Charlie Heintz is the third generation to live on and farm the land that is Heintz Ranch. In the early 1980’s the family realized how much potential their land had for growing outstanding cold climate grapes and planted their first block of Chardonnay. In the subsequent years they added Pinot Noir and in a big leap of faith a small block of Syrah.
It is Charlie’s attention to detail and commitment to quality that has made the Heintz Ranch one of the best sources of Chardonnay in the state. Planted in well drained sandy-loam soil these 25 year old vines have found a natural balance which imparts a refined concentration to the wine. If you read tasting notes on any Chardonnay from Heintz Ranch, one descriptor you will see over and over is minerality.
In 2002 Charlie got a crazy idea in his head and planted three acres of Syrah. A risky move to say the least, there were only a couple of other syrah vineyards planted in such a cold climate here in California. We of course are thrilled that he took the risk and are honored to be entrusted with this fruit. Even with yields below half of a ton per acre these vines struggle to ripen their crop. It is that struggle that leads to the overwhelming character and complexity of this wine.