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Family of Friends Newsletter

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The Epitome of Coastal Elegance: Introducing Halleck Vineyard Balletto Russian River Valley Chardonnay

By Eric Schwartzman | November 6, 2023

Halleck Vineyard is pleased to unveil a wine that embodies the quintessence of Russian River Valley’s terroir, our 2022 Balletto Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay. This exquisite white wine varietal manifests the art of winemaking and the unique coastal charm of the Russian River Valley.

“Each bottle of our 2022 Halleck Vineyard Balletto Russian River Valley Chardonnay is like a whispered secret between the verdant lands of Sonoma County and the relentless waves of the Pacific.…

Oaked vs Unoaked Chardonnay Taste

The Difference Between Oaked and Unoaked Chardonnay Taste

By Lenzil Hoaglund | October 28, 2023

Chardonnay is the most popular white wine varietal in the world – and it’s also one of the most diverse. In fact, oaked and unoaked Chardonnay taste couldn’t be more different. Which leads many wine drinkers to scratch their heads and wonder: “What is Chardonnay, really?” What are the characteristics of a Chardonnay grape, and what affects the flavors that end up in your glass? We’re here to demystify this delightful white wine. We’ll discuss what makes one Chardonnay taste so different from another –…

Is Pinot Noir A Sweet or Dry Wine

By Averi Melcher | October 28, 2023

If you’re new to the world of red wine, or perhaps a white wine or rosé aficionado looking to branch into new (red) territory, you may have found yourself asking: “Is Pinot Noir sweet or dry wine?” 

We’re here to help you understand everything there is to know about this silky red wine, including how it tastes, its origin if Pinot Noir is dry or sweet, and how food pairings can affect its taste.…

Halleck Vineyard Three Sons Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Awarded Top Honor at 2023 Sommelier Challenge

By Eric Schwartzman | October 24, 2023

Halleck Vineyard, a Sonoma County winery renowned for its artisanal approach, is basking in the glory of its 2019 Halleck Vineyard Three Sons Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, which clinched the prestigious Best Pinot Noir Award at the 2023 Sommelier Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition. Only 198 cases remain of their extraordinary vintage, available online only.

This exquisite Sonoma County Pinot Noir earned a remarkable 96-point score and secured the much-coveted Best Pinot Noir title amidst fierce competition from over 900 wines.…

Sonoma Wine Tasting Report

Sonoma Wine Tasting Prices Up 11% Countywide

By Eric Schwartzman | July 26, 2023

The entry-level price of a Sonoma wine tasting rose 11% from $36 in 2022 to $40 in 2023. Adjusting for those cities with at least 15 wineries in the sample, we found that prices in Sebastopol increased the most at 27%, from an average of $37.36 in 2022, to $47.50 in 2023.

While the 27% jump in Sebastopol is massive, the actual price increase of $10 is less than the price of one movie theater ticket or a quick-service restaurant meal.…

Russian River Valley

Top 7 Russian River Valley Wineries to Visit

By Scott Butterfield | June 7, 2023

The Russian River Valley has a viticulture history unlike any other in California. Grapevines were first planted by immigrants from the Mediterranean region in the 19th century. Most were “gardens” that families used for personal consumption, using cuttings brought from their European homesteads. This is how Zinfandel, now a flagship US grape, first appeared in the country. By the early 20th century over 200 wineries were in operation. However, Prohibition devastated the nascent winemaking industry. Nearly all wineries closed.…

Best Pinot Noir Wine: 15 Bottles to Try Right Now (2023 UPDATE)

By Averi Melcher | June 7, 2023

Want to experience the best Pinot Noir wine this world has to offer? Pinot Noirs that are so bold and fruity you might mistake them for Syrahs? Then we have the perfect list for you – our favorite bottles of Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California. While the average wine drinker might be focused on Pinot Noir pairings, whether Pinot Noir is sweet or dry, or the differences between Pinot Noir vs Cabernet Sauvignon. …

Top executives from Spire Animation Studios, P.J. Gunsagar and Brad Lewis, joined Ross Halleck at a recent wine tasting event at The Amarano Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The event offered guests the opportunity to sample the latest white and red wine releases from Halleck Vineyard's Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast vineyards. As the trio raised their glasses in a toast, they couldn't help but marvel at the expert craftsmanship and complex flavors of the wines they were enjoying. The event, which was held at a chic wine bar in the heart of Hollywood, was just one of many wine tastings and events that Halleck Vineyard has hosted across the state. From vineyards in Sonoma to wine bars in Los Angeles, Halleck Vineyard's wines have become a favorite of spirits enthusiasts across California. With accolades from top restaurants and wineries, it's clear that Halleck Vineyard is a force to be reckoned with in the world of wine. As Gunsagar, Lewis, and Halleck savored each sip of their drink, they couldn't help but feel grateful for the vineyards, wineries, and restaurants that have made California a destination for wine lovers around the world. And with each bottle of Halleck Vineyard's premium wines, they were reminded of the incredible skill and dedication that goes into every sip.

Wine Club Gathers for Los Angeles Wine Tasting at Amarano

By Eric Schwartzman | April 11, 2023

Winemaker Ross Halleck of Halleck Vineyard has always believed in the power of wine to bring people together and build communities. To this end, he has been tirelessly promoting his wines beyond the borders of Sonoma County, seeking to share his passion for exceptional Sonoma Pinot Noir with a broader audience.

Ross hosted a wine-tasting event for his Inner Circle Wine Club members and hotel guests at The Amarano in Burbank, California,…

Ross Halleck, the winemaker of Halleck Vineyard located in Sonoma County, and Victoria Taylor, the sommelier of Bar Boulud in Manhattan, collaborated on a private wine pairing dinner. The event showcased premium wines from the Russian River Valley, known for its fruity and earthy notes, paired with delectable dishes crafted by the expert chefs at Bar Boulud. This unforgettable dining experience brought together the best of Californian winemaking and French culinary expertise, creating a fine dining experience for all attendees.

Wine Wars: Tasting Showdown Between French Wine and California Wine at Bar Boulud

By Scott Butterfield | April 10, 2023

What goes better with French food? French wines or California wines? Winemaker Ross Halleck of Halleck Vineyard in Sonoma County collaborated with Bar Boulud Sommelier Victoria Taylor in Manhattan on a private vintner dinner to find out. 

They compared 4 award-winning, small-production California wines from the Halleck Vineyard boutique Sonoma winery in the West Sonoma County town of Sebastopol with 5 French wines, all carefully paired with contemporary French dishes from one of the most celebrated French chefs in America.…

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