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Heitz Wine Cellars is located in the eastern hills of Napa Valley’s St. Helena. The original winery was founded by Joe and Alice Heitz in 1961. They purchased their first vineyard, 8 acres, just south of St. Helena that was mostly planted with Grignolino. In 1964 , they acquired their 160-acre ranch and winery in Spring Valley where Joe focused on Cabernet Sauvignon. The following year they made a serendipitous connection with Tom and Martha May who owned the famous Martha’s Vineyard.
After a handshake deal firm enough to last decades and a single harvest of the May’s remarkable Cabernet grapes, Joe and Alice Heitz gained exclusive lease on Martha’s Vineyard. In 1966, Joe crafted the first Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon - a wine so remarkable that the two families decided to add a vineyard designation to the Heitz Cellars' label, initiating that concept in the Napa Valley.
Heitz has expanded their agricultural operations to encompass 1,100 acres of vineyards located throughout Napa Valley's finest winemaking appellations and has planted grapes on 425 of those acres. Their portfolio of wines included not only their signature Cabernets, but also Chardonnay, Zinfandel and their inherited specialty, Grignolino.
Amidst the myriad of wines being swirled in the Napa Valley today, the legacy of Joe and Alice Heitz continues to stand out. Second generation Kathleen Heitz Myers and David Heitz are now at the helm as president and winemaker. Both have been instrumental in the development of Heitz Cellars' reputation for excellence since the 1970s.