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Heitz Cellars’ single vineyard releases and the rebirth of an historic cuvee
16 December 2021

Founded by ground-breaking Napa growers Joe and Alice Heitz in 1961, Heitz Cellars is a true Napa icon. With an ultra-traditional method of winemaking, practically unchanged in 60 years, the estate produces wines that offer a glimpse of Napa Cabernet from a bygone era. If you want big rich dense Cabernet Sauvignon, look away now – the Heitz style crackles with freshness and tension and tends to pick up weight with time in bottle. From the off, Joe pioneered both site selection and a method of producing great Cabernet Sauvignon that was both iconoclastic and truly individual. With a full four years in both huge American wooden vats and smaller French barriques very little has changed in the elevage of these wines in all those decades.

In 2018 Heitz was sold to Gaylon Lawrence, an Arkansas businessman who has rapidly become one of the Valley’s biggest landowners through a string of high-profile purchases. While we haven’t met the new owner, we’ve been impressed by his appointments – he’s formed a young and diverse team to work alongside the longstanding winemaker, Brittany Sherwood. Very little is changing in the winery, more precise selections, more refined extractions, a touch less new oak, but essentially the identity of these wines will remain unchanged. What looks certain is a new level of sophistication and refinement across the range, one that will bring an extra touch of magic to an already winning formula. A new dawn rises over Joe Heitz’s original vision – you would hope he would thoroughly approve.

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