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Judson Hale Winery: New Face in the Yorkville Highlands

Judson Hale is a family owned winery sourcing Pinot Noir from the Walsh Vineyard, planted by Dennis and Mary Lou Walsh, with the help of their son, David, and daughter, Lis. Judson Hale grew up in Virginia, and while earning a degree in plant biology at University of Georgia, he developed an interest in wine. This led him to a degree in viticulture and enology from the University of California at Davis and a winemaking program in Dijon, France, where he met his future spouse, Lisa Walsh. Judson and Lisa founded the Judson Hale Winery with other members of the Walsh family with the goal of produce Burgundian style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Walsh Vineyard was planted in 1996 on their 250-acre Yorkville Highlands ranch. The rootstock is 101-14 and the clone is 667. Almost every member of the Walsh and Hale families were involved in the planting and tending of the vineyard. Situated at 1,400 foot elevation, and experiencing drastic diurnal temperature shifts during the summer, natural spring water nourishes the vines during the late summer months. A winery built on the Walsh’s Yorkville Highlands ranch should be open in time for the 2013 harvest.



The 2010 Pinot Noir is the first release. Previously, grapes from the Walsh Vineyard were sold to Goldeneye. The wine is available at SIP! Mendocino in Hopland. A 2012 Yorkville Highlands Chardonnay has just been released.

2010 Judson Hale Winery Walsh Ranch Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $32. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very inviting aromas of spicy cherry, red raspberry and sandalwood, maintaining intensity over time in the glass. Soft in the mouth with a delicious black cherry core and a flattering hint of mocha and savory oak in the background. Nicely balanced with mild tannins, slipping off the back of the palate like a silk sheet. The finish has good richness and persistence. Plenty of Pinot singing in this youthful, inviting wine. Score: 91

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