Winemaker, Clos du Val
As only the fourth winemaker in the four-decade history of Clos Du Val, Ted Henry is playing a key role in writing the next chapter in the story of the iconic winery. A gifted winemaker, with more than 15 years of experience making estate-grown Bordeaux varietal wines, Ted is guiding a vibrant and vineyard-driven stylistic shift at Clos Du Val towards greater ripeness, more mid-palate depth and greater tannin integration. As part of this shift, Ted is also working closely with President Jon-Mark Chappellet to transition to an almost exclusive focus on estate-grown wines, with an emphasis on exceptional Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignons. This focus on the winery's 350 acres of renowned estate vineyards, combined with Ted's winemaking talents, is resulting in some of the finest wines in Clos Du Val's history.
A fourth generation San Francisco Bay Area native, Ted grew up on his family's ranch, where he was immersed in agriculture from a young age. Building on his interests in science and agriculture, Ted attended UC Davis, where he soon dedicated himself to studying enology and viticulture. While earning his degree in fermentation science, Ted worked in the lab of famed sensory chemist Dr. Ann Noble, as well as in the lab of noted plant biochemist Dr. Douglas Adams. After graduation, he joined Trinchero Family Estates as part of a team dedicated to establishing a luxury wine program, focused on Trinchero's Napa Valley estate vineyards. Quickly distinguishing himself, Ted was rapidly promoted from enologist to assistant winemaker and ultimately to associate winemaker, before moving on to Artesa Winery and Vineyards, where he oversaw winemaking for the acclaimed Ridgeline Vineyard.
In 2008, eager to dedicate himself to exclusively making small-production, estate-grown wines, Ted joined Napa Valley's Jarvis Estate as winemaker. There, he earned a reputation as a talented winemaker with a gifted palate, and an ability to craft beautifully balanced, vineyard-driven wines. While at Jarvis Estate, Ted also had the opportunity to learn from famed consulting winemaker Dimitri Tchelistcheff.
To preserve the character of Clos Du Val's exceptional estate vineyards, Ted ferments more than 30 individual lots of Cabernet Sauvignon each vintage, with some as small as 1.5 tons. This thoughtful level of focus and commitment to quality can be seen in every aspect of Clos Du Val's viticulture and winemaking, including pruning techniques designed to increase dappled sunlight, adding cold soaks to increase color and aromatics, instituting earlier pumpovers to create greater tannin integration, and utilizing new filtration methods to limit oxidation. These techniques, combined with a revamping of the barrel program to focus on only the best coopers, are resulting in elegant and exciting wines that capture the essence of Clos Du Val's acclaimed estate vineyards.
Country born: United States
Education: Bachelor of Science, Fermentation Science-UC Davis 1999
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
Working with the best grapes farmed in the best way - the winemaking should be straightforward and fairly simple. Use good practices and pay close attention.