With so many wineries in the Napa Valley, how do you know which ones to visit? Normally, I visit my usual places but we decided to do something entirely different this time — just pick all new places and see what happens (it has long been a goal of mine to visit every winery in Napa, so no complaints from me!). Brett decided on Heitz because we have seen some of their higher end wines available in Taiwan so it would be nice to try them in person before spending several hundred dollars for them over there.
Ironically, there was a group walking out of the winery who were also in town from Taiwan…perhaps that was a good sign already!
Once inside, the tasting room had such a warm and inviting feel. It was much smaller than many of the other wineries in Napa, which was nice. It felt more like a family owned place and less like the “rounding up cattle” feeling you get at the larger places in town.
Heitz Cellars was founded by Joe and Alice Heitz in 1961. They purchased their first 8 acres just south of St. Helena and in 1964, they acquired a 160-acre vineyard property in the eastern hills of St. Helena. Joe Heitz had quite a presence in the wine world already after earning a master’s degree in Enology from UC Davis and is the one to thank for launching the Department of Enology at Fresno State College! Joe passed away about 10 years ago, but the winery remains family owned and operated, a positive quality lost on many of the larger, corporate owned powerhouses.
The winery’s focus was on Cabernet and they have produced some incredible wines throughout the years. One of the signature wines is the Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet that has been produced since 1966! It has become one of the best known Cabernet Sauvignons around the world — revered for its unique mintiness and rich layers of complexity.
Here is a look at all the types of wine Heitz Cellars currently produces:
- Martha’s Vineyard
- Trailside Vineyard
- Bella Oaks Vineyard
- Napa Valley Cabernet
We tried all the wines they had open for tasting and not surprisingly, we loved everything. Obviously, we did not get to try the Martha’s Vineyard for tasting but fell so in love with the other Cabs that we bought one, along with a few other bottles!
If you are visiting the Napa Valley and have never tried Heitz Wines, be sure to stop in and enjoy.
Heitz Cellar Tasting Room and Hours:
436 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA (707)963-3542
Daily from 11:00am until 4:30pm – no appointment necessary. Closed on Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
More photos of the Heitz Cellars grounds and tasting room: