Compelling Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Extraordinary Vineyards

Based in Sonoma and focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grown up and down the West coast, Walt Wines is a kind of sister to Hall Wines in the Napa Valley. Both companies are owned and operated by Kathryn Walt Hall. Kathryn has led a fascinating life and career both in – and sometimes out – of wine. (She has practiced as an attorney was even appointed US ambassador to Austria.) However, she credits the example of her parents, who bought land and planted a vineyard in Mendocino County, as having been a particularly formative and lasting influence. So when the Halls acquired Roessler Cellars in Sonoma in 2010, she honored her parents by calling the new operation by her maiden name. Walt Wines produces handcrafted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from great vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast and Willamette Valley in Oregon – in other words, the best cool climate appellations along the Pacific Coast. Walt Wines farms estate vineyards but also maintains long-term relationships with many dedicated growers. And while each vineyard is unique, they all share important characteristics, namely: cool climates, gentle slopes, well-drained soils, sustainable farming, select clones and low yields. Whether the vineyard is located just hours out of Los Angeles or just outside Portland, it will produce the intense flavors born of low-vigor soils and cool summers. As for winemaking, Walt keeps intervention to a minimum by, for example, encouraging natural fermentations and neither racking nor filtering the wine. Meticulous attention to detail leads to vibrant, fresh-tasting wines that can emphasize ripe fruit, acidity, tannin and alcohol in equal measure. Though Walt Wines is a relative newcomer, its wines are receiving plenty of love from critics and consumers alike. If you’re a lover of audacious Pinots and rich Chardonnays, you need to try Walt Wines!