To offer a chilled glass of HELLER ESTATE golden, mountain grown CHENIN BLANC is certainly a gesture that all guests and visitors appreciate and take delight in, and we too, are also most happy in the quality of this varietal we grow at our mountain vineyards, overlooking the Pacific coast in California. The cool mountain breezes, loamy soil, and dry-farmed production create this magnificent wine. What a wonderful way to start off a relationship or enhance a meeting!
The vines, which were brought to America from France by settlers in the 19th Century, have produced some phenomenal wines under the special conditions we grow them. All of these grapes are naturally grown, without the use of herbicides or pesticides, and the quality is enhanced by the fact that we stress the vines to seek the water levels provided by springs running some thirty feet under our vineyards’ surface. Consequently, they are USDA-CERTIFIED ORGANICALLY GROWN. All of the grapes used in the production of these wines originate in our vineyards only and, therefore, the wines are all Estate bottled. We do not source fruit from other vineyards.
Spring is here! A lot has been going on up here at the winery and vineyard. In 2015 an initiative was taken to construct a pond due to the drought that had continued throughout California over the past four years. In early November, the construction was finally completed. This was perfect timing for the start of California’s rainy season. The pond spans the length of a football field, holding five million gallons of water. Our natural spring feeds right into the new pond and with solid rainfall over the winter the pond is now ready to be put into operation. This will allow us the ability to frost-protect our vineyards as well as in really hot summer conditions, give us a way to dose out little amounts of water to the vines thus protecting the canopy and the fruit. The pond is also a great addition because it is a natural ecosystem full of turtles, frogs, ducks and geese.
Our March Wine of the Month is the 2011 Boronda Blend!
This delightful blend expresses aromas of integrated oak, dark cherry, baker’s chocolate and herbs. In one taste, you will find flavors of tart berries, cocoa and spices. Pair with prime rib or sip with sharp, dry cheeses and sour French bread.
This is a vibrant and lively wine with great table appeal!
This wine beautifully expresses notes of guava, grapefruit and minerality with lime and nectarine highlights. Notice a luscious mouth feel followed by perfectly balanced acid components.Flavors of lemon curd, quince and citrus abound.
Heading into 2016, we are excited for the oncoming season as well as the prospects of spectacular wines crafted from both 2014 and the 2015 season.
Late fall rains and the predictions of a strong El Nino – perhaps the strongest since 1997 – have us very hopeful for heavy winter rains. After four years of continued drought conditions, our vineyards and water table look forward greatly to drenching downpours.
While the rains fall (or hopefully) we are busy taking care of our 2014 and 2015 reds as well as our young white wines in our cellar and barrel rooms. Red wines will be topped roughly every 30 days, as wine tends to evaporate in the barrel over time. Topping each barrel is meticulous work but a necessity to keep the wine sound in the barrel.
Today, most wines are produced in a sound manner, but few of them make music. Ordinary wines are well-constructed, but there are a few that produce symphonic notes that burst on the palate. Great wines need great grapes and this is the ingredient that makes HELLER ESTATE ORGANICALLY GROWN WINES so exceptional. The soils and the growing methods produce grapes which are unmatched for quality in the area, where the vineyards are located at some 1,500 feet above sea-level in the Cachagua region of the Carmel Valley – some twenty-five miles southeast of the city of Carmel, California and the Pacific Ocean.
The name “Cachagua” is believed to have been derived by the local Native American population from the French “cacher” (hidden) and the Spanish “agua” (hidden springs) – thus, the name “Cachagua”. We have artisanal wells and mountain springs under our vineyard property, and we essentially dry-farm most of the grapes and stress the vines to seek the water levels some thirty feet below the surface – resulting in outstanding grapes which, on the palate, can produce explosive finishes like the ending crescendo of a great symphony.