SpotlightWhitehall Lane Winery Spotlight

Whitehall Lane Winery Spotlight

Whitehall Lane was founded in 1979 but the history of the soil cultivation dates back two centuries. In the mid 1800’s, Napa Valley settlers were drawn to the deep, loamy soils and ideal climate, planting high quality grape vines at the Whitehall Lane Winery site. A barn constructed in the early 1900’s for equipment storage is still used today. In 1979, two brothers started the winery and directed their winemaking efforts successfully to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. They named the winery after the road along the south border of the property, Whitehall Lane.

In 1993, the Leonardini Family of San Francisco and Saint Helena purchased the Whitehall Lane Estate. Since their acquisition, winemaking practices have evolved, state-of-the-art technology has been implemented, a new barrel-aging program has been instituted and six additional vineyards have been acquired. Second and third generations are now contributing to the success of the winery and vineyards.

In its short history, Whitehall Lane has developed into a world-class winery. The efforts of the Leonardini Family are evident in the recent run of accolades from wine publications but are even more apparent in the beautifully made, elegant wines that are offered today.

Vineyard Highlights
Whitehall Lane owns and operates eight prime Napa Valley vineyards that are the cornerstone on which all of the wines are made. The vineyards are primarily in the Rutherford, St. Helena and Oak Knoll sub-appellations of Napa Valley. Also, the Leonardini’s own a vineyard in Sonoma Valley and another in the Petaluma Gap appellations.
The winery utilizes modern viticulture science in the vineyards to grow the best grapes possible. In addition to utilizing advanced technology, Jason Moulton, winemaker, works closely with vineyard management to grow spectacular wine grapes.

Winery Estate Vineyard (Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec)
The Estate Vineyard is located in the Rutherford Appellation on the western side of Highway 29. The vineyard property changed hands a number of times through the years. In the mid-1970’s, Davis Bynum controlled the property but shortly sold it to Howard Allen. Allen sold it to Art Finkelstein and Alan Steen in 1979. Finkelstein and Steen successfully founded Whitehall Lane Winery on the 25-acre vineyard. The winery and vineyard have been owned by the Leonardini Family of St. Helena and San Francisco since 1993.

Leonardini Vineyard (Cabernet Sauvignon)
The Leonardini Vineyard was first planted to grapes in the late 1800’s when the Lewelling family settled on a large tract of land on the southern outskirts of St. Helena. The old-time farmers of the area have said that the soil, Cortina Gravely Loam, in this particular area is renowned for “black” wine grapes. The quality of the harvests varied greatly depending on seasonal rainfall due to the fast draining soils. Due to the uncertainty of yearly harvests, the Lewelling Family turned the vineyard into grazing pastureland in the early 1900’s. In 1940, the Lewelling Family sold part of their tract to Fred Boraldo that included what are now the Leonardini Vineyard and the Harvest Inn. In 1989 the vineyard was replanted under the direction of Whitehall Lane Winery and 1993, the Leonardini Family of Whitehall Lane Winery bought the vineyard. Two separate wells were sunk, and irrigation added to feed the vines during the growing season. The vineyard was recently replanted in 2014 and 2016.

Bommarito Vineyard (Cabernet Sauvignon (largest planting), Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon)
Bommarito Vineyard is in the Rutherford Appellation of the Napa Valley. The vineyard is approximately 25 acres, with soils that are very similar to those in the Whitehall Lane Winery Estate Vineyard. It has produced outstanding grapes since the early 1920’s. The rootstocks in this vineyard were matched to the various soil types, spacing and trellis systems were implemented, and grape clones were selected to yield ultimate fruit flavors.

Millennium Vineyard (Cabernet Sauvignon)
The Leonardini Family purchased the Millennium MM Vineyard in the year 2000 (a milestone acquisition in a milestone year). This 20-acre vineyard is located less than one-half mile from Whitehall Lane Winery on the northwest edge of the Rutherford Appellation.

This vineyard has a storied history of producing Reserve-style Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for some of Napa Valley’s notable and distinguished wineries. Historic Napa Valley pioneers like Lori Wood and Andre Tchelistcheff of Freemark Abbey and Beaulieu Vineyards walked this vineyard and made wine with grapes from this site.

In 2003, Whitehall Lane began replanting this vineyard. Using a scientifically engineered machine to profile the soils throughout the vineyard, new vineyard blocks were established based on soil criteria. With these results, sub-blocks were created that were planted with ideally matched rootstocks and clones in an effort to grow grapes with optimum complexity and flavor. Each block also has its own irrigation system to meter out water during the growing season. Row orientation and trellis systems were also matched to suit growth and sun exposure.

Oak Glen Vineyard (Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Experimental Reds)
Oak Glen Vineyard is situated near a grove of majestic oak trees on the eastern side of the Napa Valley floor. This 25-acre parcel on Silverado Trail is between the towns of Napa and Yountville, close to the Napa River in the Oak Knoll District. A seasonal creek divides the property and creates a small “island” and secluded grove of oaks.
In 1996, the Leonardini Family purchased the property with the vision of replanting the vineyard to Cabernet Sauvignon on the eastern side and Sauvignon Blanc to the west. They replanted the vineyard in the summer of 1998.

Fawn Park Vineyard (High-Power Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot (2 acre-block))
Fawn Park Vineyard is located just off the Napa Valley floor on the eastern hillside in St. Helena. This gently sloping vineyard has produced outstanding hillside fruit for more than 25 years.
Fawn Park Vineyard was named after the road to the southern side of the estate. This road was originally the stagecoach road going over Howell Mountain to Angwin and Pope Valley.

Rassi Vineyard (Cabernet Sauvignon)
Rassi Vineyard is located in a gravel stratum on the eastern slope of Sonoma Valley at the base of the Mayacamas Mountain range. This hillside location has excellent afternoon sun exposure throughout the long, warm summer and is ideally suited for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes from this meticulously farmed vineyard have been used in countless acclaimed wines over the years. The property was originally part of the 1,864-acre Rancho Aqua Caliente land grant of General Vallejo. In the 1940s, this 16-acre parcel became part of the family ranch for the Claude and Evelyn Duncan family. Their grandson, Dennis Rassi, tended to the Duncan-Rassi Vineyard before selling it in 2012 to Whitehall Lane.

Sonoma Stage Vineyard (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay)
Before there were grapevines, there were cows.  And before the cows, there were horses roaming the property now known as Sonoma Stage Vineyard on the southeastern edge of the Petaluma Gap Appellation in Sonoma County. It was the Hyde Family who planted the Pinot Noir vineyard in 1999, primarily grafting Swan and Calera Pinot Noir clones to rootstock. For more than 15 years the grapes were sold to a “who’s who” list of top California Pinot Noir wine producers, and in 2019 the Leonardini Family of Whitehall Lane Winery purchased the vineyard. The distinctive topography, persistent winds and cool fog make this vineyard and the Petaluma Gap unique. The vineyard ripens slowly each year allowing a later harvest time that results in stunningly complex flavors while preserving the natural acidity in the grapes.

For more information about Whitehall Lane and its history, please visit their website at: www.whitehalllane.com

563 St. Helena Hwy South
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-9454

 

Read more about the Leonardini Family – Week 2

 

Whitehall Lane Winter 2020 Wine-Pack Offers:
PRICE INCLUDES SHIPPING

Whitehall Lane Holiday 2-Pack ($94.95)
This pair from Whitehall Lane makes a great gift (or treat for yourself)! This offering includes one bottle each of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Carneros Chardonnay.

Whitehall Lane Holiday 3-Pack ($124.95)
This trio from Whitehall Lane is a perfect match for all kinds of holiday fare! This offering includes one bottle each of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and Carneros Chardonnay.

Whitehall Lane Holiday 4-Pack ($139.95)
This mix of wines from Whitehall Lane has something for everyone at your holiday table. This offer features one bottle each of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc, and Carneros Chardonnay.
*Individual Whitehall Lane bottles available for purchase via nvwe.com as well*

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