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  • Theresa Downs

Patz & Hall: Reliable Small Family Vineyard Make Stunning Chardonnay and Pinot Wine

Part of a Chardonnay blog series.


Details:

Address: 21200 8th St E, Sonoma, CA 95476

Phone: (707) 265-7700

 Hours: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Thursday - Monday

Appointments are required.

Tours/Tastings Offered: The Sonoma House Tasting, which offers four wines (2 Chardonnays and 2 Pinot Noirs) at $40.00 per person, and The Seek & Savor Selection, which features tastings from 4 wines that are a mix of current releases and member favorites for $50.00 per person.


What's Their Story:

Patz & Hall Winery was the brainchild of James Hall, Annie Moses, Donald, and Heather Patz (hence the name Patz & Hall). James Hall and Annie Moses brought their winemaking chops to the game, and Donald and Heather added their marketing expertise. Before they founded the Patz & Hall Winery, the quartet honed their skills at such established wineries as Flora Springs, Honig Cellars, Far Niente, and Cain Vineyard. In the spring of 1988, they released Patz & Hall's inaugural wine, Napa Valley Chardonnay.


So, what started as a side hustle led to the production of over 8 million glasses of wine (roughly 2 million bottles of wine). Patz & Hall credits much of their success to the long-standing relationships they formed with their growers. Sourcing grapes from small family-run vineyards, that list reads like a who's who of growers.


In 2016, the winery was sold to Ste. Michelle Wine Estate, but all of the original four remain at the winery. James Hall remains as head winemaker.




Why The Winery Made The Grade: Chardonnay

Patz & Hall is an old favorite of ours. The winery's Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines routinely earn 90-plus ratings from critics at the big three: Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Wine Advocate.

Like many others, inspired by a trip James and Moses paid to Burgundy in the early 1980s, they decided to bring the Burgundian approach to Napa and Sonoma. Their Chardonnay wines are a tribute to their success in this endeavor. Their wines are generally about 13.5% alcohol; they have a minerality and oak that peeks through the focused fruit. They are utterly delightful.




Ambiance:

Patz & Hall's magnificent patio is where you will want to linger—the patio sports what I call Mediterranean Gold walls that lend to the holiday air of the winery. Visitors can loll about in comfy chairs and take in the sweeping vineyard vistas. Take lots of sunblock because you'll have lots of sun on most days.

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Which Winery Visitor Type Would Love It :

Casual Wine Drinkers would love the patio; Authenticity Seekers would love the cozy, intimate tastings and hearing about the wine from the knowledgeable staff; and Oenophiles, of course, would love the winery for its acclaimed wine. While the winery is not as over-the-top as some, the beautiful patio and overall experience should compensate for any imagined shortcomings.


Read the next blog in the Chardonnay series: Paul Hobbs Winery

Or read all of the Chardonnay blogs in our new guide, Chardonnay Wineries of Sonoma and Napa.



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