It all started with the love of wine. Native San Francisco business owner Tom Leonardini Sr. wanted a family style business that included a legacy for generations to come. He found a charming winery for sale at the corner of Highway 29 and the namesake Whitehall Lane in Napa Valley. The modern winery was founded in 1979, but the site attracted winemakers back to original European settlers in the 1800’s, who realized the potential of deep and loamy soils located in the perfect climate of north Rutherford.
Purchased in 1993, Tom has grown the Napa Valley winery over the years, and his family has expanded within the business. Tom Leonardini II joined in 1994 and is now responsible for all distribution of Whitehall Lane wines. His sister, Katie is involved in all direct to consumer aspects of the winery. She is often meeting the friends and fans of the winery in the tasting room, private events, and out representing the winery at hospitality and public relations events. And while Kristen owns and operates a retail wine shop in San Francisco, she is often around to assist the family at Whitehall Lane.
In a short time, the Leonardini family has expanded Whitehall Lane into a dynamic winery with some of the best fruit in Napa Valley, including their own vineyards. Tom has purchased another seven prime vineyard locations in the Napa Valley. He has improved the wine making itself with state of the art wine making equipment, techniques, and a new barrel aging program.
The Leonardini’s have also brought in UC Davis trained winemaker Dean Sylvester. Detail-oriented and hard working, he is responsible for wine making decisions, as well as overseeing all estate vineyards and outside vineyard sources. Dean’s Whitehall Lane wines have had three wines rated among the top five in the world in Wine Spectator.
All of the wines are made to the highest quality possible, and the portfolio shows many shining examples. The Sauvignon Blanc is revered for its clean and refreshing balance, with grapefruit, pineapple and lime essence. 70% of the fruit was fermented in stainless steel tanks and 30% in new French Oak barrels. The flagship Napa Valley Merlot sees both French and American oak, and carries a bouquet of plum and blackberry, with a soft but generous cocoa coating on the palate.
The Family Collection represent the finest wines at Whitehall Lane. The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a best of the best blend from all the winery’s Cabernet program. Of these sources is the eponymous Leonardini Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Ten acres of Cabernet are planted on this, the most prized vineyard property. Noted for its exceptional gravelly loam soil, Dean carefully selected the fruit from seven rows to be used for this single vineyard bottling. The wine will age gorgeously for 10 or more years.
Let us take you to Whitehall Lane Winery and make your next trip to the Napa Valley an event to remember!
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Whitehall Lane Winery
1563 St. Helena Hwy South, St. Helena, CA 94574