The Lawrence Family and Carlton McCoy Jr. introduce a state-of-the art hospitality center that will create memorable, elevated tasting experience for guests
January 31st — On February 18, Heitz Cellar is unveiling its new Tasting Salon and Hospitality Center. Located at 436 St. Helena Hwy in St. Helena, the space features a grand tasting room, a private tasting room, the Quartz Creek garden, veranda, and chef larder designed by renowned architect Peter Fleming. Founded in 1961 by Joe Heitz, Heitz Cellar helped shape the story of California winemaking. For this venture, The Lawrence Family and Carlton McCoy Jr. seek to honor Heitz’s storied history while continuing to innovate in the hospitality space.
Led by Estate Director Erik Elliot and Advanced Sommelier, previously of The Little Nell, and Director of Membership & Guest Experiences Chloe Tyer, world-class service is at the forefront of Heitz Cellar’s tasting experience. Design elements merge the historical charm of St. Helena 19th century and luxury, seamlessly blending vintage and modern touches. All of the details for the Tasting Salon have been meticulously assembled: a flight of handblown Zalto glasses, freshly pressed white linens, custom silver pieces, California nature art adorning the walls, and white oak custom tables in a nod to the cellar’s wine barrels.
For Elliott, it was crucial for the Tasting Salon to be authentic, elegant, and refined. “We want guests to feel as comfortable as they would be in their own home and offer an experience that gets to the roots of a guest’s desire to visit the Napa Valley: real wine, luxury, and authentic hospitality,” says Elliott. “Peter Fleming created an elegant design aesthetic for the Salon, blending quintessential California elements. This refinement was important as we are seeking to showcase a sixty-year legacy of crafting wines.”
The calming and intimate nature of the Quartz Creek Garden makes it a special setting for guests. Prior to being seated, they can sit by the fountain and sip a glass of wine as jazz music plays. Elliott notes that a spot for guests to slow down and have this relaxing experience prior to a formal tasting is an experience that he has not seen in Napa. All of the custom outdoor furniture has been made from sunken Cypress which is material salvaged from the bottom of lakes and rivers in South Carolina.
McCoy’s thoughtful vision for the Tasting Salon and Hospitality Center ranges from the sequencing of the spaces to the pace at which each experience is enjoyed, placing an emphasis on hospitality in every aspect. “Tasting rooms in Napa often tend to be transactional, a quick experience focused almost exclusively on conversion to sales,” says McCoy. “When we had our first discussions with Peter Fleming, it was a priority for us that Heitz reset the bar for winery hospitality to focus on guest experiences through the lens of a three-star Michelin restaurant. We approached the design and experience with same level of detail as the world’s great restaurants to bring true hospitality to the Napa Valley. The team that I hired was also incredibly intentional. They have between them 25 years of fine dining experience and I feel confident that they will create an unparalleled guest experience.”
Heitz Cellar is debuting a new tasting offering with both hospitality and the winery’s legacy in mind, The Timeless Experience. Located at the site of the original property that Joe and Alice Heitz purchased in 1961, The Timeless Experience will offer guests an unforgettable combination of history, luxury, and hospitality. They will taste and learn about Heitz Cellar’s iconic Single-Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon’s from the Napa Valley’s premier appellations and their remarkable ability to be paired with fine cheese and charcuterie. Heitz Cellar’s Wine Curators will guide you on a journey through the unique terroir and vinification methods that have enabled the wines to become revered and respected all over the world.
The Tasting Room is open from 10:00am to 4:00pm each day. Reservations are required for visits; guests can make reservations by going to https://www.heitzcellar.com/reservation/. Guests will also be able to book the entire space for a private event starting in July 2022.
About Heitz Cellar
Founded in 1961, Heitz Cellar is a true Napa Valley legend that has helped shape the history of Napa Valley winemaking. Pioneering vintner Joe Heitz ushered in Napa’s modern era with his iconic, globally-celebrated wines—including Napa Valley’s first vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignon, the renowned Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard. In 2018, the winery entered an exciting new chapter as the Heitz family passed this rich legacy into the hands of the Lawrence family, whose deep roots in agriculture and commitment to the same core values of fine winemaking made it a perfect match. With proprietors Gaylon M. Lawrence, Jr. and Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy, Jr. at the helm, the winery will continue to offer wines in the quintessential Heitz style. Made with an unwavering commitment to quality from organic and biodynamically farmed, 100% Napa Valley fruit, Heitz wines represent the Lawrences’ agrarian roots and commitment to the stewardship of Napa Valley. For more information on Heitz Cellar, please visit www.heitzcellar.com