Dr. Elias Hanna, a world-renowned cardiac surgeon founded Hanna Winery in 1985 as he was searching for the right place to continue the farming heritage of his family. At first it was 12 acres in the heart of the Russian River Valley but that has now grown to include four major vineyards totaling 600 acres in some of the prime grape growing regions of Sonoma County, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Christine, Dr. Hanna’s daughter, is President of the family owned and operated winery and vineyards.
Each vineyard has specific terroir characteristics that Hanna Winery brings out in their wines. Red Ranch in Alexander Valley has the red loam soils and warm climate to produce great red Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Malbec. This 100-acre vineyard also is home to their Alexander Valley tasting room. The Slusser Road vineyard in Russian River Valley is their source for the award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Home Ranch vineyard surrounding the Russian River Valley winery grows Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and is home to their Elias, single-vineyard reserve brands. The Bismark Mountain Vineyard in Sonoma Valley is high in the Mayacamas Mountains at 1400-2600 feet and grows low yield, high quality Bordeaux varietals, Syrah and Zinfandel.
In addition to seeing Hanna grow from 1000 case production to 50,000 cases, Christine also loves to cook and is the author of “The Winemaker Cooks: Menus, Parties and Pairings” published in 2010. This love of food and entertaining is also evident in the tasting room where the staff is always ready with information on best foods to pair with their wines and during this reporter’s visit, food was there to check out the wine’s pairing potential. Check out some of the recipes from Christine on the website.
The Hanna Russian River Valley tasting room is along Occidental Road between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. This is a beautiful, spacious, friendly tasting room overlooking the vineyards and a pond. The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful.
The 2014 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc is their primary product, accounting for half of the wine produced by Hanna. It has a lovely straw color and aromas of mango and grapefruit with an interesting mixture of old world and new world style. On the palate you will enjoy the flavors of stone fruit, guava and pink grapefruit leading to a long refreshing finish. The price is $19.
The 2013 Russian River Valley Chardonnay delivers aromas of pear, pineapple and nutmeg with a touch of orange blossom. The flavors of apple and peach are very enjoyable and the crisp acidity leads to a long finish. This is a great food pairing wine. The price is $29.
Hanna 2013 Malbec from Alexander Valley has the aromas and flavors of boysenberry, fig, currants and red berries. This is a wine that develops in the glass so let it sit for a while before drinking. The price is $44.
The 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley’s Red Ranch comes through with an abundance of aromas from black cherry, licorice and lavender. You will enjoy the flavors of blackberry, black cherry, licorice, coffee and chocolate. This wine has 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Malbec. The price is $60.
For more information: Hanna Winery and Vineyards