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Heitz Joseph

The out Illinois originating Joseph "Joe" Heitz (1919-2000) is next to Robert Mondavi (1913-2008) as one of the pioneers of terroir thought in California, In his youth, he worked as a helper at a winery and discovered his enthusiasm for viticulture. After studying oenology at the University of University of California He was at various wineries like for example Beaulieu Vineyard active. There he was seven years and assisted some time the famous oenologist André Tchelistcheff (1901-1994). In 1961 he became self-employed and filled in bought-up wines, which he marketed under his label. In 1964, Joe and his wife Alice acquired a small vineyard with a stone cellar already built in 1898 east of St. Helena in California Napa Valley, The stone cellar is still today the significant landmark of the winery. Heitz began experimenting with the previous owner's seven acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, a rarity back then in California, and made Burgundy-style wine with barrique aging.

In 1974, he presented Cabernet Sauvignon wines from single layers, which belong to three friendly families. These were Bella Oaks Vineyard (Rutherford), Fay Vineyard and Martha's Vineyard (Oakville). Especially the latter aroused great attention and developed into a cult wine. Later, Trailside Vineyard (Rutherford) was added. In addition to the Fay Vineyard, these wines are still produced today. Most Heitz wines mature for at least three years in barriques, using barrels of different origin (America, France). Today the winery "Heitz Wine Cellars" is led by the children David Heitz (cellar master) and Kathleen Heitz-Myers (biologist). It covers about 140 hectares, mainly with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Grignolino are planted. Of the latter grape variety also a rose and a dessert wine á la port wine manufactured.

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