Kathryn and Craig Hall began their Napa Valley Hall Wines to produce the very best Cabernet Sauvignon from the Valley possible. But, Pinot Noir held a special place in Kathryn’s heart, harkening back to her days growing up on her parent’s vineyards in Mendocino. Though Kathryn Hall has had a widely successful career in the world of law, politics, and philanthropy, including being the Ambassador to Austria under President’s Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and working to combat hunger and homelessness, including co-founding the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas, her roots have always been in the vineyard and the inspiration for producing wine has always been from her parents.
She and husband, Dallas based developer Craig Hall, started Hall Wines almost 20 years ago, adding WALT Wines, to honor her parents giving the winery her maiden name, focusing specifically on Pinot Noir a handful of years ago.
Showcasing 1000 miles of Pinot Noir, producing premium wine from grapes grown from estate owned and long-term contracted fruit from Willamette Valley, OR south to Santa Barbara, CA, the winey is able to highlight the nuances that terroir can bring to a variety.
Over a recent “Root 101” tasting covering #1000milesofpinot at the new Walt Wines tasting room in Napa Valley, next to Oxbow Market, with bites paired by celebrated Napa Restaurant, La Touque, the WALT Sierra Mar Pinot Noir ($75) stood out as a delicious favorite. From cool, coastal, Pacific-influenced Santa Lucia Highland in California’s Central Coast, the wine opened with layers of blueberry, blackberry, violets, and warm spice, followed by toasted vanilla, cedar, and black cherry. A complex wine, with a fuller body than some of the winery’s Pinot Noir options, making it an ideal pairing wine with a lovely balance of tannin and acidity, ensuring the round palate is fresh and balanced.