Hanzell Vineyards: winery information
Winemaker: Michael Terrien
“In moving through this tradition and renaissance at Hanzell Vineyards, Bob and I were ever watchful for someone who would share in winemaking, passion, commitment, and the independence of a pioneering spirit altogether not unlike Brad Webb and Bob himself. And then, we happened upon Michael Terrien . . .”
~ Jean Arnold-Sessions, January 2005
Born and raised in the State of Maine, Michael Terrien left the East Coast after receiving his BA in Philosophy from Columbia University. Arriving in San Francisco in the earlier 90s, he enrolled in the Master’s program in Enology at UC Davis. The degree led him to the winemaking role at Acacia Vineyard for eight years, followed directly by his appointment at Hanzell Vineyards as winemaker in January 2005.
Michael Terrien was captivated by the promise of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay over a decade ago. In that pursuit, it is only natural that he be drawn to the decades-long tradition of site-driven wines established at Hanzell Vineyards.
“Hanzell Vineyards’ half-century legacy persists in steady contrast to the turbulence of the swiftly moving wine industry currents. Wine fashions come and go. Hanzell’s integrity endures,” Terrien observes.
The decisions made early by Brad Webb, supported by Ambassador Zellerbach, and carried forward by Bob Sessions, were to form the true hallmark of Hanzell Vineyards’ wines: ageability. To this goal, these committed individuals believe in meticulous farming, and practice restraint with regard to the use of new barrels and malolactic fermentation to form Hanzell’s cellar worthy wines.
“California winemaking creates gorgeous young wines, but rarely do these wines cellar well,” observes Terrien. “Hanzell is an exception. These wines don’t just last—they gently reveal the nature of our place and then blossom in the bottle after many years in the cellar. Being charged with the protection of Hanzell’s winemaking ethos is a unique winemaking responsibility in the New World.”
Annual Production: 6,000 cases
- 42 total acres planted; 27.5 Chardonnay and 14.5 Pinot Noir
- Average age – 25 years for Chardonnay and 36 years for Pinot Noir
- Average yield – 2.25 tons per acre for Chardonnay and 1.75 tons per acre for Pinot Noir
- Clones – Wente Clone of Chardonnay planted in 1953, selected and propagated over the years to produce the Hanzell Clone; Domaine de la Romanee Conti clone of Pinot Noir (from Martin Ray’s Vineyard) planted in 1953, selected and propagated to create the Hanzell Clone; select Pinot Noir clones planted in Sessions Vineyard (1999) for experimentation.
- Rootstock – rupestris St. George
Grape Varieties Planted