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History

Hestan Vineyards is a picturesque, 127-acre ranch located on Napa Valley’s eastern slopes at the base of Okell Hill. The vineyard is named for owners Stanley and Helen Cheng, whose passion for fine wines and love for Napa Valley's beauty and charm led them to purchase the property in 1996. They began planting grapes in 1997, adding blocks over the years to take advantage of the site’s myriad of exposures and well-drained soils. Today 56 acres of blocks planted to all five of Bordeaux’s principle red varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec – blanket the rolling hills that overlook the property’s 11-acre pond.  In recent years, small blocks of Grenache and Sauvignon Blanc were also added for small bottlings in select vintages.

 

In 2005, after years spent building the vineyard’s reputation by selling grapes to top tier Napa Valley wineries, Stanley and Helen released their first wines from the property made by consulting winemaker Mark Herold. The wines—the 2002 Hestan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and a second label, the 2002 Meyer Cabernet Sauvignon—were a critical success.

In 2008, the Chengs released a third label, named for their only daughter Stephanie. Made by consulting winemaker Jeff Gaffner, the Stephanie Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Proprietary Red celebrate the Chengs’ love of Bordeaux wines and make use of all five of the classic red Bordeaux varieties planted to the estate.

 

In 2009 winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown—best known for his 100 pt. Schrader Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon joined the Hestan Vineyards team to take over production of the Hestan Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

“We feel very excited and privileged,” notes Stanley, “to have winemakers of such accomplishment interpret our vineyards’ terroir in such wonderfully different and expressive styles of wine.”

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Vineyards

Hestan Vineyards' main estate is located on the east facing slopes of Napa Valley’s secluded Gordon Valley. Comprised of 56 planted acres, the vineyard is a tapestry of more than 25 small, individually farmed blocks planted to the five principle red Bordeaux varietals--Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec—and a small amount of Grenache and Sauvignon Blanc.

 

The vineyard’s unique mix of soils, slopes, exposures, rootstocks, clones and varietals contribute depth and complexity, while Vineyard Manager Angel Camarena’s meticulously customized pruning, leaf pulling, irrigation and harvest protocol maximizes the varietal character and vineyard signature of each block.

The winery also has a small 2-1/2 acre vineyard at the mouth of the Napa River near the San Francisco Bay that was planted to Chardonnay in 1997.  In 2011, the White House served the Hestan Chardonnay at a dinner held for visiting President Hu Jintao of China.

 

Total acreage: 127 acres
Vine acres: 56
Altitude: 230 – 400ft
Soils: Silt loam over fractured shale
Irrigation: Drip/ Irrigation Pond
Trellising: Vertical
Pruning: Cordon and Cane
Yields: ½ - 3 tons/acre
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Grenache, Sauvignon Blanc
Average Vine Age: 12 years

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