Winemaker Rich Tanguay
Nestled in the sunshine-bathed amber hills above the Cachagua region of Carmel Valley (Monterey California) and brushed by gentle cooling ocean breezes, Heller Estate Organic Vineyards has been producing luscious fruit-laden grapes since 1970.
Planted on 120 acres above the Hidden Springs of Cachagua (an Indian derivative of a French-Spanish word meaning “Hidden Springs”), these grapes are essentially dry-farmed, with a minimum of irrigation.
“Heller Estate wines are produced from Certified Organically Grown Grapes from a Carmel Valley Wine Estate, grown without pesticides or herbicides.” The modern, efficient winery produces award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines of world-class recognition, aged in French oak barrels.
In 1994, the vineyard was sold to a group of European investors, who immediately set about upgrading the winery and buildings; new vineyards were planted and new French Oak barrels purchased to age the wines.
Now renamed “Heller Estate Organic Vineyards“, the wines are all estate bottled and, as stated above, organically produced. The current production is approximately 25,000 cases annually.
Rich Tanguay, formerly of Topolos & Buena Vista, is the winemaker overseeing the production of these award-winning wines. Rich takes care of all aspects of organic grape growing and winemaking for 15K case winery. If this was not enough he hosts all visitors and parties at the Vineyard while constantly maintaining an infectious smile.
The vineyards are essentially dry-farmed, the roots of the vines descending deep in the loamy, sandy soil in search of the underground “Cachagua” springs. These stressed vines produce outstanding luscious fruit. The vineyards are planted on sandy, clay loamy soils and despite the altitude the area is very warm and free from frost. The great variation in daily temperatures helps to produce these exceptional age-worthy and full-bodied wines.
The vineyards are certified 100% organic. Neither herbicides nor pesticides are used in the production of the grapes. This certification was granted after three vintages of clean farming, although the vineyards have always employed organic methods throughout the years.
The label, “Dances on Your Palate“, has received acclaim throughout America and Europe. This label was inspired by the 15 foot high, bronze sculpture by Toby Heller, overlooking the vineyards. The label was designed by Toby Heller and Michael Bolton, and received the Jerry Mead Gold Medal Award in the New World International Wine Competition. The motto, “Magical Wines That Dance on Your Palate”, was also inspired by this sculpture.
Heller Estate and Vineyard
69 W. Carmel Valley Road
Carmel Valley, CA