Five generations of the Hess family and the recent celebration of its 30th vintage prove The Hess Collection is still pushing boundaries on Mount Veeder.
Yet what is immediately interesting about The Hess Collection is the release of their newest Icon Wine, The 2015 Lioness Chardonnay.
A long-time emblem for the Hess family, The Lion is also the branded logo for Hess Collection wines. The Lion represents the bold and persevering nature of owner and founder Donald Hess, who always said “live each day with the heart and courage of the lion.” This credo remains strong with The Hess Collection and Hess family, even though Donald Hess formally retired from the position of CEO in 2011.
Under the leadership of Timothy Persson (Donald’s son-in-law), and his wife Sabrina Persson, the fifth generation of the Hess family are ushering in an era that honors the women of the family and the winery.
Released just this September, The Lioness is a standout wine not only because it is a vintage wine from the label, distinguished with its taste of “crème brûlée and tropical notes… layered with well-integrated toasty oak and hints of vanilla that persist throughout a long satisfying finish,” but also because it is the first wine released from the Hess Collection to honor the women who have helped it become what it is today.
Along with Sabrina, who is a key figurehead for the winery, winemakers Stephanie Pope and Alison Rodriguez lead the winemaking team alongside Director of Winemaking Dave Guffy. The two female associate winemakers have a plethora of winemaking talents and both have helped The Lioness come to fruition for the Hess Collection.
Looking back, the birth of The Lioness was not a simple one. Having to overcome the drought that plagued California in 2015, as well as the cooler climates associated with the location of the Hess estate, The Lioness quite literally succeeded due to having bold winemakers behind its creation.
The Hess Collection perpetually maintains Donald Hess’s founding commitment to pushing boundaries and persevered through this challenging growing season to produce another high quality wine, remarkable for its texture and full flavors. The Lioness now takes its place next to the original Lions of the family holding its own in grace, power, and innovation.