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.  In the spring the grapevines will wake up from their winter slumber rejuvenated and be ready to produce a wonderful crop for this year’s growing season.  During this upcoming month we will start the pruning process in the vineyard, cutting back old growth that is no longer beneficial to the vines.  Deciding how to prune will impact the vines health, crop yield, and quality for not only this season’s crop, but subsequent seasons as well.  We will utilize two styles of pruning methods, cane pruning and spur pruning.  The decision of which method to use depends on the age and health of the vine as well as the trellising system.  Pruning the 106 acres of grapevine on Heller Estate Organic Vineyards will be a task that takes our team a substantial amount of time with the precision needed.

This time of year in the winery is a bit quiet, though there are always things to do.  The 2016 wines are through their fermentation processes and tucked away nicely in barrels and tanks to mature into the super tasty wines from which Heller Estate is known. The last of the 2014 wines in barrel are now ready to be bottled.  Some of these wines are a divine 2014 Meritage, luscious 2014 Merlot, and a spicy 2014 Petit Verdot.  The new Meritage is a wonderful collaboration that showcases Rich Tanguay’s winemaking style and my blending abilities.  The wine is composed of five traditional Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.  It is truly delicious.

I hope that everyone is happy with the fantastic selections of Heller Estate Organic Vineyards organically grown wines in this quarter’s selection!

Wishing everyone a Very Happy and Healthy New Year from all of us here at Heller Estate Organic Vineyards!


Margot Federkiel, Winemaker