A Toast to Fathers of the Wine World

For many of the world’s greatest vintners, the story of wine is a story of family. This Father’s Day, we’re toasting to fathers around the globe whose hard work and perseverance have paved the way for generations to come. In honor of the holiday, we’ve asked the children of some of the wine industry’s most visionary leaders to share a few words on what inspires them about their fathers. From the Sonoma Coast to Chablis, Ribera del Duero to the Rhône Valley, here’s what they had to say: JASMINE HIRSCH on her father DAVID HIRSCH, founder and proprietor of Hirsch Vineyards on the Sonoma Coast , California: I thought before I started working for my Dad that I loved him a lot. And of course I did. But I loved him as a daughter loves a father, which is a special, beautiful, unique and generous love. A very specific and important love. But through working together, I came to love him as a human being. I saw all that he had sacrificed, his solitary work in the vineyard on the remote Sonoma Coast when he was first getting started and no one cared what he was doing. During our now 11 years working together, we went through some difficult times where we fought and disagreed on the direction of the business. We both cared so much. We both loved each other so much. But I was still acting like a child with her father – expecting him to give me what I wanted with no regard for what he needed. It was when I learned to love and respect him as another human being, not just as my father, that I began to grow up in our relationship. Unless both of our deep, real life needs were met (needs which are never going to be exactly the same for two people of such different ages) we would not be able to achieve our shared goals in respect of the land and the business. My father’s lifelong patience with me, combined with our love (always love is essential!), have made it possible for us to reach the point where we are now – father and daughter, always; but also partners in a shared dream. PHILIPPE GUIGAL on his father MARCEL GUIGAL, vintner at E. Guigal in Côte-Rôtie , Rhône Valley, France: As far as my memory goes back, I have always been very close to my father. We even have a “fusional” relationship. This word might seem extreme, but tasting wines seven days a week for two hours built my taste buds and my appreciation of wines as a clone of my father’s (who was himself a clone of my grandfather). Therefore, when talking about the vision for a wine, I came to the conclusion that we are a single soul separated in two different palates. OLGA FERNÁNDEZ on her father ALEJANDRO FERNÁNDEZ, winemaker and founder of Tinto Pesquera and Condado de Haza in Ribera del Duero , Spain and Dehesa La Granja in Castilla y León, Spain: Gracias por haber ido a contracorriente, Gracias por enseñarme a pensar y a sentir, Gracias por todo el amor que me has dado, Gracias Padre, te quiero mucho. (In translation) Thank you for always having gone against the grain, Thank you for teaching me how to think and feel, Thank you for all of the love you have given me, Thank you Father, I love you. FABIEN MOREAU on his father CHRISTIAN MOREAU, proprietor of Domaine Christian Moreau Père & Fils in Chablis , France: A few words on my father is not easy. I may need to write a book of 500 pages! He has his own way of teaching me something. For example, when I was 17 years old, for harvest, I was supposed to drive the tractor with the trailer following the machine harvest (at this time, my father had one). The problem was, I had never driven this kind of big tractor with the big harvest trailer. The day before, at 5:00 pm, I said to my father, “You were supposed to show me how to drive the tractor.” “Well,” he said, “let’s go.” We went, and I practiced for 15 minutes under a heavy rain until my father said, “Stop, it’s enough.” The morning after, at 6:00 am, I was driving in the 1er Cru Vaillon, in a three-meter-wide muddy row in the dark, trying not to destroy the vines with the trailer, I was in a sweat, but in the end, it’s a good way to learn! RUPERT SYMINGTON on his father JAMES RONALD SYMINGTON, proprietor of Symington Family Estates, including Dow’s, Warre’s, Graham’s, Quinta do Vesuvio, and Cockburn’s in Porto , Portugal: My father James invited my wife and I and our three children to dinner at his home some years ago. At the end of dinner he produced a decanter of amber-coloured Port and asked us all to guess how old it was. To our amazement, he had opened one of his last bottles of Warre 1908 Vintage Port originally from his own father’s cellar. The wine was excellent. He was determined to let his grandchildren have what could be a unique experience of tasting a wine made by their great, great grandfather and share that special moment with them. Searching for a great gift for Dad? A Vinous Classic Subscription makes for the perfect Father's Day present.

Hirsch Vineyards

East Ridge Pinot Noir 2014

I really love the ‘14 pinots at Hirsch and the east ridge is no exception. The wines are structured but approachable. The fruit is bright and the overall feel is rather delicate. I thought it was drinking better now than the ‘12 — 2 years ago

Jasmine Hirsch
with Jasmine
Doug, Kimberly and 30 others liked this

Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils

Les Clos Chablis Grand Cru Chardonnay 2014

Golden color with exceptional minerality on the nose and in the mouth. Incredible length and rich Chardonnay flavors quite typical of a grand cru Chablis. Lovely wine; drinking great now and will age for 5-7 years. — 2 years ago

Sylvain, Amy and 3 others liked this


Vintage Porto Port Blend 1977

Magnificent bottle. Perfectly resolved. In that velvety smooth stage where the alcohol is integrated and it is silky and refined on the palate. Color is translucent dark ruby on the pour, but still dark in the glass. — 2 years ago

Amy and Maria liked this

W. & J. Graham's

Aged 20 Years Tawny Port Blend

Fabien Lainé

A lovely treat, a signature for the Graham's house, perfect blending between freshness from the youth and character - concentration from the old ports - this 20 years of Le is for sure one of my favorite Taney blend and a bargain for any #winelover out there ! Cigar and chocolates are a perfect match 😃 — 5 years ago

Anthony, terroirista-cy and 2 others liked this

Hirsch Vineyards

Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

2013. Welcome to the fruit and acid dance. But don't talk about aromas. Say fragrance. And, I almost hate to use this word, but this wine is superbly balanced. Citrus and apples, gorgeous mouthfeel. Long, long finish. Terrific wine. — 3 years ago

Anthony, Shawn and 11 others liked this
Joe Davant

Joe Davant

I couldn't agree more. Their 2013 Chardonnay is superb.

Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils

Vaillon Chablis 1er Cru Chardonnay 2014

Christy Canterbury MW

An estate that never disappoints. Crackling freshness, yellow pear peel, top-notch harmony. — 4 years ago

Marc, Drew and 12 others liked this

Condado de Haza

Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Tempranillo 2000

Holly Orchard

Soooo good! I can’t believe how much wonderful structure there is for this wine: great fruit such as dried red currant and black plum, a hint of boysenberry, followed by white pepper, old leather, earthiness, balanced tannins, and a slightly spicey finish. Such a great value and very enjoyable with bone-in ribeye and eloté grilled corn. Still firmly “Old World” style, so earthiness is the driving factor in this rustic, yet satisfying wine. — 2 years ago

Paul, Maria and 1 other liked this

E. Guigal

La Turque Côte-Rôtie Syrah 2009

Tied for WOTN. Really amazing- flavors just went on and on and continued to unfold in the glass through the course of the evening. — 4 years ago

Amy, Maria and 1 other liked this

E. Guigal

Brune et Blonde de Guigal Côte-Rotie Syrah 2013

Smokey and spiced nose with cedar and black raspberry, on the palate firm tannins turn supple with time, black cherries and pepper. Needs a long decant. — 2 years ago

Mike, Ira and 3 others liked this

Bodegas Alejandro Fernández

Pesquera Reserva Ribera del Duero Tempranillo 1991

Dan Fredman

Wine always tastes better when the bottle's been signed by the winemaker, right? Fully evolved after 2+ decades in the cellar. Elegant, integrated, delicious. — 6 years ago

Mark, Gary and 8 others liked this
Jamey Moylan

Jamey Moylan

Wow. 91 is awesome!
Dan Fredman

Dan Fredman Influencer Badge

This bottle was showing really well. I don't know that it'll have a similar aging curve to old-school Rioja, but it's pretty inspiring now...