Watch out, Mondavis—there's a new wine family in town. The familial troupe behind Hamel Family Wines previewed their new brand with back-to-back tastemaker dinners on the stunning Sonoma property late last month, with none other than Gary Danko catering the affair and event extraordinaire Ken Fulk setting the mood.
Opening this month, the 7,500-square-foot winery will feature limited-production premium wines from estate-grown, organically farmed vineyards, led by two generations of the Hamel family – vintner George F. Hamel, Jr., managing director George F. Hamel III, and winemaker John B. Hamel II. Renowned winemaker Martha McClellan serves as winemaking consultant and respected organic viticulturist Phil Coturri assists with vineyard operations and development. Even Ken Fulk has signed on for a more permanent partnership role for events, including intimate celebrity chef-hosted dinners, extravagant parties, and possibly weddings.
Notable locals like Joy Bianchi and Chris Bently attended the weekend's events, which involved a reception and toast in the beautifully designed tasting room overlooking the vineyards, live music by Emily Bonn and the Vivants, followed by a tour through the wine cave, and an elegant dinner among the steel barrels. With spot-on pairings in a lavish setting, Hamel Family Wines is setting the stage for more exciting things to come.