It’s not everyday you get to have lunch and taste wine with a Napa Valley icon. Bernard Portet, founding winemaker at Clos du Val invited a small gathering of journalists to reflect on his 40 years making wine in the Napa Valley. He officially retired from Clos du Val at the end of 2009, but as so often happens he was going stir crazy and he knew he just had to get back into making wine.
Even sailing can’t keep Bernard away from wine. He has a 36’ sailboat named Obelix and loves to get out on the water. He’s also involved with the 34th America’s Cup through the Napa Valley Vintners. The weather for the upcoming weekend is perfect sailing weather but Bernard says he can’t go. He’s harvesting grapes instead.
The crush is for Bernard’s new label, Heritance. The project developed after Bernard bumped into Clos du Val’s former COO, Don Chase who also wanted to get back into wine. So they hatched a plan where Don would handle the business aspects and Bernard would make the wine. But the set up is nothing like Clos du Val. Bernard calls Heritance “a winery without walls.”