Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Rock, Stock, and a Few Soaking Barrels

Longtime friends honor a Sonoma family ranch with boutique wines.



Drinking Buddies: Joey Cannata and Lucas Heldfond of Rocky Hill Wines.

Jock McDonald

Back in high school, pals Joey Cannata and Lucas Heldfond never would have guessed they’d become proprietors of artisanal wine. Their Rocky Hill Wines began as a fun dream, a few cases for friends to enjoy. Then, Wine Enthusiast stamped a 93-point seal of approval on the second vintage, and a collector-worthy label was born.

Using vineyards from Heldfond’s family compound in Glen Ellen, the friends joined forces with veteran winemaker Don Van Staaveren to ensure a proper pedigree. Van Staaveren’s résumé includes Wine Spectator’s No. 1 Wine in the World in 1999. Rocky Hill’s portfolio consists of a Pinot Gris, a Malbec rosé, and the proprietary red blend, with a Chardonnay and Pinot Gris composite around the corner. At a mere 1,000 cases produced, most of the wines sell directly to its client list, with a few allocated to San Francisco restaurants such as Balboa Cafe, Terzo, and Spruce.

Given that the family ranch dates to 1959 and provided the setting for Cannata’s wedding to Heldfond’s sister, Rocky Hill is a sentimental hobby for them while they run separate businesses. Cannata is the executive vice president of sales and distribution for Rockstar Energy Drink, and Heldfond just launched Epoch, a tech start-up. When they need to unwind, they retreat to the Rocky Hill ranch with their families.

Asked what he loves most about the project, Heldfond says, “We get to share the experience of a place that has played an important role in both of our lives, from my childhood to Joey’s wedding and now with our children. It is a very special place.” rockyhillwine.com.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

St. Regis Polo Cup

St. Regis Hotels and Resorts brought its first-ever polo cup to Wild Oak Saddle Club in Santa Rosa.

Aldea Children and Family Services Benefit Gala and Auction 2013

The Spirit of Giving

The farm communities of Napa and Sonoma counties developed with a barn-raising philosophy, with neighbor helping neighbor. And although the region has grown exponentially, that tradition lives on - on a much, much larger scale.

CIA at Copia Grand Opening

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia celebrated a boisterous grand opening with wine tastings, cooking classes and demonstrations, and more.

Napa Valley Film Festival

Barn by Barn

Eileen Chiarello launches crowdfunding company to support “good food” entrepreneurs.

VinOlivo Weekend

New Sips

Enjoy these new releases and tasting rooms in Wine Country.

Toque of the Town

The transcendence of chef Michael Chiarello’s culinary stardom.

Blue Oak School Auction

Parents and patrons of Blue Oak School in downtown Napa raised their paddles high to bid on one-of-a-kind trips and treasures.

Cooking up Success

Over the past 20 years, Cheng has quietly become one of the most prominent personalities in the Napa Valley, dovetailing business success with serious philanthropic contributions. Now, with the tasting room, the unassuming entrepreneur is stepping into the spotlight.

Tamarind Boutique Opening

Owner and designer Andrea Kenner welcomed friends and fashionistas to her chic new eco-friendly clothing boutique at The Barlow in Sebastopol, where she curates a collection of local and independent American labels
Edit ModuleShow Tags