In 1994, the vineyard was sold to a group of European investors,
who immediately set about upgrading the winery and buildings;
new vineyards were planted and new French Oak barrels
purchased to age the wines. Rich Tanguay, formerly of Topolos &
Buena Vista, is the winemaker overseeing the production of these
Now renamed "Heller Estate", the wines are all estate bottled
and, as stated above, organically produced. The current
production is approximately 25,000 cases annually.
The vineyards are planted on sandy, clay loamy soils and
despite the altitude the area is very warm and free from frost.
The great variation in daily temperatures (which are
sometimes 40 degrees in one twenty four hour period) helps
to produce these exceptional age-worthy and full-bodied
The original vineyards were planted in 1968, and the first
wines were produced in 1976. The late William Durney of Los
Angeles and his wife Dorothy, a screenwriter, did the first plantings and in 1982 the Carmel Valley Appellation denomination was approved by the authorities in 1983. A sculpture garden has been added to the property, as well as another adjacent to the tasting room in Carmel Valley Village. The sculptures, which are created by Toby Heller, internationally known sculptor of large works, are the inspiration for the labels. For example, the label, "Dances on Your Palate" is based on a fifteen-foot high, bronze sculpture overlooking the vineyards, and the motto "Magical Wines That Dance on Your Palate " is featured on the label.