The first time I tasted HALL Cabernet Sauvignon, I will nibbling a cheese plate bar side at Fleming’s Steakhouse and Wine Bar. After asking our
bartender sommelier for his recommendation for a big, hearty red, he poured me a taste of the 2005 HALL Cab. Is that black cherry I’m getting? Or perhaps a little oak mixed with leather and currants? I’m certainly no wine expert, unless you consider drinking lots of the stuff a special skill, yet even I could tell there was something very special about this wine.
HALL wines, which has two wineries, one in St. Helena, California and the other in Rutherford, has not only received exceptional scoring for many of its wines, including 97 points from Wine Enthusiast for the 2006 HALL “Exzellenz” Cabernet Sauvignon, but has just received the prestigious LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification for its Napa St. Helena location making HALL the first winery in California to earn this designation.
With state-of-the-art facilities, including many sustainable design elements such as radiant flooring, solar energy, as well as usage of recycled and local building materials, HALL is leading the industry when it comes to working to solve environmental challenges. Owner Kathryn Hall, whose family has been growing grapes in California since 1972, along with her husband Craig, have made it their personal mission to leave minimal carbon footprints when it comes to the art of great winemaking, establishing them as leaders in environmental preservation.
As Kathryn herself puts it, “At HALL wines, we grow our own grapes and craft our wines, and so we are obligated to ensure the health of the land, as well as that of the greater Napa Valley ecosystem.” Keeping in mind that HALL’s grapes encompass over 500 acres, this is both a great commitment and an accomplishment.
Visitors to the winery can get an up-close-and-personal look at the winery’s dedication to the environment with complimentary LEED® tours being offered each day through the end of August. For those who are unable to make a trip to the winery, visiting HALL online offers a firsthand glimpse (with videos) into the LEED® certification process led by owner Kathryn Hall along with President Mike Reynolds and architect Jarrod Denton.
Yet, for a true taste of what HALL has to offer, both for sustainable wine growing practices as well as the palate, I encourage you to get a bottle for yourself (which can be purchased on HALL’s website or at a variety of wine shops). And, don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert in order to properly enjoy a glass of their award-winning wines, but it would behoove you to join Kathryn in her vision of an environment supported by earth-friendly wine production.