Things to Do and Places to See: Hendry Vineyard and Winery

Hendry Vineyard and Winery is a small family-owned winery located in the heart of California’s wine country.  It has been around for about 70 years and controls the wine making process, from the grapes all the way to the bottle, which is no small feat for a small family-owned winery. 

Our tour guide was George Hendry, a charming old agriculturalist who has lived there his entire life.  Throughout the 2-1/2 hour tour he went into extreme detail about not only the wine making process, but also about the family history and how it correlated with the winery.  The tour, although long, was extremely educational.  George took a significant amount of time showing the tour group all areas of the winery – from where the grapes are picked, to the large fermenters, to even their cellar where they store their barrel fermented wines.

Included in the tour was a side by side tasting of 11 different wines.  Depending on the tasters’ palate and the type of wines they like, Hendry Vineyard and Winery offers a solution for all.  Their 2011 Pinot Gris and 2010 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay were some of my personal favorites.  Both were on the lighter side, with a taste of fresh green apples and citrus notes in the finish and the 2010 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay also had an added taste of oak in the finish.  As for the reds, their 2009 Pinot Noir was good, but a little on the light side without much of a body.  Their 2010 Block 28 Zinfandel was my personal favorite.  It had a deep complex flavor of strawberries, blackberries, and plums, with a nice medium body and a spicy finish.  It also had a decent amount of tannins in the back end of the finish.

Complete list of wines included in the tasting:
•2012 Albariño
•2011 Pinot Gris
•2010 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
•2012 Unoaked Chardonnay
•2009 Pinot Noir
•2009 Primitivo
•2008 Red Wine
•2010 Block 7 & 22 Zinfandel
•2010 Block 28 Zinfandel
•2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
•2009 HRW Cabernet Sauvignon

Although the tour is by appointment-only and is $40.00 per person (which is slightly on the expensive side considering the size of the winery) they will waive the fee if you purchase at least $40.00 in wines.  The price may seem slightly steep for some, but I would definitely recommend this tour for the occasional wine drinker who wants to learn more about the process.  For those who already understand the basic concept of how wine is made, this tour may not be for you.  

-Evan