A Classe A Visit to Hall Napa Valley Winery – James Melendez

The Emblematic Bunny Foo Foo with a Light Saber

I rarely get the chance to focus on visiting and writing about one winery in Napa Valley or anywhere.  I am constantly asked for a top list of places to visit in Napa or Sonoma but the next natural question I ask is what are you seeking either in experience, wine or both.

There isn’t just one or two places to recommend but many.  That is why I want to point out Hall in St. Helena.  A showcase of wine and art and history under one roof.   The art work is both a showpiece but also makes the total experience magical and absolutely special.

Camel Contemplating Needle – John Baldessari

The art work at Hall is not just well done it is outstanding.  How many wineries have a John Baldessari art piece–none except Hall (that I am aware of)?  There is art tastefully placed throughout.  The celebration of art work and wine is such a comfortable and exciting fit.   Wine needs and I have said as well is art;  art needs wine.

The 150 year old Bergfeld Winery building is so beautiful and respectfully restored.  You get a beautiful of west on the second floor.  Me and three great friends of mine were on the Hallmark Tour and Tasting.  The tour was professional and friendly and nicely done in terms of background, history, art focus, and, of course, wine.

The architecture of the tasting room and tank rooms was built in 2014 are so forward thinking and appreciable.  Signum is the architectural firm of record.  It is a great building; a comfortable building and exciting to see from inside and out.  Hall has intrigued me not just because of the beautiful architecture and because of the vision of owners/founders Craig and Kathryn Hall.  Originally Frank O. Gehry had designed the new winery–from the beginning it was filled with concern about being shinny and metallic design.  The final design was a wood structure which for Gehry was the first of a kind.  The Gehry design was scrapped for the LEED certified and current building by Signum.  I think it is a smart and forward thinking design that is comfortable in it’s own skin.






I have never seen a more attractive and inviting tank room; usually they are terribly cold and absolutely functional.  The red glass pieces on one side and the other has graphic stars and flowers—I usually look forward to leaving a tank room but this one I could have stayed much longer.








In the tasting you will taste from the WALT label which is a variety of Pinot Noir from Carneros, Sonoma Coast, Sta. Rita Hills, and Santa Lucia Highlands.

This is a cabernet house so there are a number you will taste (tasting of wines will vary per visit).  The cabernet’s Hall produces are mainly from Napa Valley like Kathryn Hall (flagship and highest rated wine in the collection); there is also Coeur, Jack’s Masterpiece, Diamond and Howell Mountains, Terra Secca, T-Bar T-Ranch, 1873, and Bergfeld

Here are the wines I tasted:

WALT Brown Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir 2016

Scent: Blackberry, moist crushed stone, fennel and violets

Palate: Heirloom blackberry, pepper, graphite, crushed red candy and red rose petal.


Hall Kathryn Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Scent: Loch Ness blackberry, fresh pepper and Thyme, and red flower bunch.

Palate: Dark cherry Coulis, wild blackberry, pepper, bay leaf, and dried rose petal.



Hall Ellie’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014






Scent: Blackberry, cassis, lavender, suede.

Palate: focused bramble berries, black pepper, and autumnal herbs.



Hall Jack’s Masterpiece Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Scent: Dark cherry, cassis, underbrush, and dried flowers.

Palate: Loch Ness blackberry confit, mix of peppers, crushed herbs and Cardamom






Functional at First; Art at Last

Half a Million Index Cards – WOW!







A very impressive winery to visit–a high recommendation to visit for an unforgettable experience.

Make a reservation for an unforgettable tour.



James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Visit to Hall Winery courtesy of producer.

© 2018 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy. James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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About James Melendez

I love wine and have had the privilege of working in the wine trade as a senior national wine marketing manager for a wine, food and home goods retailer in 30+ US States. I executed into making wine experiential and made 'wines of the world' programme work in a highly regulated framework for a successful business proposition. My "wine" site also incorporates those categories intimately involved with wine such as food, travel and lifestyle. This site incorporates my many dimensions of interest. I love to review and also talk about many aspects of wine. I have been privileged to visit many wine countries and find them enthralling no matter how many times I visit. I love all aspects of wine: viticulture, history, winemaking, brand development, wine regions and many more aspects. This is a living tradition that needs documentation, education, reporting and reviewing. Do I have favourite varieties and styles? I love so many varieties and often it is situational and yet there are time honoured wines that I anticipate and I am passionate about. I like all colours of wine and all styles. I have had a mad passionate affair with sparkling wines and they are always top of mind. Wine nourishes our soul and is the key to connecting with other people at our dinner table. Salute, James © 2014, 2017 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social medias.
This entry was posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Pinot Noir, Winery. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Classe A Visit to Hall Napa Valley Winery – James Melendez

  1. Awesome visit recap of one of our favorite wineries in Napa! I’m drinking a glass of the 2013 Ellie’s right now (I think it’s a much better vintage than the 2014, which is also amazing). Louisa

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