Deep color, broad rich mid-palate, Damson plums, Queen Anne cherries, baking spices, and flintiness from the vineyard’s rocky, mineral-laden subsoils.
Heron Lake Vineyard is in the south end of Wild Horse Valley, 1,200 feet higher than the Napa Valley floor and five miles east of Napa town. Wild horses frolicked in the cool climate of Wild Horse Valley in the 19th century, but since then the area has been the home of a gentler breed: grape growers. Grapes were first grown there by Joseph Volpe and Constantino Malandrino, who planted in the 1880's.
Today, the 3,300-acre valley has just 70 acres of vines in three vineyard operations. Wild Horse Valley is a distinct viticultural appellation: while Napa Valley has hot summer afternoons, Wild Horse's proximity to the San Pablo and Suisun bays exposes it to cool westerly winds. That weather, along with the rocky volcanic soil, results in small yields and fruit of great color, intensity and minerality.
Blog: 10 Minutes With Heron Lake Vineyard
Located in one of the coolest appellations of the Napa region (in more ways than one!), Heron Lake Vineyard and Winery planted its first vineyards in 1980 and began producing wines under the Olivia Brion label in 2003.
Winemaker David Malaffey sat down with us recently to discuss his role at Heron Lake as a steward of the vineyard in Wild Horse Valley.