Although "hang time" may evoke an image of folks on their day off, sipping wine and relaxing in the sun, the name actually refers to the amount of time the grapes spend hanging on the grapevines. The longer grapes spend on the vine, the more time they have to develop the concentrated fruit character that results in wines of distinctive, delicious varietal expression. Appellations have to be warm enough to fully ripen grapes, yet cool enough to prolong this ripening while maintaining the kind of natural acidity that balances rich fruit flavor. These are the spots that Hangtime's winemakers seek for the highest quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They source fruit from cool spots all over the world, from California to Burgundy to New Zealand.
While there are stylistic similarities — all the wines are well-balanced with aromas of well-ripened fruit — each wine maintains its own distinct nuances, reflecting the unique characteristics of the region it comes from. And you'll know exactly how long the grapes stayed on the vine, because every label is stamped with a number that indicates the hangtime for that vintage. View all Hangtime Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineries
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.