Inside HALL

Blog

Go behind-the-scenes to see how winemaking is more than a job, its a lifestyle. We will feature our annual events, rare interviews, new tour and tasting experiences, wine trends, happenings in the Valley, wine country fashion, and recent wine scores - all while having a little fun along the way. Cheers!

Raise Your Standards to HALL

We set the standard for our Cabernet early on. We set out to make exceptional wine without shortcuts or excuses. This pursuit for a higher standard expanded beyond winemaking to creating exceptional wine experiences. Whether, it is building world-class tasting rooms, cultivating a unique community of members, or our commitment to sustainability and innovation, we have set a new standard. From vine to bottle, HALL is unsurpassed. Raise your standards to HALL.


Choosing the right Wine Glass

What style wine glass is right for me?
The right wine glass is going to change from occasion to occasion because it very much depends on the varietal of wine you are pouring into it.

How important is it that I choose the right wine glass?
As winemakers, we craft our wines carefully so that you can enjoy and savor the aroma as well as the taste. The right wine glass will gather the wine’s aroma in a way that brings out the unique characteristics and nuances we have worked hard to create. For us, the right wine glass is essential to your experience!

What are the most important aspects of a wine glass to consider?
When it comes to picking the right glassware, the decision is less about deciding between a stem vs. stemless wine glass, and more so about the size and shape of the bowl.

Which wine glass is best suited for red wines? 
In general, you want your red wine in a wine glass with a wide bowl. A wider bowl will expose your wine to more oxygen allowing the full bodied flavors to “open up".

The classic Bordeaux wine glass - perfectly paired with bold reds with high tannins like a cabernet sauvignon, or merlot. Look for a glass with a wide rim and medium sized bowl.  The design of this wine glass allows more oxygen to contact the wine, and ethanol (alcohol) evaportes.  Your bold red wines will taste smoother and the shape will bring out the fruit flavors. 

Burgundy or Pinot Noir Wine Glass - This style wine glass generally has a shorter stem and very wide bowl to help collect the bolder aromas of delicate red wines like pinot noir.  The wide rim also makes sure the wine hits your palate in the right way to bring out maximum sweetness.

Which wine glass is best suited for white wine?
White wine glasses are generally shorter and have a smaller bowl size. The aromas are much lighter in white wines, so you want a wine glass that allows you to get your nose much closer to the wine.

High Acid White Wines - When drinking a white wine with high acids like a sauvignon blanc, or riesling you want a wine glass with a narrow bowl to concentrate the aromas.  This slim wine glass shape also helps regulate the temperature and keep the wines chilled.

Chardonnay or Montrachet Wine Glass - Glasses designed for chardonnay or other full bodied white wines have a very large bowl similar to the burgundy style but are slightly smaller and shorter, with a much smaller stem.  These varietals are often oaked, and you want the big surface area to bring out their rich qualities. 


Decanting Wine

What Does it Mean to Decant Wine?
Decanting wine is the art of slowly pouring the wine from the bottle into a different container (usually a glass decanter), and is a way to add oxygen and enhance drinkability. Decanting is an excellent way to elevate your wine drinking experience, and showcase your wines at their absolute best.
Bottle of Red Wine being decanted (poured) into a decantor imageBottle of Red Wine being decanted (poured) into a decantor image

Why Should I Decant My Wines?
The main reasons to decant is to amplify the wine’s flavor by exposing it to air, bring wines to the correct temperature, and to separate the sediment from the liquid. Decanting is especially important for Cabernet Sauvignon! Young Cabernet Sauvignons tend to have strong tannins, and decanting can accelerate the breathing process, increase the natural aromas from the fruit and oak, and soften the harsh taste of the tannins.  HALL’s Napa Valley Cabernets age beautifully, and decanting is the best way to remove the sediment that builds up as the wine ages.

Should Every Wine Be Decanted?
Yes! Nearly every wine will benefit from being decanted, with the exception of sparkling wine.

How Do I Decant Wine Correctly?
The first step to decant successfully is to let your wine sit upright for a full day before decanting. This is key in letting the sediment settle on the bottom of the bottle.

When you are ready, pour the wine in the decanter at a slow, steady pace, making sure not to disturb the sediment. Ideally you will keep the bottle below a 45 degree angle. Pour the wine into the decanter so that it hits the sides of the glass - this is important because it will expose your wine to more oxygen! Try to leave about half an ounce of wine in the bottle with the sediment.

How Long Do I Decant My Wines For?
Decanting can take anywhere from 15 minutes up to 4 hours, depending on the wine. Full-bodied red wines with high tannin (like a Cabernet Sauvignon) generally need the most time to decant, but you can speed this process up by choosing a decanter with a wide base to increase the amount of oxygen exposure to your wine.

Expect to let your full bodied red wines decant for 1 - 2 hours, and decant light bodied wines for 30 minutes - 1 hour.

What Type of Decanter Should I use?
As mentioned above, if you want to decant a full-bodied red wine, opt for a decanter with a wide base.

If you want to decant a medium-bodied red wine (like our WALT Pinot Noir) opt for a medium sized decanter.

If you want to decant a light bodied red wine, serve in a small to medium sized decanter that’s been chilled.If you do choose to decant a white wine or a rose, we recommend using a small, chilled decanter.

visit our Wine Tips page to learn more


Happy New Year's 2018!


Vintners Craig & Kathryn Hall sat down to share a message of gratitude for all of the fire-related support received in 2017 as part of their matching campaign, and share details about visiting numerous cities all over the country in 2018.


Craig's Day in the Office


Craig came to the office to help promote his new 2014 HALL Craig’s Red Wine.

He took phone calls from members, adoring fans, and at least one special guest. He rallied the staff, taught us all a few new tricks, and kept us all entertained. His presence was enjoyed by all.


2017 Cabernet Cookoff - “Video Recap”

Video courtesy of Flynn Kelleher.

On Saturday, April 29th, over 750 wine and food enthusiasts came together on the great lawn at HALL Wines in St. Helena to raise a record $80,000 for local charities at the 8th Annual Cabernet Cookoff. 14 chefs from Bay Area restaurants teamed up with local non-profits of their choice to create the best dish to pair with our 2013 Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon. The competition was exciting, the wine was flowing, and the weather was perfect at this year’s sold out event. Full list of winners found here


The Sound of Harvest - “Our Favorite Things”


Vintner Kathryn Hall channels her inner Maria Von Trapp as she shares some of her favorite things with HALL and WALT staffers. Enjoy our version of The Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things”. We aren’t claiming to be award winning singers here, just award winning winemakers.

A Perfect Score the new book by Craig & Kathryn Hall, available September 12!


Craig Hall and Kathryn Walt Hall recount their twenty-year climb from amateur winemakers to recipients of an elusive perfect score from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.

2016 Kathryn Hall Release Party

Video courtesy of Flynn Kelleher.

700 wine lovers visited HALL St. Helena on Sept. 10th, 2016 for the annual Kathryn Hall Release Party.

7th Annual HALL Cabernet Cookoff


HALL's 7th Annual Cabernet Cookoff raised over $60,000 for local charities! Cheers to another successful Cabernet Cookoff filled with spectactular food and wine for a great cause!

Happy New Year!


Craig, Kathryn and all of us from HALL Wines wish you a very happy 2016!

The 12 Days of Christmas


The holidays are about celebrating the great people in your life and for us, that means celebrating the fabulous team at HALL & WALT. Our team collaborated to recreate “The 12 Days of Christmas” song with each department singing a different verse. It’s our way of saying Season's Greetings combining laughter and humor, with a glass of HALL or WALT wine in hand. Cheers to all of you this holiday season and hope yours is filled with similar sentiments.

Episode 4: Perfect Holiday Pairings with Kathryn Hall and Jennifer Cain


Kathryn Hall sits down at home in Rutherford with her daughter Jennifer to talk about two of their favorite family recipes. Kathryn shares a special recipe, Wild Blueberry Crumble, that her parents Bob and Dolores Walt used to make every Thanksgiving. This colorful dish is gluten free and vegan, and pairs perfectly with 2013 WALT Blue Jay Pinot Noir. On the flip side, Jennifer shares one of her favorite vegetarian dishes, a Stuffed Kabocha Squash. The recipe includes seasonal ingredients sourced from the Napa Valley Farmer’s Market that includes pecans, tomatoes, raisins and rice. Jennifer prepares this flavorful dish each year and this year pairs it with the new 2012 HALL "Coeur" Cabernet. Watch the episode to find out more about perfect holiday pairings that bring families together. Cheers!

2012 Kathryn Hall Y’All Release Party 2015

Video courtesy of Flynn Kelleher & Darren Chestnut.

Nearly 700 HALL wine lovers converged on the grounds for a western-style bash on Saturday, September 12, 2015. Guests received bandannas upon arrival, noshed on farm-to-table bites, western style by Feast Catering, took scenic hayrides through the vineyard on a luxurious horse drawn carriage with leather bench seating, kicked up their spurs to the country band Twang Ditty and, of course, enjoyed the delicious new 2012 Kathryn Hall Cabernet which award-winning Director of Winemaking Steve Leveque should be quite proud of considering the cabernet received 97+ points from Robert Parker.

Episode 3: Perfect Summer Picnic Pairings with Certified Sommelier Ryan Williams

 

Summer is here and the first thing that comes to mind is hot weather, a summer hat and California beaches. In Napa Valley, to us it means delicious summer picnic baskets filled will all this Valley has to offer. Jen Cain, daughter of Craig and Kathryn Hall, had the chance to sit down with HALL’s Associate Visitor Center Manager and Certified Sommelier Ryan Williams to chat about summer wines and picnic pairings. The duo also share the date for our annual harvest event, Kathryn Hall Release Party, set for September 12 -- So grab a few bottles of wine and head out to enjoy these beautiful summer days – and may those wines be HALL or WALT. Cheers to summer!

Ode to Joy" Flash Mob at HALL Wines - Auction Napa Valley 2015

 

HALL Wines was honored to host the 2015 Auction Napa Valley Barrel Auction this year at our winery in St. Helena. In partnership with Festival Del Sole, we were able to share a joyous surprise with our guests! An Ode to Joy Flash Mob, featuring 40 musicians and 40 vocalists delighted auction goers on Friday, June 5th.

2015 HALL Cabernet Cookoff™

Video courtesy of Darren Chestnut.

More than 680 food and wine enthusiasts headed to HALL St. Helena on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to taste, sip, and crown four champions at the 6th Annual HALL Cabernet Cookoff. Raising more than $59,319 in ticket sales and sponsor contributions, plus a generous donation from the HALL Napa Valley Community Fund to all participating charities, no one left empty handed. 15 Chef teams were tasked to create a dish to pair with 2012 HALL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and competed for a local charity of their choice.

Episode 1: Pilot

 

Hosted by the Hall's daughter, Jennifer Cain, our first episode introduces a motley cast of characters from HALL & WALT who embody all facets of winemaking excellence. Featuring a guided tour through the vineyards of Sacrashe. This episode gives you a peek into the Napa Valley lifestyle that few get to live day-to-day. 

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