One of the things I wanted to accomplish during my March Napa trip was to visit some of the wineries that donated wine to my grandson Adler’s cancer benefit last August. Hyde de Villaine (HdV) was one those wineries.
After a series of emails beginning in January, with James Eyer, General Manager, and Eddie Townsend, Winery Ambassador, I was able to establish a date and time for my visit to the HdV winery.
The winery is located minutes from downtown Napa and straight east of the Hilton Garden Inn (where I hang my hat during Napa visits) down Trancas Street. If you are in Napa it is really easy to get to the winery. If you plan on visiting the HdV to do a tasting, you’ll need to call ahead for an appointment and there is a fee (as there is at most wineries these days). The fee is modest and you will have a great time.
One thing I want to point out is that in the Napa area, wine tastings generally start around 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. If you are going to do a number of tastings in a day’s time, remember to pace yourself. Use the spit bucket and drink lots of water, otherwise your day might end early.
HdV Wines was founded in 2000 with the winery being built in 2003. HdV is a partnership between two longstanding wine families: the Hyde family of Napa Valley and the de Villaines of Burgundy, France. For more detailed information on the history of the winery and its winemaking operation, please go to HdV Wine’s website by clicking here. The website will explain it better than I will.
You might also consider joining their mailing list while you are on the site. They produce some great wines. If you are a fan of Chardonnay you will like the ones produced by HdV. It is their signature wine.
I arrived at the winery around 10:00 a.m. for my tasting. I met Eddie (Lawrence F. Townsend III) Townsend and Associate Winemaker Guillaume Boudet. The wines for our tasting were presented on top of two wine barrels located in the winery’s barrel room…a great setting for tasting wine and adds to the excitement of being at the winery.
The original tasting consisted of the following four wines:
- 2015 De La Guerra Pinot Noir Rosé, Hyde Vineyards
- 2013 De La Guerra Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyards
- 2012 HdV Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyards
- 2011 HdV Belle Cousine Red Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Blend, Hyde Vineyards
As the tasting continued and our conversation on wines expanded and became more free flowing, Eddie and Guillaume spoke of the flavor profiles and characteristics of past vintages. As generally happens in these situations, they brought additional bottles to taste and compare to the first wines we tasted. By the time we got done we had tasted six more wines and spent a good deal of time comparing the vintages. It was great fun to listen to Guillaume talk about making the wines. These are the six other wines we tasted:
- 2009, 2011 & 2012 HdV Californio Syrah, Hyde Vineyards
- 2012 HdV Ysabel Pinot Noir, Sonoma Mountain
- 2013 HdV Chardonnay-Carneros, Hyde Vineyards
- 2014 De La Guerra Viognier
All of HdV’s wines are made by Old World methods and standards, and all of the wines are single vineyard wines. HdV makes about 3,800 to 5,000 cases per year, depending on the yield.
As I mentioned, HdV is known for its Chardonnays. They are Burgundian-style (handcrafted wines) that are not oaky and have a nice balance of acidity and minerality…very much like Old World-style Chardonnays. They present a sense of elegance…the type of Chardonnays I like and strive to make in our Glenwood Cellars Chardonnay.
Of the wines I tasted, three of them stood out above the rest. They were:
- 2014 De La Guerra Viognier
- 2012 HdV Chardonnay
- 2011 HdV Belle Cousine Red Wine
I really enjoyed these thee wines and even purchased some for my own wine cellar. I also signed up for their mailing list as well. My time spent at HdV was terrific. Meeting and chatting with Eddie and Guillaume about the wines they produce and the wine industry in general made for a great morning and visit. As I was leaving the winery head winemaker Stéphane Vivier was coming back. It was great fun to meet him and chat a bit. Stéphane joined the HdV team in 2002.
If you are in Napa, I recommend you visit HdV for a tasting. Here is the contact information for the winery:
588 Trancas Street
Napa, California 94558
You can email Eddie at firstname.lastname@example.org for a tasting appointment or for information on their wines. I highly recommend that you consider joining their mailing list.
If you have a chance to taste HdV Wines, don’t miss the opportunity. If you do, let me know what you think.
As always I appreciate your support of our wine blog and encourage you to share it with family and friends. If you care to share your comments on this blog posting or other topics please do so in the comments section below.
Until next week,
Please join us for these upcoming Tiedemann On Wines Wine Club dinners:
May 19, Dark Star Cellars Wine Dinner at McCarthy’s on the Riverwalk in Elkhart, 6:30 p.m. Click here to see the wine and food pairings for the evening.
October 13, Old World Versus New World Wines, Dinner at McCarthy’s on the Riverwalk in Elkhart, 6:30 p.m.
November 10, Spanish Wine Dinner at McCarthy’s on the Riverwalk in Elkhart, 6:30 p.m.