Family of Friends Newsletter


“Not Your Mother’s” Dry White Zinfandel from the Russian River Valley – Wine Story

By Ross Halleck | August 17, 2020

European semi-sweet wines were the rage in the 1970s. Blue Nun, a German Liebfroumilch, was a fave. Mateus Rosé from Portugal was the most popular wine in the world.

At the same time, a new entrant, White Zinfandel wine, joined the ranks of American wines made by Sutter Home.

Sutter Home employed a winemaking technique called “saignée,” draining some of the free-run juice from Zinfandel to create a concentrated, robust Zinfandel. “Saignee” literally means “to bleed” in French.…

Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Little Sister – Wine Story

By Ross Halleck | August 13, 2020

The grapes for our Little Sister Sauvignon Blanc are sourced from “Patient Terrier” Vineyard named in homage to the faithful companion of its owner, Greg Conklin.

Rather than “Patient Terrier,” we chose to name the wine for a family story.

In 2002, we were judged #1 Pinot Noir in the United States for the first crop from Halleck Vineyard Estate, harvested in 2001. This gave us the street cred to make any wine we chose.…

Caring for an Adult

By Ross Halleck | June 9, 2020

It feels like yesterday when we planted Halleck Vineyard. Jennifer was combing the Yellow Pages looking for rootstock, stumbling across a single-line listing for John Caldwell under “Nurseries.” This was amongst ads hawking all manner of services and products. Previous calls came up empty. There was a dearth of Pinot Noir rootstock available in 1991-92.

John answered the phone and spoke to Jennifer about our location and specific site. He was an enthusiast and guided us to some new Pinot Noir clones from Dijon,…

Curried Quinoa and Salmon: Austin Perkins

By Ross Halleck | June 9, 2020

We are privileged to partner with the finest chefs in the world. Thomas Keller of Per Se and The French Laundry, Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, Cat Kora, and Michael Psilakis, to name a few.

We’re featuring dishes from many of our friends on a monthly basis with recipes and stories, like Austin Perkins, formerly of Nick’s Cove, a local favorite.

He grew up in our neighborhood enjoying the coast, its natural beauty and abundant farm produce.…

Arctic Char with new potatoes, Apples and Endive

By Ross Halleck | June 9, 2020

Mike Anthony, the Executive Chef of Gramercy Tavern shares his recipe for ‘Arctic Char with New Potatoes, Apples and Endive’

Love is an enormous word, despite only four letters

By Ross Halleck | June 9, 2020

In February we turn our focus to Love. Exalted, extolled, and exploited, Love is an integral part of our lives, yet rarely explored. For example, saying, “I love you” for the first time is a huge threshold in any relationship; but we easily bandy the word about for preferences (I love popcorn), activities (I love to ski), bodily functions (I love a good sleep) in closing letters, or of Country.Valentine’s Day hails back to the Roman Empire and prior,…

Sebastopol’s Hilly New Haven for Pinot Noir

By Ross Halleck | July 22, 2014

Jennifer and I planted Halleck Vineyard in the early 90s. Legend was created when our first vintage as a wine (2001 Tandem Winery, Halleck Vineyard, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir) earned first place in the 2002 Pinot Noir Summit. This was also Greg Lafollette’s first vintage under his new personal label, Tandem. He had recently left Flowers, where he earned status as “Winemaker Rock Star.” 

This competition set the stage for Greg to become our winemaker and mentor and Jennifer and I to build Halleck Vineyard as a winery and brand.…