THE HALLECK FAMILY
Building Community Through Wine
Ross Halleck provided the vision and passion behind Halleck Vineyard. He embarked upon his wine career unconventionally. He founded Halleck, Inc. in 1980 as one of the preeminent brand and marketing agencies in Silicon Valley.
Pursuing personal interests, Ross focused on both high technology and wine, maintaining offices in Palo Alto and Sebastopol, CA.
Companies such as HP, Apple, Beaulieu Vineyard, St. Supery Vineyards, Kendall-Jackson, Iron Horse Vineyards and Jordan Winery worked with Halleck to enhance their brands.
Ross moved to Sonoma County in 1991 with Jennifer to develop a Pinot Noir vineyard in the Sonoma Coast region. Once married, Ross and Jennifer dedicated their efforts in the vineyard to putting their future children through college. Planting in 1993, the first harvest was in 1999.
Now divorced, Ross and Jennifer and have redefined family, continuing to work harmoniously in the winery and in coaching their sons.
Ross shepherds the spirit of the earth into every glass of Halleck Vineyard wine. He brings business acumen and sensitivity, fueled by passion. He continues to drive the marketing of Halleck Vineyard, along with crafting the wines.
Ross and Jennifer are the parents of three sons; he is now focused on his singular career of Halleck Vineyard.
Jennifer was instrumental in bringing Halleck Vineyard to life. While their first son, Connor, was an infant, Jennifer researched rootstocks at local nurseries. Stumbling upon a single line entry in the yellow pages, she met John Caldwell, who set the cornerstone for Halleck Vineyard’s success. He introduced Jennifer to the Dijon clones. During the 1992 Napa Valley Wine Auction, Ross and Jennifer tasted barrel samples of Pinot Noir from Saintsbury to discover the Dijon clones 667, 777, and 115. These were purchased from John.
With the vineyard and three children underway, Jennifer delved into the wine world, which quickly became a passion. Working in the cellar at Tandem Winery with Greg Lafollette, she then moved into the tasting room at J Vineyards and Winery, followed by a job in sales representing Kosta Brown. All her experience, with her love of agriculture, confirmed that producing Halleck Vineyard wines was her calling.
She now wears many hats, among them sourcing vineyards, wine production, hosting charity events, mounds of emails and, of course, creating many great wines.
Fed by his life-long passion for all things gourmet and artistic, Rick’s epicurean and creative endeavors led to his graduate work in regional planning at University of Pennsylvania and a career as a leather artisan. However, he found the perfect balance of craftmanship, sensory experiences and life sciences in winemaking.
Within the wine industry, Rick’s desire to improve upon the processes and final product has proven very successful over 30 years. He specializes in cool climate varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and has worked with many of the top producers on the Sonoma Coast. During the 2001 and 2002 vintages, Rick worked with winemaker Greg Lafollette, supervising the production of the 2001 Tandem Halleck Vineyard Pinot Noir that won the “Pinot Noir Summit” in 2002. Rick has become intimately familiar with the Halleck Vineyard Estate terroir, and in 2005, came on as Winemaker. Rick provides oversight and direction for the Halleck Vineyard winemaking, consulting Jennifer and Ross on final blends.
Sales & Community Outreach
Stephanie Culen, Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, is the newest member of our merry band leading our sales. Stephanie has a passion for creating unique inspirational and educational experiences with people, product and place and brings a smile wherever she goes. In typical Mary Tyler Moore style, her laugh is robust and contagious.
Originally from the East Coast, Stephanie lived in New York City for 24 years and has a varied background in fashion retail sales, event planning, and education. Seeking a lifestyle change inspired by natural grace and beauty, she moved to Sonoma County in October 2016 and bought a treehouse in Guerneville. Since then, she has worked with both small and large portfolios with success in Dry Creek Valley and Chalk Hill, as well as being a contributing writer for Wine Country This Week.
Our Family Dog
When you visit, you will meet our cherished family member, Franki. With the sons thriving in SoCal, we needed another boy to take their place 😉 Franki is a LOVE!
Franki is a Basenji, dogs originally from Africa and haled in the tombs of the Pharoahs in ancient Egypt. He came to us through an attempt to rescue a dog in need. He was actually a champion show dog, in need of a permanent home.
He is an absolute love and we have not had a turkey on the property since his arrival. Unfortunately, he is outgunned by the raccoons. We have electrified the vineyard with 8000 volts around every row to take the heat off of Franki. It works.
Our Halleck Vineyard Dog Club is active, and we continue to search for new members of our Halleck Vineyard family Vineyard Dogs.