as good as the wines these heads of state enjoyed on Chris's watch).
We'd like to introduce you to our vineyard "dignitaries," all of which are located in the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley appellations:
The smallest vineyard to which we are blessed to have access is the 6.5-acre Suacci Vineyard, located in the Blucher Valley southwest of the town of Sebastopol. The vineyard is planted exclusively to Pinot Noir.
This is one of the coolest areas of the Sonoma Coast we encountered as we searched for suitable grapes for Von Holt Wines. The vineyard does experience some midday heat, of course, but I can remember zipping up my jacket on a late September afternoon as the Pacific Ocean began to exert its influence.
Because of these cool conditions, the Pinot Noir grapes ripen very slowly and are small in size when harvest begins, creating a wine of amazing concentration.
Please click here to purchase our 2009 Suacci Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, included in the San Francisco Chronicle's list of the Top 100 Wines of 2011.
Hummingbird Hill Vineyard
John and Jean Hackenburg, planters of the Hummingbird Hill Vineyard, were keenly aware of the potential for great Pinot Noir in their wind-swept property along Petaluma Hill Road in western Sonoma County.
The vineyard is ideally suited to Pinot Noir as its westerly exposure provides enough warmth to assure even ripening.
This warmth complements the cold Pacific Ocean winds that dominate the overnight hours, thus ensuring the acid levels that result in fresh, energized wines.
The steep hillside plantings ensure good soil drainage, resulting in smaller grapes and more intense fruit flavors.
Please click here to purchase our 2011 Hummingbird Hill Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
The Heintz family has been growing some of the best cool-climate wine grapes in California for more than 100 years.
Located just outside the Sonoma County town of Occidental, less than ten miles from the equally famous Suacci Vineyard, the Heintz ranch is renowned for Chardonnay. The Heintz family has sold fruit to the likes of Kosta Browne and Williams-Selyem, two producers featured prominently in Top 10 lists year after year.
Von Holt Wines has been fortunate to work with Charlie Heintz (right) and his family for the last three vintages (2012, 2011, 2010). The 2010 and 2011 Von Holt Heintz Vineyard Chardonnays have each scored 90 points or higher in both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines.
Please click here to purchase our 2011 Heintz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.