Technical sheet


Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands

We have grapes from two fantastic areas within Monterey County. The tiny area of Arroyo Seco is blasted with maritime influences, driving winds, and saturated fog from the deep hyper-cold waters off Monterey Bay. Just perfect for Pinot Noir!

The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is rapidly becoming a legend in the wine world. This elevated mountain perch is planted on the terraces of the Santa Lucia mountain range, overlooking the Salinas River Valley. The fog and breezes from Monterey Bar funnel southeast, between the Gabilan and Santa Lucia ranges, creating a cool, true region 1 climate. 


Average 17 year-old vines


3.0 tons per acre (due to poor weather during bloom and set)


“VSP” Vertical Shoot Positioning    


An unusually cool spring which lasted through bloom and set resulted in a crop size that was 30-40% smaller than normal. Overall daytime and nighttime summer temperatures were warm, however, and, with the smaller crop speeding the ripening process, the short intermittent late-season moisture that most of the county saw did not seriously impact very successful harvesting in the second and third weeks of October.


DETAILS: 100% stem removal, 72 hour cold soak prior to yeast incoluation.  The wine was punched-down three times daily and fermented to dryness in open-top tanks for two weeks.  Tank temperature was allowed to rise to a maximum of only 85ºF to minimize tannin extraction and enhance fruit expression; pomace was lightly pressed to 1.4 atmospheres pressure.  ML inoculation took place in tank; after 5 days the wine was transferred to French oak barrels for completion.  The wine was aged in two and three-year-old French oak barrels for about ten months.

Alcohol: 13.0%    - refreshingly balanced in today’s world of high-alcohol wines.               

VA: 0.059                              TA: 0.54                               pH: 3.71                                RS: 0.12


Ripe, inviting aromas of black cherry, plum, and violets are accented by gentle sweet oak. Surprisingly forward on the palate, the wine’s plush tannins frame flavors of baked cherry, strawberry, and spice cake, with a touch of anise.


An unconventional childhood – living in mining towns on four continents – fostered Laely’s love of travel, adventure and a desire to explore and to experience the cultures, foods and wines of the world.  Wanderlust and curiosity have led her on many paths including studying winemaking in Bordeaux, opening a restaurant and importing wine in Denmark, and pursuing Master of Wine studies. 

With this love of wine and an entrepreneurial spirit, she started Heron Wines in 1994 with little more than a credit card, a "business plan" sketched out on a napkin, and an idea to make great and affordable wine.  When she started Heron Wines, it was unusual for an American woman to be making her own wine in France. Now Heron Wines is making wine in three countries. From the beginning, the goal has been simple: for each wine, find the best vineyards and the best regions wherever in the world they may be. 

Even today, Laely continues her global exploration to make distinctive and delicious wines from the best places on earth.