Why Visit Heitz Wine Cellars?
Heitz Wine Cellars was at the top of my list for my family’s holiday trip to Napa and Sonoma wine country. While researching the seemingly infinite number of wineries in the area, I vaguely recognized the Heitz label and name. Then it hit me. I had tried a Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon about a year ago pulled from the wine collection of the guy I was dating at the time. While the memories of that relationship still make me cringe, I have very fond memories of savoring that Heitz Wine Cellars bottle.
Heitz Wine Cellars
Little did I know and soon did we find out, Heitz Wine Cellars is a pioneering force behind the global success of the Napa Valley region. Husband and wife team Joe and Alice Heitz founded the winery in 1961 as only the 12th winery in the region. Though Heitz began by solely producing single vineyard Chardonnays and Pinot Noir, Joe Heitz soon moved into Cabernet Sauvignons.
Heitz’s 1970 Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon received critical acclaim at the infamous Judgement of Paris tasting that put Napa on the map. Today, Heitz Wine Cellars is well-known for their bold yet elegant single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons. Other Heitz favorites including a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Grignolino, and Port are nothing short of remarkable. What’s truly admirable is even with such widespread success, Heitz still remains a boutique winery, producing just 40,000 coveted cases or less per year.
My favorite aspect of Heitz Wine Cellars is that even with such a renowned history, this winery is effortlessly warm, inviting, and wholly unpretentious. With a rustic, farmhouse-style tasting room, a friendly winery dog, a back door that opens up to an outdoor seating area on the gorgeous vineyard, and even a fireplace to cozy up to with a glass of Cab, Heitz is not to be missed.
But that’s not all! Heitz Cellars is one of the few wineries in the region that does not require a reservation and does not charge a tasting fee! If that’s not enough to get you in the door, then I don’t know what is. The wines are also fairly priced, especially for the beautiful quality of wine offered. We purchased a $120 magnum bottle of the 2007 Bella Oaks Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. While this may have been a special…$120. For a MAGNUM. Need I say more?
Throughout our tasting, it became evident that Joe Heitz is a winemaker who loves to produce wines by staying as true to the varietal as possible. Tasting notes from my visit to Heitz Wine Cellars included below.