Right in the heart of wine country is Hall Wines, a truly modern winery with rustic charm. Upon entering, I was greeted with the traditional brick and wood architecture expected of a winery in this area. However, I quickly saw that behind that quaint facade lay a truly modern interior, with sleek architectural lines and floor to ceiling windows. This juxtaposition of modern and vintage, contemporary, and historical is a recurring theme at Hall Wines.
I first heard about Hall Wines at Blog Party, and of course, jumped at the chance to pay a visit during harvest season. Fortunately for us, summer is still in full swing, even in the middle of October. While others were drinking pumpkin spice lattes and gleefully stepping on crunchy leaves, I was sweating bullets in breezy, 80 degree weather. Hall Wines is conveniently located in St. Helena, right by my favorite gourmet grocery store. Sarah and I turned into a large cul-de-sac and was immediately smitten by the Bergfeld building, which is a special loft and cellar where they hold private events. It has been restored but still maintains its original stone from 1873!
What struck me immediately about Hall Wines is how modern it is. Rather than a wood or brick exterior, it boasts sharp angles, a black facade, and endless floor-to-ceiling glass windows. It’s unexpected for wine country and that’s what I love about it. In addition to wine, the Halls also highly value art. Scattered throughout the grounds is art of all different mediums, whether it’s a Patrick Dougherty installation made of willow saplings or Jim Campbell’s LED art, there’s something for everyone.
Their dedication to modern technology is also evident in their wine making. They combine traditional wine-making techniques enhanced by an ultra-modern digital optical sorting machine that can scan thousands of berries every minute. They start off by hand picking the top tier grapes in the harvest, input those measurements in the machine, and then the machine will scan all grapes that go through to select only the grapes that meet the requirements. It’s a fascinating process!
And of course, moving on to the wine! As you may guess from their hashtag (#crazygoodcabernet), they specialize in red, especially cabernet. We sampled a selection of their wines, including their crisp sauvignon blanc, Blue Jay, Coeur, Ellie’s, Darwin and of course, their namesake, Kathryn Hall. The Kathryn Hall was truly spectacular, with hints of blackberry pie and chocolate, smooth and round in the mouth. My second favorite would have to be the Ellie’s, which had a rich, velvety feel and hints of stone fruits.
Yum. I even took a bottle home! Furthermore, I ended joining their wine club after their tasting, so you know it’s good.
My mouth is literally watering just thinking of it. What’s also great about Hall Wines is that they’re launching a Weddings & Celebrations program for anything festive. Whether you need wine for your upcoming nuptials or perhaps for a party, Hall Wines has a wide range of packages to fit any soiree. They can even bring the wine tasting to you, which is great for team building at work (which I’m already suggesting to the team!). I’m particularly looking forward to some of their upcoming events as well, including A Taste of Hall, an educational workshop combining wine and the culinary arts. Sign me up!
Hall Wines is open year-round, so be sure to stop by next time you’re in St. Helena! Or, take a special trip up north to visit this spectacularly modern winery. You will definitely see me heading up there a few times a year now that I’m part of their wine club.