We made it a point to visit the Hess Collection Winery on our last visit to Napa Valley. When Donald Hess arrived in California in the 1970s, he was attracted to California wine and became intrigued with Mount Veeder. Although few in Napa Valley were cultivating vineyards at elevation, Donald Hess believed the volcanic slopes of Mount Veeder provided the perfect combination of soils and microclimates to yield elegant wines with rich, complex flavors. In 2017 Donald Hess retired and passed on the everyday duties of running the burgeoning Hess Collection to his daughter and son-in-law Sabrina and Tim Patterson. They were tasked with the continuing renovation of the estate after an early morning earthquake on August 24, 2104, caused extensive damage throughout the winery and Visitor Center, resulting in the loss of Cellar One, several thousand gallons of wine, and ultimately, the renovation of the historic stone building.
In 2018 the new “Lions Head Cellar” was opened. The new cellar is equipped with small, boutique tanks designed for luxury winemaking which allows the winemaking team to further improve the wines currently produced and the creative freedom to introduce new wines. Included in the new cellar are gorgeous modern spaces designed for unique guest experiences.
Of course the “signature” difference between the Hess Collection and other valley wineries is the Hess Art Collection, located on-site in the art museum. Donald Hess began collecting art in 1966. Today, The Hess Collection houses less than a quarter of a collection that is shown in museums worldwide. The art museum is a unique complementary experience while tasting world-class vintages!
We were fortunate to participate in one of the new experiences Hess is offering, the “Tour of the Palate” pairing luncheon, expertly prepared by Executive Chef Chad Hendrickson.
Our first course was a delicious fresh Dungeness crab cake with roasted red pepper blini and radish cilantro salad. This was paired with the refreshing 2016 Mount Veeder Chardonnay.
Next, we enjoyed a black peppercorn crusted local swordfish accompanied by brussel sprouts, bacon lardon, soft polenta, and garlic jus. The 2016 Collection Holiday Cuvee proved to be the perfect pairing for this course.
Our final course brought a grilled New York steak with celery root sunchoke puree, chanterelle mushrooms, and sunchoke chips. This mouth-watering dish was served with the exquisite 2104 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon!
This is one of nine experiences offered by the Hess Collection, experiences to fit any interest!
For further information go to https://www.hesscollection.com/visit-us/; or call 707-255-1144.