Collection: Patz & Hall
Patz & Hall was founded in 1988 by four talented individuals: Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses and Heather Patz.
The seeds for Patz & Hall were planted in the 1980s when assistant winemaker James Hall and national sales manager Donald Patz struck up a close friendship while working together at Flora Springs Winery and Vineyards. The two discovered a mutual enthusiasm for a rich and compelling style of wine made by applying traditional winemaking techniques to fruit from elite, small vineyards. Inspired to combine their winemaking and sales talents, James and Donald joined with partners Anne Moses and Heather Patz, to establish Patz & Hall.
Together, they turned Patz & Hall into one of California’s most highly regarded wineries with a celebrated portfolio of single-vineyard wines. To achieve their goal of making exceptional limited-production wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the four founders each focused their specialized knowledge and expertise on different areas of the winery’s operations. This integrated approach, along with a commitment to developing close personal relationships with many of California’s finest growers—people like Larry Hyde, Lee Hudson and the Martinelli and Pisoni families—became the cornerstones of the winery’s success.
In the winery, Patz & Hall applies both traditional and cutting-edge techniques, including a unique, custom barrel program, where stave wood is air dried and seasoned for three years to Patz & Hall’s specifications by the François Frères and Seguin Moreau cooperages in the heart of Burgundy. To reveal the distinct identity of the legendary sites it works with, Patz & Hall applies a consistent winemaking approach that has been refined to underscore the finesse, depth and complexity of each vineyard.
Their grapes are hand-harvested in the cool of the early morning and immediately sorted in the field. Leaves, imperfect fruit and under-ripe clusters are discarded. These hand-harvested and selected grapes are taken to the winery, where they are meticulously sorted again. The remaining fruit is immediately "whole cluster" pressed. This process produces juice containing very little tannin and preserves the delicate aromatics and full flavors of the Chardonnay fruit. While they end up with less wine this way, the quality and age-worthiness make it worth it.
After pressing, the juice, with all of the lees, is racked into 100 percent French oak barrels, where, after several days, it begins to ferment. The barrel fermentations typically progress very slowly, often finishing in early winter. This extended fermentation gives rise to wines with great depth of flavor and roundness. During this period, the wines are stirred weekly to extract the toasty, roasted aromas from the grape solids and yeast remaining in the barrel. At the same time, we top the barrels weekly to protect the wines from oxidation. All Patz & Hall Chardonnays undergo malolactic fermentation and then develop in barrel for eleven months before being bottled without filtration. The yeast particles that remain further guard the wines from oxidation, so they continue to age favorably in bottle. Gently transferred from barrel to bottle, unfiltered wines do not undergo "bottle shock," consequently, Patz & Hall Chardonnays are delicious upon release and continue to evolve in bottle over time.