Heitz owner snaps up Napa’s Haynes Vineyard

Gaylon Lawrence Jr., owner of Napa icon Heitz Cellar, has acquired the historic Haynes Vineyard in Coombsville from founder Pat Haynes for an undisclosed sum.

Gaylon Lawrence Jr. has added to his wine portfolio with the purchase of Napa’s Haynes Vineyard

The agriculture magnate plans to launch a new as yet unnamed winery for the production of small parcel Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah from the 13-hectare vineyard.

One of the wines made from Haynes Vineyard grapes

The first vintage of the project will be 2020, with the new winemaker due to be announced imminently. Lawrence is also looking to convert the estate to biodynamic viticulture.

“We are honoured to have the opportunity to preserve the history and legacy of such a great vineyard. We are thrilled to bring on a new team to craft wines for this new estate,”  Lawrence said of the deal.

Heitz’s CEO, Carlton McCoy, added: “To be able to walk the same rows advised on by Louis Martini and from which wines were produced under the tutelage of Andre Tchelistcheff comes with an enormous obligation.

“It is our intention to preserve the soul of the place which lives within the old vines.

“As a sommelier, I have been fortunate to enjoy the Haynes Vineyard wines for years, crafted by winemakers that I admire most in California.

“While we look forward to continuing our relationship with these wineries, we will be developing our own independent estate, creating a unique and elegant expression of the ancient vines at the Haynes Vineyard.”

Pat and Duncan Haynes founded Haynes Vineyard in the Coombsville sub-appellation of Napa in 1967.

Most of the Chardonnay and Pinot vines planted on the site’s rocky volcanic soils that year on the advice of Louis Martini are still alive and kicking.

Revered winemaker André Tchelistcheff made the estate’s Pinot Noirs in the early 1990s. Memphis-based Lawrence snapped up Heitz Cellar last year.

His family’s business, the Lawrence Group, owns one of the largest citrus grove companies in Florida.

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