The Single-Vineyard Philosophy
The partnership between winemakers James Hall
and Anne Moses
and the sales and marketing team of Donald
and Heather Patz
began in 1988 with the release of their first Chardonnay, Carr Vineyard, Mt. Veeder. The inspiration from working with a single grower led to their first bottling of Pinot Noir in 1996 from the Hyde Vineyard, Carneros.
Since that time, Patz & Hall
have built working relationships with about 15 vineyards that are consistently in the top echelon of California. It is this approach that has come to define Patz & Hall as among the leaders of artisan and luxury Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from California.
“I think single-vineyard wines are really the essence of the Patz & Hall program,” Donald Patz told us recently. “We started very early in our program to look for sites that we thought were special and could stand on their own.”
The winemaking philosophy at Patz & Hall is really quite simple, although the attention to detail is not. Every Pinot Noir is made the same way using all the gentle techniques that Pinot Noir requires and a barrel program that is hand selected by James and Donald. The same holds true in the approach to Chardonnay winemaking. So with the winemaking as the control, the only real variable that makes each and every bottling distinctive is the vineyard source.
Patz & Hall pay homage to all their growers, not only on their labels but in all of their marketing opportunities. Among some of these growers are:
The Chenoweth family established their homestead estate in Green Valley in 1838. Owned by Bud Chenoweth, and farmed by his son Charlie, this longtime apple orchard was planted to Pinot Noir in 2000. This small Pinot Noir vineyard is located on a knoll above the Chenoweth family's homestead estate in Green Valley. Planted exclusively for Patz & Hall in 2000, they worked with viticulturist Charlie Chenoweth to select an assortment of Dijon clones perfectly suited for this site
In 1969, Warren Dutton planted the first Chardonnay field in far western Sonoma. Today, sons Steve and Joe Dutton, along with their mother Gail, carry on in Warren’s pioneering footsteps running what is now one of Sonoma County’s most successful vineyard operations. To make this exceptional wine, Patz & Hall is able to choose from several acclaimed, old-vine blocks of Chardonnay, including the original block planted with the Rued selection by founder Warren Dutton in 1969
Hailed as "The Wise Man of Carneros" by Wine Spectator, Larry Hyde is one of California's legendary winegrowers and viticulturists. Hyde Vineyard is justifiably considered one of the superstar vineyards in Carneros. Purchased in 1979, and planted two years later, this 179-acre property is cultivated as 44 distinct blocks.
Like several of the winegrowers Patz & Hall works with, Gary Pisoni comes from a multigenerational farming background. His grandfather was one of the first farmers to grow lettuce in the Salinas Valley, and members of the Pisoni family are still dedicated farmers today. Pisoni Vineyard is an iconic site, located in the far southern hills of the Santa Lucia Highlands, which run along the western edge of the Salinas Valley in Monterey County. The Pisonis are one of California's most gifted winegrowers, and this vineyard has a well-deserved reputation for producing Pinot Noir grapes that possess an almost otherworldly level of power and flavor.
Zio Tony Ranch
Five generations of the Martinelli family have grown grapes in California. This storied viticultural history goes back to 1887, when winemaker Giuseppe Martinelli left his village in the Tuscany region of Italy to start a new life as a winegrower in the United States. The Patz & Hall blocks of this vineyard have proven ideal for the cultivation of Dijon clones 76 and 95. From pruning to shoot selection, thinning, and even the way they move the trellis wires, the viticultural program at Zio Tony reflects generations of farming experience, and produces beautifully balanced vines.
You get the point!
Earlier this year, we had the good fortune of bringing Donald Patz to Ohio for the Cincinnati International Wine Festival
where he served as the Honorary Co-Chair. He was nice enough to give a few minutes of his time to talk all things Patz & Hall:
For More Information on Patz & Hall: