Hendry Ranch Wines: South Napa Valley Finesse
Highly Awarded, Family-Owned Winery
Hendry Ranch Wines portfolio tasting was a wonderful beginning to my 2023 Napa Valley Press Tour, “LIVE from Napa Valley: October Harvest Press Tour of Napa and Sonoma Starts Here.” The winery location in the southern portion of Napa Valley is ideal for growing grape varietals that benefit from this cooler location near the Carneros region of Napa and Sonoma. The marine influence from the San Pablo Bay allows Hendry Ranch Wines to craft the perennially popular Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines, but also make a surprisingly expressive Albariño. This white wine mostly seen in the Galicia region of Spain, exhibits a fresh and lively instance of Albariño in the Napa Valley. I have been remiss in not visiting this winery sooner given my 30 years wine tasting in the Napa Valley and wine-related study at the Culinary Institute of America in the 2000’s. I was high school friends in Ohio with the Hendry cousins who encouraged my visit….a shout out to Janet and Robin Hendry for the recommendation. Do not miss this excellent wine tasting opportunity. Settle into a cozy Adirondack chair on the winery patio, a lap blanket in place, and a glass of wine in hand. The winery deserves the awards they have garnished. See Press Reviews below. Hendry Ranch Wines have an enviable quality-to price ratio in a friendly and comfortable Napa Valley setting.
Hendry Ranch Wine History
Since 1939 eight decades of family farming have taken place on the 203-acre Hendry Ranch estate. Although mostly planted to plum trees until the 1970’s, the ranch site has actually had vineyards on site since 1859. George O. Hendry, son of founders, Margaret and George W. Hendry, eventually focused the ranch on wine-grapes. George actually graduated from U. of California, Berkeley in Electrical Engineering, and was one of the original Cyclotron designers. While not working in Berkeley and being granted new patents in this groundbreaking technology area, George was usually found working back home on the farm.
Wine Wanderings is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
As fame of the Napa Valley spread, changes in the 1960’s and 70’s encouraged George Hendry to increase his estate vineyard plantings, and eventually he sold grapes to Napa’s rising star, Robert Mondavi. The first Hendry-only wines were produced in 1992 with a focus on Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel grapes. With a newly constructed winery in place in 2000, the Hendry Ranch portfolio expanded greatly with an emphasis on single-varietal and single-vineyard wines. An exception is the signature RED, a Bordeaux-style blend. With more than 114 acres under vine and 80 years of harvests made only from estate grapes, the unique southern Napa Valley conditions produce superb wines showing a true “sense of place.” Below in Recommended Wines, you’ll find my favorite Hendry Ranch Wines from the portfolio tasting last week.
Hendry Ranch Wine Press Awards
"This unassuming family-run estate is one of Napa’s best-kept secrets. The staff here is among the most knowledgeable of any tasting room in Napa Valley, and the guided tastings on the front porch of the farmhouse-like winery strike the perfect balance of casual and informative."
-Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle
TOP 100 WINERIES 2021, WINE & SPIRITS MAGAZINE
2021 Hendry Ranch Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, Napa Valley, $35
2020 is Wine Enthusiast rated- 92 Points.
2022 Hendry Ranch Albariño, Napa Valley, $26
2020 vintage: 92 Points, James Suckling
2022 Hendry Ranch Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley, $48 – My personal favorite
2019 Hendry Ranch Block 7 & 22 Zinfandel, Napa Valley, $37
Robert Parker, 90 Points
2018 Hendry Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $64
Wine Enthusiast, 95 Points.
2018 Hendry Ranch RED (Bordeaux-Style), Napa Valley, $48
Robert Parker, 90 Points
48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 13% Petit Verdot, 13% Malbec, 13% Merlot
Wine Wanderings Editorial Calendar
Understanding Right Bank Bordeaux: Pomerol and St. Emilion
La Cité du Vin International Wine Museum Offering a Sensory Experience
The Fine Champagnes of Billecart-Salmon
Cliff Lede Vineyards: Remastering the Rock & Roll Winery of Napa Valley
What is a Cooperage?
Grower Champagnes – Why are They the Darlings of Champagne?
The Loire Valley: Touring Chateau Chenonceau
Two Surprising Wineries of the Loire Valley: Montdomaine and Ambacia, Ancient Sites with Modern, Organic Approaches
Thanksgiving Wines, Pairing and Recipes
The Many Facets of Rombauer Vineyards: An Interview with Richie Allen, Winemaker
The Martini – What’s New, What’s Old: Modern vs. Classic
Celia Welch: A Napa Valley Winemaker Star
Chappellet Winery: Pioneer of Pritchard Hill, Napa Valley