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   October 30, 2012
 Hearst Ranch Winery - A Legacy of Quality!
Every so often you hear a name that you connect the dots and begin to formulate an opinion. It can be a single name, a family name, a team or a place, either physical or in time. Names like the Yankees, Shania, Paris, the Renaissance or the Reagans. We make connections, right or wrong, based on our mental database of the associations we have come to know.

One such name deserves a greater understanding. The name is Hearst. Off the top of my head I think of the late William Randolph Hearst or the famous Hearst Castle. Those in the know are also familiar with the multimedia publication engine of Hearst Corporation. Regardless of your connection, this story is sure to show that the legacy continues. Steve Hearst and Jim Saunders began their business and personal relationship when Jim purchased a Hearst Ranch tour at a Hearst Cancer Resource Center fundraiser. As the saying goes, "a meeting of the minds" developed into this benevolent project - Hearst Ranch Winery.

Independently, Steve Hearst and Jim Saunders are accomplished businessmen that have the talent, imagination and integrity to create great things. Collectively, their shared vision on sustainable agriculture, resource protection and historical preservation brought Hearst Ranch Winery to fruition. These men have fostered a friendship and an enduring devotion to their community. The hand-crafted offerings of Hearst Ranch Winery have been brought to life by the collaboration of sound agricultural practices, impeccable winemaking and the philanthropic involvement of Steve Hearst and Jim Saunders. The fruit from California's Central Coast vineyards is among the finest in the world. Blend in the talent of their winemaker and you get Hearst Ranch Wines, exhibiting the excellence that is a testimony to the 'Legacy of Quality™'" - synonymous with the Hearst tradition.

The vineyard and winery are located on a 90-acre ranch in Paso Robles. Saunders Vineyard, owned by Jim and Debi Saunders, was planted in 1993. The vineyard is presently composed of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Tempranillo. The vines are trained to a vertical shoot positioning trellis to optimize vine vigor, capacity and interior canopy micro-climate.
Although Hearst Ranch Winery is new to the retail market, the grapes produced from their estate vineyard have been enjoyed in vintages from the Central Coast for nearly 20 years. The heritage of ranching in the region can be traced back to the early 1700's for both Steve Hearst and Jim Saunders. Each vintage is carefully crafted with their shared vision to ensure that each glass of wine poured continues the "Legacy of Quality" they strongly embrace. History can be discovered in each bottle, as the wines are named after historical locations or persons from the Hearst family's iconic ranch better known as Hearst Castle.
2009 Hearst Ranch Winery - "The Pergola" Petite Sirah
2010 Hearst Ranch Winery - "Babicora" Malbec
2010 Hearst Ranch Winery - "Chileano" Tempranillo
2009 Cass Winery - Flying Nymph
2011 Hearst Ranch Winery - "Glacier Ridge" Chardonnay
2010 Cass Winery - Rockin' One Blanc
2009 Croze Napa Valley - Cabernet Sauvignon
2009 Hearst Ranch Winery - "Pico Creek" Merlot
2008 Hearst Ranch Winery - "The Point" Cabernet Blend
2009 Hearst Ranch Winery - "Bunkhouse" Cabernet Sauvignon
At WineMatch, we ran their wine through our sensory panel with great pleasure and anticipation. We were quite pleased and we're never shy in sharing our favorite wines. The 2011 "Glacier Ridge" Chardonnay was incredible. The fruit was forward, acid perfect, it was crisp and the right amount of oak - not too much! Another delightful wine was their 2010 Three Sisters White Cuvee made up of Roussane, Marsanne and Viogner with the fruit shining through in this blend. Moving on to the reds, their 2010 "Babicora" Malbec is among the finest we've experienced here - ever! Good Malbec is easy to find, but great ones are few and far between. Lastly, we were taken back by the extremely wonderful aromatics by nose and by mouth of the 2008 "The Point" Cabernet Blend. It literally begs you to finish the bottle. Make sure to check out the deal on a mix-and-match sampler and receive 10% off the wine!

Ask me how I know!

2010 Hearst Ranch Winery
"Babicora" Malbec
Aromatically, "Babicora" is layered with rich black fruits laden with tropical notes such as passion fruit and lychee nut. "Babicora" is stylistically simi...
2011 Hearst Ranch Winery
"Glacier Ridge" Chardonnay
Aromatically, our 2011 "Glacier Ridge" Chardonnay is driven by bright citrus and peach with underlying hints of mango and vanilla. The entrance of the flavo...

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