“Imagine if Burgundy and Bordeaux were side by side,
with elements of the Rhone, and Priorat. That’s Sonoma!”
– Christine Hanna, President
HANNA Winery thrives on Sonoma’s world-class diversity of climate, topography and geology. For a small, quality-focused family winery, it boasts a stunning collection of long-held vineyards – from the cool Russian River Valley to the sunny Alexander Valley to the rugged Moon Mountain appellation high in the Mayacamas.
HANNA Winery was founded in 1985 by Dr. Elias Hanna, who was eager to find a place in the country to continue the farming heritage of his upbringing. Now in its fourth decade, Hanna is as loyal to its supporters as it is to the terroir – as intent as ever on exploring and capturing the heart of Sonoma to share it with wine enthusiasts across the US.
There is an ineffable quality that runs through the diverse HANNA Winery portfolio, a mystery thread that winds from the Russian River Valley inland to the Alexander Valley and then south high up the western flank of Mount Veeder. You could call it daring, as these wines dare to be themselves – or, allowing for the winemaker’s hand, are given the opportunity to be what they are meant to be.
It isn’t just the locations that make HANNA’s vineyards special, although that certainly is a big part of the equation. But just as important is the knowledge and insight the HANNA family has gained through decades of farming these parcels, season by season. It all started with 12 acres in the Russian River Valley, purchased in 1985, and the family’s holdings now total 600 acres, 230 planted to vines.
Red Ranch Vineyard has 88 acres planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec & Petit Verdot. The red loam soils and warm climate in this area are ideal for red Bordeaux varieties.
Russian River Valley
Home Ranch Vineyards is the flagship vineyard with 25 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as the winery production facility. Slusser Road Vineyard is in the heart of the Russian River Valley, with 50 acres of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
Bismark Mountain Vineyard is high in the Sonoma Mayacamas Mountains in the new Moon Mountain AVA. The high elevations and rocky volcanic soil bring out the character of the fruit in 67 planted acres, which are devoted to the Bordeaux varieties and Zinfandel.
Christine Hanna grew up at the Home Ranch, making tiny batches of wine with her father, the winery founder. After college she returned to the winery full-time in 1991, becoming president in 1993. At the heart of the vision she would quickly pursue was to take advantage of the family’s extraordinary properties. That meant not only moving away from purchased fruit and investing in their own vineyards, but seeing the opportunity for greatness offered by the winery’s Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Christine embraces a lively, rich Sauvignon that has helped change the perception of that grape in California and beyond. Christine Hanna has established herself as a savvy, steadfast and hands-on leader – for HANNA Winery and for the Sonoma County wine industry. Her long tenure as president has been characterized by careful expansion in production, and unbridled growth in quality and reputation.
In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in creative writing, Christine Hanna furthered her expertise with extensive post-graduate work at UC Davis in Enology and Viticulture and has spoke widely on the importance of buying/growing local in our lives. She is also the author of “The Winemaker Cooks”.
Jeff Hinchliffe passionately produces a wide range of grape varietals that are exemplary and distinctive, creating a HANNA wine portfolio that is richly complex. Each year, Jeff works both zealously and meticulously through the vine to bottle process, growing, blending, crafting, and bottling high-quality, award-winning wines that live up to the HANNA name. Jeff initially began his undergraduate education not focused on wine, but rather studying brewing science and the University of California, Davis. After a few winemaking courses and a job as a laboratory assistant in the world renowned Davis Enology Department, Jeff knew that his life’s vocation has to be winemaking. “The creativity and inevitability of winemaking won me over,” says Jeff.
Jeff began working at HANNA in 1998, and his ardor for pursuing creativity in wine is the perfect fit for HANNA, where Jeff is called upon to work with a range of grape varieties and terroirs. For Jeff, every harvest is really at least three harvests, as he oversees vineyards and winemaking from the Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and the Mayacamas Mountains. His ability to understand the intricacies of all those regions has been instrumental in developing the depth of quality that marks the HANNA portfolio.