Hall is a 500-hundred acre estate in the Rutherford Hills of Napa Valley. It was established in 2003 when Craig and Kathryn Hall acquired the historic Bergfeld Winery and then remade it into a state-of-the-art facility certified by LEED, of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a national green building program. Before getting into the wine business, Craig Hall founded the Dallas-based Hall Financial Group and was a part-owner in the Dallas Cowboys. Kathryn Hall comes from a Mendocino grape growing family and served as U.S. Ambassador to Austria from 1997 to 2001. Winemaker is Steve Leveque, who was previously winemaker at Chalk Hill Estate in Sonoma. The estate makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Robert M. Parker Jr. has complimented the estate’s wines, noting that “this is definitely another serious player in the Napa Valley.”
Howell Mountain AVA in Northeastern Napa Valley was the first of Napa Valley’s sub-appellations, earning its own designation in 1984, just a year after Napa Valley became an appellation. As the name suggests, the AVA is in one of the highest elevations in the area. Every vineyard in the appellation is at least 1,400 feet above sea level. Some vineyards are as high as 2,200 feet and because of their altitude most of the AVA’s vineyards receive more sun than vineyards at lower elevations, which are affected by fog from the Pacific Ocean and the San Pablo Bay. Howell Mountain was home to vineyards in the late 19th century, but winemaker Randy Dunn is considered the area’s most influential modern pioneer. Dunn moved to Howell Mountain in 1979, acquired property and began making exceptionally rich Cabernet Sauvignon. The AVA also grows Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. There are 600 vineyard acres within Howell Mountain AVA.
One of the most widely grown grape varieties, it can be found in nearly every wine growing region. A cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a hardy vine that produces a full-bodied wine with high tannins and great aging potential.