by Fred McMillin
for December 28, 1999


Heitz Always Delights



Newspaper correction section, published by the New Yorker magazine...

Correction to Julia Child column
In some editions yesterday, the ingredients for Duxelles included "2 tablespoons Port." It should have read "2 tablespoons flour."

New Yorker comment: "Maybe so, but it sure was delicious."

The Rest of the Story

So if you want to make some delicious Duxelles (a classic French flavoring sauce), we have just the Port for you. Here's the story.

"Cabernet master Joseph Heitz has always understood the importance of controlling their grape sources... His latest acquisition of potential vineyard land is on Ink Grade Road in the Napa Valley." (press releases of about 1992)

Joe and Alice Heitz

Joe and Alice Heitz

The Birth of a Port

David Heitz succeeded dad as winemaker some years ago. Being a Port lover, he brought eight varieties of Portuguese vines to their new Ink Grade Vineyard. Now, the 1995 and 1996 vintages have been combined into our Wine of the Day.

Heitz Cellars Ink Grade Port, Napa Valley
Varietals—Tinta Cao, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Madeira, Bastardo, and four other Portuguese classics.
Service—While waiting for the arrival of the new millennium, serve at room temperature with assorted cheeses (including blue-veined) and water crackers.
Contact—Jeanne Cabral, (707) 963-3542, FAX (707) 963-7454
Price—$25 range


While I've mentioned Illinois-born Joe Heitz, Alice should not be left out, since she was the cofounder. From North Dakota, Alice met Joe in the 1940s, they moved to the Napa Valley in the 1950s, and they started their winery in 1961. In those days, the price was right. For half a dozen acres of vines and a winery "about the size of a two-car garage, we borrowed $5,000" and were in business. (see photo of Joe and Alice).

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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