Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hartford Family Winery is a surprise hidden in the forest

Hartford Family Winery is a family-owned winery hidden in forests above Forestville in Russian River Valley.  As you cruise along Martinelli Road between River Road and Highway 116 watch for the signs for Hartford Family Winery and as you turn down the driveway you will be surprised and amazed to see a large beautiful mansion pop out from the pines.

This winery is a dream that came true for Don and Jennifer Hartford.  Don grew up on a strawberry farm in Massachusetts and has always loved the farm life.  But as a high powered lawyer in San Francisco and around the world, life on the farm was a long ways off.  In the early 90s he started making wine at his winery in Forestville and soon was winning awards and accolades.  His wine was even served in the White House.  He loves the land and farming and can often be found working the vineyards, busy in the winery and involved in hospitality and sales. 

Hartford Family Winery is located only 15 miles from the cool Pacific Coast, and sources their grapes from a wide range of estate vineyards from Anderson Valley in Mendocino County to Carneros in Napa County and many sites around Sonoma County.  At each vineyard they utilize the least invasive farming practices available including some which are organic and biodynamic.  Each vineyard offers its own terroir characteristics that Hartford’s winemaker Jeff Stewart strives to maintain in the finished wine.

Hartford Family Winery has two tasting rooms, one located in the magnificent winery in Forestville and one in downtown Healdsburg.  Both offer a variety of tasting experiences indoors
and outdoors, including some where they will provide a box lunch to pair with the wine.  At the recent Russian River Valley passport event they offered several newly released wines for visitors to enjoy.

The 2012 Hartford Court Fog Dance Chardonnay provides aromas and flavors of citrus, mint and floral along with a nice acidity and minerality.  The 2011 vintage got 92 points from Robert Parker.  The price is $65.

The 2012 Hartford Court MacLean’s Block Pinot Noir uses grapes from a vineyard nestled in an area surrounded by redwoods near Occidental overlooking the Russian River Valley.  The wine has intense aromas of dark fruit and earthiness carrying these same characteristics onto the palate leading to a nice pleasant long finish.  The price is $65.

The 2012 Hartford Court Jennifer’s Pinot Noir is a powerful wine rich in aromas and flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, leather, lavender and spice.  Previous vintages regularly won 91 or 92 points from Robert Parker and Stephen Tanzer.  The price is $70.

The 2014 Hartford Highwire Vineyard Zinfandel (barrel sample for Passport weekend) comes from a 100 year old vineyard in Russian River Valley that utilizes an unusually high wire strung between each vine.  The wine has aromas and flavors of dark fruit, licorice and spice.  This wine also has seen many awards in previous vintages. The price will be $55.


For more information:  Hartford Family Winery

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