PreferWine: Hanzell Vineyards

We're featuring one of my favorite Sonoma wineries again (and one I get to have lunch with at the Sonoma Valley Wine Auction on Sunday!), Hanzell Vineyards.

Now, we've already had one deal with them, but this one is for single bottles, and we got a deep discount of 40% off their phenomenal 2006 Pinot Noir. We've only got 50 bottles of it, though, so once it's gone, it's gone. You can click the link to buy it now, and read below for my write-up of it.


Hanzell Vineyards
18596 Lomita Avenue
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 996-3860

Sipping a wine from Hanzell is like tasting the history of Sonoma Valley winemaking itself. Back in the 1950’s, James David Zellerbach was kind of like the mad scientist of Sonoma, believing that he could use modern scientific techniques and equipment to control the winemaking process and produce world-class wines at Hanzell. Turns out his experiments paid off. Mwa ha ha ha! No, Zellerbach didn’t take over the world, but thanks to his foresight, the winery was the first in Sonoma to produce high-quality wines after the dark days of Prohibition, and ever since its first vintage in 1957, Hanzell has been producing some of the finest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in California from vineyards on the vertiginous slopes of the Mayacamas Mountain Range.

The 2006 Pinot Noir has all the qualities of an illicit romp after a summertime picnic: sweet and tart fruit notes of strawberry and blackberry, exotic spices of clove and cardamom, with just a hint of humid hay and green leaves to make it exhilaratingly wild yet familiarly approachable. We’d drink it with roasted rosemary lamb chops and a side of mint couscous.

A bottle of their 2006 Pinot Noir usually goes for about $90, but we scored it for you at a 40% discount of just $54. So start buying, because we’ve only got 48 bottles to sell, and once we’re out, we’re out!


  • Hanzell’s original owner, James David Zellerbach, was President Truman’s post-World War II ambassador to Italy, and that’s where he developed his love for wine and winemaking.

  • The winery’s name is actually a mash-up of Hana Zellerbach’s (James’s wife) first and last names.

  • Some of the vineyard slopes at Hanzell are so steep that the winery employs a cadre of Nepalese vineyard hands who are accustomed to working at gravity-defying angles, and lead treks to the summit of the vineyards.

  • The winery only produces 5,000 cases of wine from its 46 acres annually, and of that, only a quarter is Pinot Noir.