Walt Wines Winners

Walt Winery Walt Wines Winners
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Friday (August 29) I dropped by Artisan Wine Depot to pick up a couple of bottles of sauvignon blanc I had ordered.  Naturally, once I got there, I did a little shopping.  I noticed that they had two pinot noire from Walt Wines, a winery that’s been on my bucket list for a year or so.  I picked up a couple of bottles and we tasted them tonight.  Walt Wines winners!  And note that these wines cost $3 less than the list prices below at Artisan.

The Wines

Walt’s 2012 La Brisa Sonoma County ($40) opens with bright cherry aroma with undertones of rose petals. On the palate cola yields to spice, followed by silky tannins on the finish.

Their 2012 Blue Jay Anderson Valley ($40) begins with earthy, smoky aromas followed by an explosion of chocolate and cherry wood. Caramel finish. This is an amazing wine.

The Winery

A little investigation seemed to indicate that Walt Wines might have an interesting history.  I was correct.  Kathryn Walt Hall is the latest generation in a three decade history of grape growing and winemaking in Mendocino County.  Along with her husband Craig Hall, she founded Hall Wines. Their latest venture, Walt Wines, is named in honor of her parents.  Focusing on chardonnay and pinot noir, they are our kind of people.

Kathryn and Craig

Talk about interesting.  Rather than trying to tell the story myself, I’ll just post a few excerpts from the Hall Wines website:

Kathryn Walt Hall is the proprietor of HALL Wines and has been involved in the California wine industry since her family first purchased a vineyard more than thirty years ago. She has had a distinguished career as a successful businesswoman, community activist, and most recently as the United States Ambassador to Austria.
From December 1997 to July 2001, Kathryn served as the United States Ambassador to Austria. During her term as ambassador, she worked hard to promote American wine in Austria and Europe. Since her return to America, she has resumed her role as proprietor of Kathryn Hall Vineyards. Continuing upon her experience promoting American agriculture in Austria, in September 2001 she was appointed to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for international trade.

Kathryn earned an A.B. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of Law. She is married to Craig Hall and the mother of two children. She speaks French and German.

Kathryn Walt Hall Walt Wines Winners

Kathryn Walt Hall

Craig is no less interesting:

Craig Hall is chairman and founder of Dallas-based Hall Financial Group and along with his wife, Kathryn, is creating a premier vineyard and winery company in the Napa Valley.  A life-long entrepreneur and investor, in addition to the vineyard and winery business, his professional interests today include real estate, venture capital, technology and hotels in the United States and Europe. Craig Hall is the author of five books, the most recent being Timing the Real Estate Market: The Secrets to Buying Low and Selling High.

Previously, Craig Hall was part owner of the Dallas Cowboys; …

Craig Hall Walt Wines Winners

Craig Hall

About the author

Tony Lima has been a California wine fan since arriving in California from the east coast in 1974. He's lived the growth and expansion of the West Coast industry first hand. He's seen the fickle California Wine consumer fads pop up and burst... the craze for Zinfandel, then oaky Chardonnay, then Merlot, now Pinot Noir. On behalf of fellow Californian oenophiles, he hunts for great pinot noir and great values in pinot noir all along the West Coast. His day job is Professor of Economics at California State University located in Hayward. His undergrad degree in chemical engineering (MIT) and his MBA (Harvard) and Ph.D. Economics (Stanford) are the root of his interest in the Business of Wine. He is a card-carrying member of the AAWE - American Association of Wine Economists.

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