Our eyes lit up when this sample arrived, as this one has pretty much everything going for it. Estate grown, Heintz Ranch is one of Sonoma’s great vineyards. The fruit is meticulously farmed by Charles Heintz, as he sells most of his fruit to Sonoma’s top producers, including Littorai, Freeman, and Williams-Selyem.
The Heintz vineyard is one of the most well known in the Russian River Valley, yielding fruit that is regularly vineyard designated by some of the top labels in Sonoma County, fetching prices that start at $50 and go up from there. Heintz bottles their own wine from this vineyard as well, but they also have a second label, called Dutch Bill Creek that is much more affordably priced.
The 2010 Dutch Bill Creek Russian Rive Valley Pinot Noir is very pale ruby in color, with just a hint of garnet. The nose is incredibly perfumed, with aromas of red cherry, cranberry, pomegranate and potpourri. The palate is light bodied with wonderful acidity, showing more red fruit, barely ripe raspberry, as well as floral and saline flavors. This is an elegant, light bodied wine, yet it still has great intensity. For fans of pinot noir made in a graceful style, this is a bargain not to be missed.
We consider this wine one of the best values in California Pinot, and a stunning wine in its own right.
Appellation: Appellation: Sonoma Coast (100% Heintz Ranch)
Production: 149 cases
Dutch Bill Creek has been owned by the Heintz family for nearly 100 years. Charlies’ grandparents purchased the land in 1912. Over the many decades they grew many crops. In the first years it was chickens, berries, cherries apples and other vegetables.
The Heintz family grew to nine children, which became the labor force. In the early 1900’s the Heintz family planted a few acres of vineyard. Zinfandel grew well here. At Prohibition, the grape vines were removed and replaced with apple orchards. Apples stayed in production here until the Chardonnay vineyard was planted in 1982.
Charlie began farming Heintz Ranch in 1984. He continually strives to learn new techniques, keeping up with the latest tools and innovations.
Their first label became known as “Dutch Bill Creek” in recognition of one of the early settlers of the town of Occidental, CA named William “Dutch Bill” Howard and the creek that was later named after him. The train on our label is representative of the train that used to pass through the center of town.
The ultra-premium label is “Heintz.” These small-production wines are made from 100% Heintz Ranch fruit.
Because the wines are produced in small quantities, they receive the utmost care and attention, which is reflected in the taste, color and aroma of our wines. Charlie painstakingly manages all aspects of farming the 55 acres of vineyard including operations and personally overseeing the winemaking process of our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and Syrah.
In addition to producing their own wine each year, the remaining Heintz Ranch fruit goes to a few select, high-end wineries in Sonoma and Napa tha include: Littorai, Freeman, and Williams-Selyem. Charlie prides himself on working closely with each winemaker to deliver quality fruit, consistently, each and every year.
More at www.heintzvineyards.com.