our approach Heron Wines believes 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 over a dozen years, we have heard from wine lovers from around the globe that we consistently exceed their expectations for quality, style, and balance. geography & appellation Great wines m... Read more
our approach Heron Wines believes 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 over a dozen years, we have heard from wine lovers from around the globe that we consistently exceed their expectations for quality, style, and balance. geography & appellation Great wines may come from anywhere, limited only by our imagination. Heron’s original wine was a groundbreaking Merlot from St. Chinian in the Southwest of 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 varietal. While most of our wines could carry more specific appellations, we choose to focus less on advertising the locations and more on what we do (or don’t do) with them. The benefit is wines that are more consistent, balanced and complex. vineyards 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 - not only about the vineyard locations, but also that the vineyards 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. winemaking We firmly believe in the “less is more” philosophy. As winemakers, our 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 use French oak barrels exclusively for all of our wines including some we make at a cooperage using sustainably harvested old-growth oak from France’s Tronçais 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 smooth elegance and lush complexity are what wine lovers appreciate most. label design People often ask about our award-winning label design. It is an abstract version of a creature holding an amphora -- our version of Bacchus, the Greek God of Wine. This art is inspired by Henri Matisse's Paper Cut-out series and a painting in Laely's living room by a renowned Danish artist, Tenka Gammelgaard. inspiration Laely Heron's unconventional upbringing in Africa, Asia, Europe and the US may explain the wanderlust that has led to her passion for international winemaking. Her family may not have been wine drinkers, but they instilled within her an early thirst for life lived to the last drop. Her free-spirited mother and mining engineer father took the family on an odyssey from mining town to mining town around the world. By the time Laely entered high school back in the US, she had a taste for different cultures, languages and street food from Algiers to Cape Town and from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. Laely’s desire to travel and her natural curiosity about what the world has to offer led her to another series of adventures including studying winemaking in Bordeaux, opening a restaurant and importing wine into Denmark, and studying to become a Master of Wine. In this entrepreneurial spirit, Laely started Heron Wines in 1994, with little more than a credit card, a “business plan” sketched out on a napkin and the idea of making great wine at a great price. To this day, Heron makes distinctive, delicious wines from the best places on earth. Read less
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Food Pairings for Heron Merlot California
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