Inside HALL

Blog

Go behinds-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!


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.f 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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