The newly released 2021 'The North Slope' Chardonnay from Walter Hansel comes from the part of Walter Hansel’s estate Russian River Valley vineyard that is the block furthest North with a South to North facing slope. It’s comprised of a field blend of Clone 95 and 76 with yields limited to 2-2.5 tons per acre. Full-bodied, with notes of ‘dried pear, chamomile, crushed flowers and a hint of tangerine oil all grace this rich, flavorful Chardonnay.’ As Antonio Galloni explains, the 2021 vintage for the winery was a great wine and the 2021s are bright and full of the textural nuance that is such a signature in the vintage. 567 cases were produced.
In the 1970's Walter Hansel enlisted his son, Stephen, to help plant 257 chardonnay vines. Throughout the 1980's their entire family would harvest the half-acre of grapes and Walter would make the wine, which totaled two barrels. After asking their friend, Tom Rochioli, for help with winemaking, Stephen developed a passion to understand everything about the vineyards and the process of making wine. This passion influenced his quest for growing World-class wines. Their first commercial vintage was 1996 and since that time, they have done exactly that- produced exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and a price point that is far less than their quality.