The Heimark Family
About The Estate:
Mapped as an ancient landslide, Heimark Vineyard is anchored by deep roots on a steep southern-facing hillside. Tucked away amongst the hillside’s folds, the vineyard is framed on all sides by forest along a private winding road. When covered by morning mist, the property seems to emerge out of thin air as though suspended above the valley floor.
Layers of fractured shale form a rough and well-drained soil that requires little water in spite of the elevation of 1,100 feet. The resilient vines strive like native plants, seeking water through layers of volcanic rock and graphite. This results in intensely-flavored wines with fine tannins, which develop profound complexity with age.
In 1997, Libby and Craig Heimark purchased 100 acres in Calistoga as a place to settle after moving frequently around Europe and the United States. The Heimarks (pronounced “high” “mark”) sought a quiet refuge where it was “impossible to see one’s neighbors”. They fell in love with the private, majestic hillside estate that reminded them of the Swiss and Italian cantons they so treasure. Libby and Craig bought a property in Napa given their appreciation of fine cuisine and cycling; they did not initially intend to develop a vineyard.
When Craig retired from Swiss Bank Corporation, he was not gifted the customary Swiss watch for his dedicated service. Instead, he was gifted consultation days with top industry experts at UC Davis to advise on cultivating the property. Vineyard manager Michael Wolf viticulturist Mary Hall Maher and winemaker Tony Soter developed fourteen acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and less than an acre of Petit Verdot. Multiple clone and rootstock combinations give precision and nuance to the farming of these small blocks.
After more than two decades as growers, receiving praise year after year on the unique qualities of the property’s fruit, the Heimarks decided to create a family wine label. Françoise Peschon joined as an integral partner to Michael Wolf. The Heimark family entrusted Francoise to give voice to the beauty of these vines given her understated commitment to excellence in her craft and terroir-led winemaking approach. Libby and Craig, and their children Jake, Eric, and Julia are proud to share small-lot fruit exclusively sourced from the property under a family brand.
All bottles are labeled by hand and feature a bespoke woodcut design crafted by the local artist and arborist Ido Yoshimoto. The artwork reflects the jewel of a vineyard embedded in a forest area, with the grapes as the “gold” in a gravelly landslide field. The subtle whale tail located in the top left corner pays tribute to the family's Nordic roots: The family’s last name stems from the “Heimark Farm” located in Austevoll, Norway. The Heimarks are proud to continue a multigenerational farming history that spans the Old World and New World, and seeks to pay tribute to the precious bounty that Nature rewards them with each season.
The Heimark Vineyard has been a source of 'Grand Cru' fruit for some of Napa's greatest Estates, including Lail Vineyards, Arkenstone Estate Winery, Araujo Estate, Lewis Cellars and Dakota Shy. Wines made primarily from the estate’s fruit have received acclaim, including multiple 100-point ratings.
The Heimark family has a deep affinity for the European wine community given they spent many years as residents of London and Zurich and still have a home in the UK. Part of the inspiration for planting at their site was knowledge from Europe that many of the best First Growth wines are from south-facing hillside slopes. At the time they planted two decades ago, most Napa vineyards were only planted on the Napa Valley floor. They are proud pioneers of bringing this hillside style to Napa.
Looking south across the Estate vineyard