In the grand pursuit of winemaking at Heitz Wine Cellars, it is the passion for excellence that links the generations and keeps the legacy shining.
Kathleen Heitz Myers and David Heitz, the second generation to successfully pilot this winery, have both been instrumental in building the family business since the 1970s.
The siblings apprenticed under the tutelage of their father Joe, a maestro recognized for setting unprecedented standards. Today, Kathleen and David apply those same high standards to a strategic blend of forward-looking business practices and valued traditions.
"Our parents encouraged us to spread our wings outside of the Napa Valley before deciding on a career in the family business. I think that was a big plus because we both developed a healthy respect for the scope and complexity of the wine industry and opened ourselves up to new ideas.
No matter how much your heritage sparkles, 'automatic pilot' does not work. Our business is thriving today because the Heitz team actively pursues and implements innovative farming and production practices without losing sight of our signature winemaking traditions."
- Kathleen Heitz Myers, Chief Operating Officer & President
The sibling team is focused on sustainable and certified organic farming at all their ranches which have resulted in healthy vineyards and elegant wines that reflect the true character of each varietal. Maintaining the annual production level at about 40,000 cases is another carefully calculated part of the Heitz master plan.
"Keeping our business mid-size allows us to stay involved in every aspect of Heitz viticulture and winemaking. For us, that means staying connected to our customers and working along with our staff to achieve consistency in our wines year after year. It is our family name on the label, and we love being able to maintain the continuity of the family touch." - David Heitz, Winemaker
The Heitz family tradition of giving back to the community is also a vital part of the heritage. Their multi-faceted commitments take the shape of numerous charitable contributions throughout the community and a significant focus on the preservation of the Napa Valley.
Highlights include their donation of a 42-acre conservation easement at Linda Falls in 2001 and service on several boards-of-directors including the Advisory Council for the Land Trust of Napa County, Wine Institute, Wine Service Co-op and the Napa Valley Vintners.
In 2003, the Heitz and Myers families also established the Joe Heitz Memorial Endowment at Bodega Marine Laboratory which provides student scholarships.