Gold Medal 2013 California Cab Shootout!
On that sunny afternoon we were in the barrel room tasting the 2009 vintage and balancing the Cabernet blocks for our Bella Vista Block 1&4 Cabernet Sauvignon. Though we did not know at the time that we were blending a wine that two years later would win Gold at the California Cab Shootout as well as take home the Shoot-Out People's Choice Award for Cabernet Sauvignon, we were simply focused on our mission of crafting a single vineyard designate wine that showcased the positive characteristics of the varietal and AVA in that particular vintage. A phone call changed our plans. That day we learned that Robert D. Hayes, owner of Bella Vista Vineyards unexpectedly passed away.
On rocky slopes at 1200 feet above the valley floor, Bob planted the vines in blocks 1 & 4 at Bella Vista in the spring of 1974. Now, some 37 years later, 7 of the barrels from the 2009 vintage would be reserved to honor the man whose beautiful vineyards produced the exceptional fruit from which AuburnJames garnered its first gold medal wine just the year before. To pay homage to a great man and visionary, wine crafted from the best Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from the 2009 vintage grown in Bella Vista Vineyard was given his moniker… his initials R.D.H.
Unfortunately, Bob never tasted the wine that Jim blended from the 2009 vintage. We are all quite certain, however, that the RDH is a wine that Bob would be quite proud of and especially pleased to know that it carries the label designation, Bella Vista and the initials, R.D.H.
Bob --we miss you here at the winery, up on the mountain, and in the Danville tasting room. Rest in peace Bob and know that your legacy carries on.