The future of Heitz Cellars and Martha's Vineyard

Now that Heitz Cellars has sold, could the four decade long relationship between Heitz Cellars and Martha’s Vineyard be in its final days? This began with a handshake between Joe and Tom in 1965, and I seriously doubt any Lawyers have got in the way ever since.

According to Decanter Magazine, new Heitz Cellars president Robert Boyd mentioned “We are looking into producing some new single vineyard Cabernets”.

2016 and 2017 Martha’s Vineyard Cabs are barrel, but what’s in the future? will the relationship continue? or will they go separate ways?

Take away Martha’s from Heitz would be a kill shot! As iconic a wine as is gets in Ca.

If so…who would you want Martha’s hands in?

Doubt it moves. I hope their plan is to diversify their regions in Napa Valley. I’d love to see a Heitz Mount Veeder, Spring Mountain, St. Helena, etc…with that moderate, cool Heitz winemaking style. I am eager to see what happens.

If it did move, Rivers Marie or Pott Martha’s would be awesome.

If Martha’s left the fold: Randy Dunn, Rick Forman, A Rafanelli’s winemaker, Jean Hoefliger, or whoever is currently making the wines at Dominus.

Anton, like the Forman suggestion. I’d also like to see a Celia Welch version of Martha’s!

Warning, sort of thread drift.

This raises and interesting issue. I am a Scarecrow buyer since the 2005 vintage and I love them, but . . . I’m not sure that I would want to see the same treatment of Martha’s fruit. It would be interesting to see what Celia Welch would do, but it’s like which quarterback to pick in the NFL draft. Do you pick a QB whose game is “made” for the style of your coach or does your coach mold his (or her) approach to the best qualities of the QB you pick? Although I spoke to Celia Welch on the phone once or twice many years ago, I do not know her and have no idea what approach she would take.

Five years ago, I spoke to Pax Mahle at a tasting and started a thread titled Pax Mahle: Going over to the dark side, seeing the light, chocolate and asparagus. Pax Mahle: Going over to the dark side, seeing the light, chocolate and asparagus - WINE TALK - WineBerserkers. He made the point that a good winemaker makes the wine that the vineyard allows. That was his explanation for the lighter Windgap wines compared to the full bore Pax wines. Whoever takes over making wine from that vineyard, it would be nice if their treatment was similar to the past 40+ years.

Would be very surprised if the rights of the the vineyard were not negotiated before closing the transaction. I would have. It is akin to renewing a soon to be free agent before agreeing to a trade.

There has been a contract for some time, at least since Joe’s passing. Don’t know its terms, however.


Having talked to Celia, she is a firm believer in making what nature gives you, I’d love to see her interpretation of Martha’s, even asked her about coming to Washington.

Scarecrow is what Scarecrow is because of their land, location and fruit. She helped make a great wine on Mt. Veeder with The Lion, and I am sure she would put out a showstopper from Martha’s. She understands tannin management and structure. One of my favorite consultants/winemakers.

I have been on the fence with getting some of The Lion based on the cost. Have seen it locally for less than winery direct and with 10% of a mixed sixer it gets close to my threshold pricing. Is it a player in the $150 space?

The lack of interest in the Heitz story shows how far the winery has fallen

In the 60s and 70s this winery was the equivalent of Colgin Harlan Bryant and Peter Michael rolled into one

In Napa, how many wineries were there in total in the 60s?

That s a good point
But by the time Heitz released their legendary 74 Martha s there were lots
Many top winemakers apprenticed with Joe

I think it’s a big deal for a lot of people who mostly don’t frequent this board where everyone talks about Burgundy, Cornas and Bordeaux.

One of the originals in Napa has sold, it’s a big deal.

I was in the tasting room today, they are not selling library releases anymore. They said those went with the family and not the new owner

Time to stock up on back vintages while you can folks…

I resent that remark. I like to talk about Bored Dough sometimes. I just prefer to drink real wine. [cheers.gif]

wow, sad to hear about that. It seems like the end of an era. Visiting Heitz was one of the highlights of a relatively recent trip to Napa for us, not only the uniquely free tasting, but the fact that they always had older vintages of different wines like Trailside and Martha’s vineyard. I loved the port there, too.