Meet Our Chef: Michael Jones

Everyone Meet Michael Jones!

Michael Jones is our chef here at Massa Estate Organic Vineyards. He runs the catering company called A Moveable Feast right out of our tasting room. Jones continues to move mountains in the kitchen here at our Tasting Room in Carmel Valley. He is serving Michelin star quality food at swap meet prices because as a chef his top priority is to take care of each of his guests. He is here every Sunday from 11:00-5:00 pm serving the best food in the Monterey County alongside our fabulous wine. Michael is not like your typical chef because he comes up with new mouth-watering dishes every week that are constantly surprising our regulars and new customers! Our Sunday Garden Catering Menu will always have delicious appetizers such as, Fandangos with asiago and scallion bruschetta and a wonderful cheese platter doused in your favorite local cheeses. It also has lots of salads options such as a Borba Farm First Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad served with fresh mozzarella, our homegrown basil, and Muia EVOO. Our main dishes include things like Monterey Wild King Salmon or Petrale Sole Veronique giving you the ultimate Monterey County local experience. Our Sunday Menu even serves desserts, such as Beckmann’s Butter Crust Apple Pie and even Valrhona Araguani Chocolate Crema Inglese! These are just a few of the many, many amazing dishes and sweet treats Michael Jones blesses our palates with every weekend! Do not miss out on this experience of a lifetime! Book a reservation here on our website and secure your spot.

Infamous Fandangos: asiago/scallion bruschetta Amanda’s Carmel Valley oak smoked wild Monterey salmon with capers & onions

The Gold Medal Kudos Continue for Heller Estate Organically Grown Wines

Orange County Fair, California

~2017 Wine Competition~

The Orange County Fair’s competition is the largest and most comprehensive judging of California wines in the world. This competition attempts to judge every grape wine made in California that is commercially available in Orange County. This year 2,457 wines were judged by 72 professional wine makers and/or winery principals.

Gold Medal awarded to:

2013 Petite Sirah

HELLER ESTATE ORGANICALLY GROWN WINES are delighting palates throughout the world.  The symbol of our production – inspired by a twenty foot high bronze sculpture created by Toby Heller, overlooking the vineyards, of the now renowned dancing vineyard couple – has become a symbol of outstanding quality wines, receiving praises and kudos from wine-lovers throughout the world.

Planted and dry-farmed on the rich, sandy loamy soils of our mountain vineyards at about 1,500 feet above sea-level, we continue to produce what are, perhaps, the most exciting, extraordinary quality wines in California.  The grapes seem to extract special flavors to make the wine, and wine-lovers throughout America are now enjoying the results. Read more…

Summer 2017

What an exciting year thus far here at Heller Estate Organic Vineyards!  We did not float away with all the rainstorms that California endured and are very happy to say that all the wells as well as the reservoir are now completely recharged.  The vineyards are looking beautiful with all the new grape clusters just starting to take shape.  The milder temperatures this spring has put us on track for a later harvest season, which is more in line with the pre-drought years as far as timing goes for harvest seasons.  This gives the grapes a more relaxed growing season with a longer time to reach full maturity with wonderfully intense aromas, flavors and structure. Read more…

Spring 2017

Bud break is occurring all over the vineyard!  Now that the vines are slowly waking up after their restful slumber over the winter months we are seeing tiny little leaves peaking out at us from the previously dormant canes.  This means spring is officially here and the 2017 growing season has begun.  The copious amounts of rainfall this winter were such a wonderful blessing for grape vines and fruit trees here at Heller Estate Organic Vineyards.  It has significantly recharged the water tables on the property as well as giving all the plants plenty of water to quench their thirst. Meanwhile, our new pond has been completely filled.  Lots of happy turtles are now swimming and sunning themselves at the pond. Read more…

Winter 2017

What a lovely time of year to receive a package of delicious Heller Estate Organic Vineyards organically grown wines – a package that comes just after all the festivities of the holiday season have quieted down. This gives one a great excuse for another fun celebration.  It is always nice, no matter what time of year, to invite over good friends and family to enjoy some yummy food and delicious wine.

With the New Year here, the vineyard is getting some much deserved rest. The weather has been rather chilly up on the vineyard here in Cachagua.  When arriving to work in the mornings, we are met with frost blanketing the beautiful landscape.  We have also been getting a nice amount of rainfall this winter which in turn is recharging the water table.  This is great because the water becomes much more accessible to the deep root systems of our dry farmed vines.  This winter’s cold weather is also beneficial for the grapevines; it allows them to go dormant, hibernate, and recharge from the last year’s growing season.  Read more…

Fall 2016

IMG_1177First light, September 7, 2016, the picking crew arrives at the vineyard to harvest the first fruit of the season.  A beautiful block of Chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir that are ripe and ready to be fermented into another great vintage of Heller Estate Organic Vineyard wine.  The berries, still cold from the night air, are handled with care as they are plucked from the vines and transported to the winery.  When the grapes arrive, the whole clusters of Chardonnay are loaded directly into the press where they are squeezed lightly to produce a lovely golden colored juice, sweet and aromatic.  The Chardonnay juice will spend a couple days in tank settling before starting the fermentation process.  Once there is no sugar left in the Chardonnay the very young wine will be racked to barrels, where it will age for at least one year. Read more…

And the Vines Grow Deeper!

FullSizeRender3When this vineyard was planted in the late 1960’s on the loamy sandy soil, we had hoped for extraordinary fruit from the conditions we have – and we got it!  The grapes planted at HELLER ESTATE ORGANIC VINEYARDS have resulted in outstanding quality and, perhaps, the best in the region – producing some outstanding wines, which have recently received laudits from California state wine competitions and the press throughout the world.

As you know, our vineyards are dry-farmed on loamy sandy soil, the vines reaching down some thirty feet, where they seek the water levels needed.  The results have been extraordinary!  To add to the continuity of this wonderful situation we have, there is now an additional factor to make these great wines by Read more…

Summer 2016

PVclustersSummer is upon us and it is heating up nicely here in Cachagua Valley.  The vines and fruit trees are soaking up all the warm sunshine, which they are loving.  At this stage in time the fruit has set and the clusters are all formed. The grapes on the clusters are still relatively small and hard, but over the next couple of months they will start plumping up.  Great wines start first and foremost in the vineyard.  Being organically farmed puts us ahead of the game.  Our crew takes great pride in working hard to make sure that all the vineyard blocks are getting the attention that is needed to produce the amazing grapes that go into our award winning wines.

During these 90°+ days it is nice to escape the heat by popping into the winery and laboratory to do some work.  Keeping our white wine tanks chilling for stabilization creates a nice air conditioning effect.  This is not only good for the wines, but also the winemakers.  Tracking the wine in tanks and barrels is a monthly task.  Performing analysis on all wines helps us to maintain the vitality of it depending on the data we collect.  At this point we may or may not make any adjustment to the wine in barrel or tank.  After all the barrels will be topped.  Barrels breath at a low level so wine will evaporate thus needing to be replenished to keep full.

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IMG_0080Again, for the second consecutive year, we have been awarded a Gold Medal for our PETIT VERDOT wine at the Orange County Fair Wine Competition – one of the largest and prestigious such events in the world.  Our PETIT VERDOT vines originate in France, where they are traditionally used to add color and flavor to red blends and create concentrated fruit flavor on the palate.  The PETIT VERDOT grape grows more reliably in regions outside of France, such as California, where it has proven an outstanding success.


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