Heitz Wine Cellars has been making great wines in Napa since the 1960s and recently National Sales Manager, Daniel Vu, hosted an extravagant wine dinner at the Rivea restaurant within the Delano Hotel Las Vegas. From 1961 when Founders, Joe and Alice Heitz, produced their first bottle of wine to the present day, through the leadership of Kathleen Heitz Myers and David Heitz, Heitz Cellars continues to produce wines that garner the true representation of the regional terroir and superior wine making. While Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was introduced in 1966 as the first Napa Cabernet with the vineyard-designation on the label, today’s wines are also equally stellar and drinkable. Heitz also produces Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Verdot, Grignolino and Zinfandel. Other wines included in the portfolio are the dry Rosé made from Italian varietal Grignolino and fortified “port-style” wine from Grignolino.

As a part of the wine program for the evening we began with 2014 Chardonnay Napa Valley with its lovely notes of melon and apricot lingering in the mid-palate, with a creamy complexity that left a pleasant and irresistible urge for one more glass. This wine paired well with the perfectly executed octopus salad and marinated sea bass.

The second wine of the evening was the Grignolino, which translates to mean “pip,” alluding to the abundance of pips that the grapes produce, therefore yielding a higher level of tannins. Due to traditionally low yields of this grape, Grignolino is often used as a blending grape, but Heitz Cellars has successfully produced and marketed Grignolio along with the other more familiar varietals. The Grignolio which has a uniquely orange hue and Rosé-like quality, quickly became another favorite with appetizers of crispy socca a crepe of chickpea flour & roasted panisse offering great acidity, and notes of citrus and spice.

As the meal became more complex with the bison tenderloin rossini, the noted Martha’s Vineyard 2010 Cabernet provided harmony to this perfectly cooked tenderloin with the elegance of well-integrated tannins, rich opulent dark fruit and a slight minty finish as it showed forth the classic expression of this varietal. As the lights of the Las Vegas Strip glimmered below another shining star was transfixed inside our glasses: the 2005 Heitz Cellars Cabernet with dark fruit and sage flavors, well established tannins and a lovely lingering finish of mocha and mint on the palate.

Moving on to the fini of black mission figs and stracchino ice cream, the Grignolio Port, was a delightful way to end a night of superb wine pairings, reminding us that wine does elevate the dining experience into a memory making event. As Katherine Heitz Myers states, “In our family, most of life’s memorable moments have involved sharing a bottle of fine wine with friends and family. Many of the personal and business relationships that we still treasure after three generations started around our dinner table.” After generations of producing signature wines, we were grateful that Heitz Cellars made a stop to the Las Vegas area to share their wines with new friends and wine enthusiasts.