founders, Joe and Alice Heitz, established Heitz Wine Cellars in 1961. They were
originally from Illinois and South Dakota respectively, but met in California
in the mid 1940s.
Joe later attended the University of California at Davis and earned bachelors
and masters degrees in enology, while Alice worked in Sacramento. After graduation
he worked for and gained valuable experience at several California Wineries including
Beaulieu Vineyards where he spent seven years as understudy to Andre Tchelistcheff.
The desire to own their own winery came true in1961 with the purchase of their
first eight-acre vineyard and winery. Working as a team they set out to build
their own enterprise, never losing sight of the quality they wished to obtain.
That dedication and plain hard work will leave a legacy for future generations
to admire and strive to continue.
The second generation grew up in the vineyards and cellars of the family firm,
and today manages the business.
David, the eldest and now the winemaker, expanded on his practical training with
an enology degree from Fresno State University. He made the 1974 commemorative
bottling of Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon as his first solo effort.
Kathleen, four years David's junior, directs national and international sales
and marketing. Her biology degree obtained from studies in Switzerland and at
the University of Oregon has enabled her to blend the technical side of the industry
fittingly with commerce.
Rollie the youngest, oversees the company finances and properties, having received
a business degree from Santa Clara University. He is currently developing Heitz
Cellars recent acquisition of potential Vineyard land on Ink Grade Road in the
There is a third generation in the wings consisting of four grandchildren. There
are hopes that some or all of them will carry on the Heitz Family tradition of
fine wine making in the future, a tradition and life style that has brought the
first two generations much satisfaction and happiness.
Business address: 500 Taplin Rd. / St. Helena CA, 94574 / 707-963-3542
Tasting & Sales: 436 St. Helena Highway South / St. Helena, CA 94574