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Patz & Hall Wine Company - Napa Valley


92 Points - Wine Spectator magazine

It can be argued that it is extremely rare when the all-important parts of a business fit together perfectly. Most wine industry insiders will tell you that in the case of a winery, such compatibility is even uncommon. But in the case of Patz & Hall Wine Company, the aforementioned scenario is not only feasible, but tends to serve as a role model for small vinter-driven operations in California. The Patz & Hall story is also as amazing as it its simplistic approach to the wine business.

Started almost twenty years ago in Napa Valley, Patz & Hall has made the most of the varied wine industry experience of its four principals and has prospered greatly in doing so. Donald Patz was the national marketing manager at Flora Springs Winery when the idea of creating his own label first came to him.

Patz was a University of Oregon graduate who saw a potential niche for a winery and labeled his idea “Project X.” He approached his two closest friends, Honig Cellars’ Winemaker James Hall (UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis), a former co-worker at Flora Springs and industry veteran Anne Moses (UC Santa Cruz), with his idea and Patz & Hall Wine Company was born. The three friends began their operation guided by a classic Burgundian model of hands-on control of grapes from small vineyard sites, and small lot, barrel-by-barrel winemaking.

The first wine released was a mere 400 cases of 1988 Chardonnay that was custom crushed and later produced at Honig Cellars’ facility deep in Napa Valley just off the Silverado Trail. The wine made an immediate impression on the consuming public and was critically acclaimed by a number of the nation’s wine press. Patz & Hall was on its way.

Little has changed in today’s updated version of the Patz & Hall Wine Company – the business has steadily grown and stabilized to around 28,000 cases and the portfolio now includes fifteen different wines: seven Pinot Noirs and eight Chardonnays, each with a specific focus and distinctive flavor profile.

The company has also remained true to its original founding philosophy of producing rich, complex wines from low-yielding, cool climate vineyards located in a number of appellations throughout California. Patz & Hall wines are all made at the winery’s state-of-the-art facility, which was designed exclusively for producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery opened its doors in 2007.

“We have the flexibility of being able to select the finest grapes from the best appellations and craft them at a first rate facility,” explained James Hall. “All of our grapes are under contract and allow us to single-vineyard designate most of our wines. We get a good response from the market with single vineyard designation; it offers the consumer a feeling of security when he or she chooses a wine. They know where the grapes are grown and have confidence in our brand name.

“I am proud to be able to say that each of our wines is 100% estate grown. It’s what we set out to do when we started and we have been fortunate to adhere to that philosophy throughout our existence.”

While Hall is responsible for winemaking, Donald Patz oversees the national sales and marketing functions and Moses serves as the company’s president, handles sales in all-important California, and doubles as an enologist. Donald Patz’s wife Heather is the company’s fourth and final partner, handling all office chores as well as the ever-present compliance issues that always follow wineries.

“We are fortunate to each have our individual sphere of influence,” Anne Moses added. “We all work together quite nicely. All decisions concerning our company are individually discussed and agreed upon. We’ve never had a problem in that regard.”

It is easy to see why so many wine industry veterans single out Patz & Hall for its accomplishments. The winery produces incredibly competent wines in a fortuitous environment with a minimum outlay of money, often resulting in a superior wine at a realistic price to its customers.

We are delighted to featured Patz & Hall as this month’s Platinum Series Wine Club selection. You are about to experience an exceptionally expressive wine from a very exceptional team. Enjoy!


  1. Patz & Hall
    2010 Pinot Noir
    Patz & Hall
    Sonoma County

    $39.00

    $45.00
    92 - Wine Spectator
    id: 1274
    Special
    Platinum

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