Patz & Hall: Great Wine, One Vineyard at a Time

From its Sonoma Coast cuvees to its vineyard-designated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir bottlings, the Patz & Hall name has become synonymous with excellence in the world of wine.

Patz & Hall was founded in 1988 by Donald Patz, James Hall (who serves as winemaker), Anne Moses and Heather Patz. Together, they have turned the winery into one of California’s most highly regarded, with a celebrated portfolio of single-vineyard wines.

The proprietors believe that wines capture the essence of great vineyards. For more than two decades, Patz & Hall has been seeking out the very best small, family-owned Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards in California, and establishing long-term relationships with the winegrowers who farm those sites.

Built on real friendships and a shared commitment to quality, these partnerships have led to the rich diversity of Patz & Hall’s portfolio.

While consistency in terms of quality is important, Hall says he doesn’t try to impose a style on the wines. “I would be incredibly disappointed if we made the same wine two years in a row,” he says.

Hall does, however, apply a very consistent approach to making wines, so that the vineyards and the vintage take the lead. The 2010 growing season, for example, was quite distinctive.

“2010 was so cool, it was like all of our vineyards physically moved closer to the coast,” he recalls. “As a result, there is a nerve and architectural structure to the wines that I love.”

A seeming move toward the coast is far from unwelcome for Patz & Hall.

“A lot of phenomenal vineyards were planted on the Sonoma Coast in the mid-’90s,” Hall notes. “As these vineyards have matured, they have emerged as the finest sources for Burgundian-varietal grapes in California.”

Patz & Hall’s Sonoma winery is not open to the public, but there is a “tasting salon” at its Napa office where visits can be arranged by appointment. One sit-down tasting per week—on Fridays at 3 p.m.—includes a selection of cheeses from Oxbow Cheese Merchant.

For further information, call 707-265-7700.

Posted in Wineries of Distinction
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