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Heitz Joseph

Joseph "Joe" Heitz (1919-2000), a native of Illinois, is considered one of the pioneers of terroir in California, along with Robert Mondavi (1913-2008). In his youth he worked as a helper on a winery and discovered his enthusiasm for viticulture. After studying oenology at the University of California, he worked at various wineries such as Beaulieu Vineyard. He was there for seven years and assisted the famous oenologist André Tchelistcheff (1901-1994) for some time. In 1961, he went into business for himself and bottled purchased wines, which he marketed under his own label. In 1964, Joe and his wife Alice acquired a small vineyard with a stone cellar built in 1898 east of St. Helena in California's Napa Valley. The stone cellar is still the significant landmark of the winery today. Heitz began experimenting with the seven hectares of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay planted by the previous owner, which were still a rarity in California at the time, and made Burgundy-style wine with barrique ageing

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