Porthos | The Wine Insiders
Hestan Vineyards
hestan_logo_rev.gif Hestan Vineyards is a picturesque, 127-acre ranch located on Napa Valley’s eastern slopes at the base of Okell Hill. The vineyard is named for owners Stanley and Helen Cheng, whose passion for fine wines and love for Napa Valley's beauty and charm led them to purchase the property in 1996. They immediately prepared to plant grapes; adding blocks over the years to take advantage of the site’s myriad of exposures and well drained soils. Today 41 acres of individually farmed blocks planted to all five of Bordeaux’s principle red varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec – blanket the rolling hills that overlook the property’s 11 acre irrigation pond.

In 2005, after years spent building the vineyard’s reputation by selling grapes to well known Napa Valley wineries, Stanley and Helen released their first wines from the property. The wines - the 2002 Hestan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and a second label, the 2002 Meyer Cabernet Sauvignon - made by consulting winemaker Mark Herold were a critical success; further establishing the provenance of Hestan Vineyards.

However, Stanley, an accomplished businessman and chairman of Meyer Corp, manufacturers of Anolon, Circulon, Farberware and KitchenAid cookware, was not one to rest on his laurels. He soon began work on his next project, a line of wines that would explore the potential of all five of the varietals grown at Hestan Vineyards. It was through a chance tasting of a Merlot made from neighboring Nepenthes Vineyard that he was introduced to consulting winemaker Jeff Gaffner. Jeff’s elegant style of winemaking and reputation with Bordeaux varietals made him a perfect choice to head up Hestan Vineyards’ newest project. The highly anticipated Stephanie Wines, consisting of the 2005 Red Bordeaux Blend, 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2005 Merlot, was released to the public in June of 2008.

“We feel very excited and privileged,” notes Stanley, “to have two winemakers of such accomplishment interpret our vineyards’ terroir in such wonderfully different and expressive styles of wine.”