Wanna Hanna? Oh, Yeah!

It was bright and early when we boarded the bus for the pre-conference tour to Hanna Winery, north of Santa Rosa. Actually it was around 9:30 am, but after the previous day’s tour of Sterling and Beringer it was definitely early enough! Once we were out of Santa Rosa, the pastoral beauty of this area of Sonoma became immediately apparent.

Upon arrival at the winery, we sampled their 2016 Sauvignon Blanc. This is Hanna’s highest production wine, by far, at 38,000 cases per year. It is widely available, but despite that we had never sampled it. Quite frankly, for a high production California Sauvignon Blanc, this wine was a massive surprise. Very aromatic, with notes of grass, dried herbs and gooseberry. Moderate plus acidity, with grapefruit flavors and herbal notes. Between good and very good, outstanding value at $19.

Surprising Sauvignon Blanc

Next up was a tour and barrel sampling with Hanna’s winemaker Jeff Hinchliffe. Jeff educated us about the intricacies of producing Malbec (easy to make, not easy to grow), which is a significant component of their red meritage blends.

Jeff Discussing Malbec


We then strolled down to the barrel room, where the group sampled the 2017 Malbec and 2017 St. Macaire (a rare red Bordeaux varietal named for the medieval town of Saint Macaire, that was used until it essentially disappeared during the phylloxera epidemic in the 19th century). Jeff was highly informative and left us with several pithy quotes, one of our favorites being “don’t overexpose your fruit”. Good advice in so many ways.


Gordon Being Studious



Jeff Doling Out The Barrel Samples

From there it was up to the tasting room for what can only be described as a killer lunch.

Lunch. Yeah, It Was Fantastic!

The food was outstanding. The salad with butternut squash and warm bacon dressing was beautiful, the green beans (ok, haricot vert) were phenomenal, and the flourless chocolate cake with raspberries was …….. lights out. Yea, a fantastic meal.

Wine highlights were the 2015 Russian River Chardonnay ($29), which was served with the salad. This is a nice example of the full malo, oak style. Lots of brown sugar and apple sauce notes, with a spicy finish. Good to very good. Our other favorite was the 2014 Bismarck Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($68) – nose of herbs, tobacco, dark currant, and vanilla. Balance acid and tannin, dark currant fruit attack with a savory herbal mid palate. Needs time to fully develop, but a beautiful wine with outstanding upside potential. Very good.

Christine Hanna Discussing the History of Hanna Winery
Warm Bacon Dressing……..Nuff Said
Haricots Vert……..Pretty Tasty Green Beans
Look For This Wine and Drink It in 2020 and Beyond




The Finisher. Outstanding.







Thanks to Hanna Winery for hosting, it was an outstanding event. We loved your wines and plan to be back soon!