First light, September 7, 2016, the picking crew arrives at the vineyard to harvest the first fruit of the season. A beautiful block of Chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir that are ripe and ready to be fermented into another great vintage of Heller Estate Organic Vineyard wine. The berries, still cold from the night air, are handled with care as they are plucked from the vines and transported to the winery. When the grapes arrive, the whole clusters of Chardonnay are loaded directly into the press where they are squeezed lightly to produce a lovely golden colored juice, sweet and aromatic. The Chardonnay juice will spend a couple days in tank settling before starting the fermentation process. Once there is no sugar left in the Chardonnay the very young wine will be racked to barrels, where it will age for at least one year. Read more…
When this vineyard was planted in the late 1960’s on the loamy sandy soil, we had hoped for extraordinary fruit from the conditions we have – and we got it! The grapes planted at HELLER ESTATE ORGANIC VINEYARDS have resulted in outstanding quality and, perhaps, the best in the region – producing some outstanding wines, which have recently received laudits from California state wine competitions and the press throughout the world.
As you know, our vineyards are dry-farmed on loamy sandy soil, the vines reaching down some thirty feet, where they seek the water levels needed. The results have been extraordinary! To add to the continuity of this wonderful situation we have, there is now an additional factor to make these great wines by Read more…
Summer is upon us and it is heating up nicely here in Cachagua Valley. The vines and fruit trees are soaking up all the warm sunshine, which they are loving. At this stage in time the fruit has set and the clusters are all formed. The grapes on the clusters are still relatively small and hard, but over the next couple of months they will start plumping up. Great wines start first and foremost in the vineyard. Being organically farmed puts us ahead of the game. Our crew takes great pride in working hard to make sure that all the vineyard blocks are getting the attention that is needed to produce the amazing grapes that go into our award winning wines.
During these 90°+ days it is nice to escape the heat by popping into the winery and laboratory to do some work. Keeping our white wine tanks chilling for stabilization creates a nice air conditioning effect. This is not only good for the wines, but also the winemakers. Tracking the wine in tanks and barrels is a monthly task. Performing analysis on all wines helps us to maintain the vitality of it depending on the data we collect. At this point we may or may not make any adjustment to the wine in barrel or tank. After all the barrels will be topped. Barrels breath at a low level so wine will evaporate thus needing to be replenished to keep full.
Again, for the second consecutive year, we have been awarded a Gold Medal for our PETIT VERDOT wine at the Orange County Fair Wine Competition – one of the largest and prestigious such events in the world. Our PETIT VERDOT vines originate in France, where they are traditionally used to add color and flavor to red blends and create concentrated fruit flavor on the palate. The PETIT VERDOT grape grows more reliably in regions outside of France, such as California, where it has proven an outstanding success.
THE SECRET TO GROWING PETIT VERDOT – LONG DAYS AND LOTS OF SUN – BOTH OF WHICH WE ARE ABUNDANTLY BLESSED WITH IN CARMEL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA!
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.
Spring is finally here and we have bud break! Already looking forward to the 2016 vintage!
Introducing not one, but TWO New Releases:
Our 2013 Petit Verdot & 2012 Cabernet Franc!
Visit our online store to purchase, or give us a call at 831-659-6220