Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Honig Vineyard and Winery

Honig Vineyard and Winery is a smaller, family owned winery that is well worth visiting.  In 1964 Louis Honig purchased a 68 acre ranch in Rutherford and planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.  He sold his grapes to other wineries, although after his death his family produced several hundred cases of their own Sauvignon Blanc as a tribute to Louis. In 1984 his grandson, Michael Honig, took over the winery and began producing Sauvignon Blanc. By 1987 they produced their first Cabernet Sauvignon.  Honig Vineyard and Winery continues to produce only two varietals and are a certified California sustainable winegrower.  Tastings are by appointment and are very reasonable priced $10 which is credited toward each $25 purchase. It is a great place to visit, especially on a nice day when you can sit outside on the patio.

Tasting on the patio

We visited on a lovely September day and were offered the option of tasting indoors at a tasting table our outdoors on the patio that was surrounded by trees and vineyards.  We chose the patio, of course, and, as you can see by the photos, it was a very lovely setting.  Our host was very friendly, adding to the overall experience which was very relaxing and pleasant.


Our first tasting was the Cabernet Sauvignon rose.  I usually pass on tasting roses but this was a lovely, sunny rose sort of day and Honig makes such good wines I tried it.  It was very dry, light but with good acid.  It is well done for this sort of wine.  The next wine was their Honig 2011 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc ($27).  This is from 100% estate grapes and only 800 cases were produced. It has 30% MLF and 30% of it sees six months in new French oak.  After a very pleasant grapefruit aroma, the wine has mostly lemon and grapefruit on the palate with some herbaceousness.  It is a drier, crisp SB that is somewhat restrained in its fruit, emphasizing instead some minerality and oak. You will not confuse this for a New Zealand SB.  It's quite nice and has a fairly long , crisp finish. The Honig 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) was next. They produce about 8,000 cases a year of this.  It is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petite Verdot and sees 17 months in American oak.  I got some red cherry and raspberry on the nose with bright red cherry on the palate.  It had decent acid with good integrated tannins and a medium finish.  This Cab is very drinkable now.  It is noted on the Tasting Menu that this Cab received 90 points from the Wine Enthusiast and 92 points from the Wine Spectator.  Our favorite, though, was the impressive Honig 2007 Campbell Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($75) that received 94 points from the Wine Enthusiast.  Only about 450 cases of this are produced each year.  It had a substantial black cherry nose with lush black cherry, blackberry and spices on the palate, with good tannins and a long finish.  This is an excellent Cab and well worth the $75.  It is a bigger Cab than their other one but quite drinkable now.  Campbell Vineyard is located on the west side of the Rutherford Bench.  The final tasting was the Honig 2010 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc ($60).  This was a rich dessert wine that had enough acid to balance the sweetness.  I got mostly peach and honey on the palate with evident botrytis.  I'd recommend tasting this even if you are not especially fond of dessert wines.  At least you will know what a good one tastes like.


We enjoyed all of the wines we tasted at Honig but especially the Honig 2007 Campbell Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Our visit to Honig was a very pleasant one, and we enthusiastically recommend visiting them.  If you do visit, try to go on a day when you can sit outdoors on the patio. 


850 Rutherford Rd.
Rutherford, CA 94573
Date of Visit: September 19, 2012

Indoor tasting table

Entry to tasting room

Tasting room

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