The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2013

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Page 68 of 162

INTRO-VINOUS History Captured in a Bottle HANZELL'S SESSIONS VINEYARD PINOT NOIR IS THE CULMINATION OF A DREAM by Christopher Sawyer PHOTO COURTESY OF HANZELL PHOTO COURTESY OF HANZELL A sweeping view of Sonoma Valley from the high-elevation Sessions Vineyard. I f a glass of wine could tell a story, each sip of the Hanzell Vineyards 2010 Sessions Vineyard Pinot Noir would be like listening to a romantic novel read aloud by the smooth, sultry voice of Ella Fitzgerald. It's a story that begins in 1953, when Burgundy fan and U.S. Ambassador James Zellerbach made his dream come true by planting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines on a hillside overlooking historic Sonoma Valley. As the years passed and the vineyard matured, wines made with the fruit rivaled the finest in Burgundy. After Zellerbach passed away in 1961, the vines were cared for by his wife Hannah and the Day family until the property was eventually purchased by the De Brye family in the mid-1970s. Enter: Sessions. When Bob Sessions was hired to take over the winemaking duties at Hanzell Vineyards in 1973, the vines were just hitting their stride. With the help of newly hired vineyard manager José Ramos, Sessions developed 68  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2013 TP0913_063-103.indd 68 8/22/13 9:23 PM

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