Wine Talk: Enjoy Honig blanc
With the scorching heat approaching, a great summer wine suggestion is 2013 Honig Sauvignon Blanc.
In 1964, Louis Honig purchased a 68-acre ranch in Rutherford, in the heart of the Napa Valley. The vineyard was planted with Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet grapes, which he sold to neighboring wineries.
Louis worked to create a family gathering place at the ranch, for his children and grandchildren, while he dreamed of the day he could retire from his San Francisco advertising agency and make wine from his vineyard. Louis passed away before he could realize his dream, leaving the estate to his family.
In 1981, as a tribute to his legacy, his family produced a few hundred cases of Louis Honig Sauvignon Blanc in the vineyard's old tractor barn. After the wine won a Gold Medal at the Orange County Fair, the family decided to increase production, and Honig Vineyard & Winery was born In 1984. At the age of 22, grandson Michael Honig took over management of the vineyard and winery.
With an old meat locker for an office, a shoebox marked "misc" for an accounting system, and without any formal training, he began canvassing the streets of San Francisco, selling wine and delivering it himself. Thirty years later, the operative word is success.
The Honig family are leaders in sustainability, and in 2005, for example, Michael took part in an innovative pilot program to help train yellow lab puppies to detect vine mealy bugs in the vineyard, thus lowering the need for pesticides.
Louis Honig's vision of bringing his family together to share in the beauty and bounty of Napa Valley, while producing outstanding wines has become a reality. With his seemingly endless energy, Michael, often referred to as "the James Brown of the wine industry," spends 75 percent of his time out in the world connecting with people and introducing them to Honig wines.
Honig Sauvignon offers lip-smacking acidity to accentuate the crisp lemon, Key lime pie and ruby grapefruit flavors at its core. Smooth and refreshing, it is accented by floral and honeysuckle details.
This wine is on the chop239 wine list for $13 a glass and $52 a bottle, and would pair up nicely with the seared ahi tuna.
Enjoy and salute.
Marco Porto is owner of chop239 restaurant at The Esplanade, and a wine connoisseur. Along with Laura Owen of CJ's on the Bay and Adamo Serravalle of DaVinci's and Marco Prime, he is a regular contributor to this column.