Anderson Valley, Potter Valley, Laytonville

Chosen for their combination of maritime influences, elevation and nighttime cool temperatures, these three vineyard sites confirm the old adage that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Anderson Valley provides elegant forward fruit and refined aromatics while Potter Valley and Laytonville fruit give the blend a slightly masculine edge and length. The result? A true Mendocino County Pinot Noir. Whenever possible we work with vineyards that are certified organic, biodynamic or at the very least use sustainable farming and management practices. Mendocino is universally recognized as the Mecca of organic grape growing in California and where residents voted in 2004 to become a GMO-free county.


Vertical Trellising


3.5 tons per acre


Average vine age 9 years


Unusually cool growing season which required a fruit drop in late July to encourage ripening. Vineyard management did not leaf too heavily in 2010, allowing for just enough filtered light to reach the fruit. (There were heat spikes in September that shriveled many vineyards which were too heavily leafed.) Alcohol: 13.0% — refreshingly balanced in today's world of high-alcohol wines.


About 95% stem removal then a 72 hour cold soak. The wine was punched-down three times daily and fermented to dryness in open-top tanks over 13 days. It was lightly pressed to about 1.2 atmosphere pressure with a temporary heat spike to 85ºF to minimize tannin extraction, then ML was completed in French oak barrels. The wine was aged in two and three-year-old French oak barrels for about six months.


Brilliant medium garnet color. This wine shows bright, assertive aromas of plum and black cherry with solid Pinot Noir character. Notes of violets, anise, and allspice are as harmonious in the wine's flavor profile as its light overlay of fine French oak.


An unconventional childhood – living in mining towns on four continents – fostered Laely’s love of travel, adventure and a desire to explore and to experience the cultures, foods and wines of the world.  Wanderlust and curiosity have led her on many paths including studying winemaking in Bordeaux, opening a restaurant and importing wine in Denmark, and pursuing Master of Wine studies. 

With this love of wine and an entrepreneurial spirit, she started Heron Wines in 1994 with little more than a credit card, a "business plan" sketched out on a napkin, and an idea to make great and affordable wine.  When she started Heron Wines, it was unusual for an American woman to be making her own wine in France. Now Heron Wines is making wine in three countries. From the beginning, the goal has been simple: for each wine, find the best vineyards and the best regions wherever in the world they may be. 

Even today, Laely continues her global exploration to make the most distinctive and delicious wines from the best places on earth.