This month we travel to Napa to visit what was once a ranch, having some of the earliest vineyards in Napa. This land has seen it all…from the planting boom of the late 1800s to the huge bust due to phylloxera, and then the effects of Prohibition.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s there was a huge change in Napa’s wine industry, with the price of grapes rising, wineries focusing on quality instead of just quantity, and vineyard plantings were again booming. George Hendry, son of the original owners and an engineer, built a reservoir on the ranch property and replanted most of the ranch once again to vineyards.
At first, only Zinfandel and Pinot Noir were grafted, but he realized the potential of the property and planted 20 acres to Cabernet Sauvignon. In the 1970s Robert Mondavi started buying grapes from George and by the late 1980s he bought all of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from him. Kent Rosenblum was buying the remaining nine acres of Zin and bottling a “George Hendry Reserve.”
After 50 years of growing, the Hendry Ranch was developing a reputation for its grapes.
Today, the vineyard is divided into 49 different blocks, with each representing a unique combination of soils, vine vigor, microclimates, rootstocks, clones, and varietals. They produce 11 different varietals and more than a dozen wines.
Visiting Hendry Winery today is more than just tasting wines. It’s a total experience. There are several different levels of tours and tastings available. If you are looking for an in-depth educational tour and tasting, you’ll find one available that will meet your expectations. Or, if you want a brief overview of the property and its history, a tour of the vineyard, and an opportunity to get to know the varietals…you’ll find one available for this as well.
Whatever your pleasure…spending an afternoon at Hendry Winery is a wonderful way to increase your wine knowledge.
For me, I love the entire experience and always learn something new when I come here. Plus…well-made wines are always high on my list, and Hendry fits the bill.
If You Go: Hendry Winery is located at 3104 Redwood Road in Napa, CA. Check the website at www.hendrywines.com to learn more or to book your visit.