"Blended from Mendocino, Clarksburg (Delta) and Pope Valley fruit, this easy-drinking Cab is very ripe in blackberries and cherries, but also shows a good structure of tannins and acids. The alcohol is refreshingly low. A good price for a wine so satisfying." Wine Enthusiast 87 points
Wine maker notes
Mendocino is universally recognized as the Mecca of organic grape growing in California and where residents voted in 2004 to become a GMO-free county. The majority of the grapes for our Cabernet Sauvignon come from a 1,300 ft vineyard in the upper reaches of the Yokayo benchland. This benchland is excellent for growing Cabernet for its warm days and chilly nights, deep loamy well drained soil and sees no fog during the growing season. Compared to adjacent Napa and Sonoma Counties, the temperatures are cooler, creating a longer growing season, longer hang time and very concentrated berries. As global climate change affects temperatures, we continue to invest ourselves in elevated cool-climate vineyards like this one to be able to produce lower alcohol wines.
We at Heron Wines believe that delicious wines should be an unalienable right. Yes, an overstatement, but we really think that high-quality, approachable wine should not come at a huge price. For years, we have heard from wine lovers from around the globe that we consistently exceed their expectations for quality, style, and balance.
geography & appellation
Our wines come from some of the greatest growing regions in the world. Our original wine was a groundbreaking Merlot from St. Chinian in southwest France. Today we make wine in California, France and Spain; and our focus is on the purity of fruit. We go where the best grapes are grown in order to maximize the natural characteristics of the wines we make.
We don’t own any vineyards. This allows us to spend our money where it matters (on exceptional grapes and barrels, not mortgages.) By establishing both short and long-term contracts with our growers, we have the benefits of consistency and flexibility. We are picky about the vineyard locations, and that they are managed by people as passionate about quality as we are. Whenever possible, we work with vineyards that are certified or managed organically, biodynamically, or at the least, sustainably. Most of our vineyards are dry-farmed, and we generally prefer old-vine, higher elevation, marine-influenced vineyards with moderate climates, allowing for slower maturation of intensely flavorful grapes.
We firmly believe in the “less is more” philosophy; a winemaker’s job is to allow the best qualities of the fruit to shine through. Our grapes are picked at peak intensity then treated gently throughout the winemaking process. This often means hand-harvesting, hand-sorting, and extended maceration for the reds. We are one of the few wineries in California not using malolactic fermentation on Chardonnay because we prefer the natural bright acidity of the grape. We prefer to use French oak barrels including some we make at a cooperage using old-growth oak from France’s Troncais Forest. Our goal is to make wines of character and soul rather than sameness, not according to a formula or projected return on investment. In the end, we believe that elegance, balance and complexity are what wine lovers appreciate most.
My unconventional childhood–living in mining towns on four continents–fostered my love of travel and adventure. My desire is to explore and to experience the cultures, foods and wines of the world. Wanderlust and curiosity have led me on many paths including studying winemaking in Bordeaux, opening a restaurant and importing wine in Denmark, and Master of Wine studies. With this love of wine and an entrepreneurial spirit, I started Heron Wines in 1994 with little more than a credit card, a “business plan” sketched out on a napkin, and an idea to make great and affordable wine. Even today, I continue my global exploration to make distinctive and delicious wines from the best places on earth.