The Hanzell vineyards were originally planted, with no expense spared, in the 1950s by James D. Zellerbach. The custom-built winery was modeled on the original Martin Ray winery and the aim was to reach the same levels of quality that the best Burgundian wines had set. Along with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Hanzell grows just a little Cabernet Sauvignon, as the late Countess Barbara de Brye, whose family still owns the estate, preferred the wines of Bordeaux! Winemaker's tasting note: "A pastoral aroma of autumn and straw yields to red fruits, notably strawberry and plum. Minerality, leather, and cold steel create austere power while a butter and brown sugar warmth provides a softening influence. Marked acidity draws out the richness and defines the vintage." (2008)
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