Laely Heron

Laely Heron

Heron Wines (Winemaker & Owner)

Laely Heron had an unconventional upbringing throughout the world as the result of her father’s profession being a mining engineer and adventurer. By the age of 10, she had lived in 12 states, and in the next four years, her family had spent time in six other countries. Returning to the U.S. so that she and her sister could attend high school, Laely subsequently entered the University of Colorado, Boulder. She opted to spend her junior year abroad in the Bordeaux region of France, where she caught the wine “bug” and enrolled at the Institute of Enology there.

After completing her undergraduate degree, Laely relocated to San Francisco and worked for Lindeman’s Wines as its first American employee. Two years later found her overseas again, this time in Denmark, where she started an wine import company, opened a restaurant, taught wine classes, and initiated studies to become a “Master of Wine.”

In 1994 Laely returned to San Francisco and launched Heron Wines the following year, with her first release being a Merlot from St. Chinian in southern France. Her repertoire soon expanded to include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and blends. Using custom-crush facilities, she vinifies her wines in France and Spain as well as the U.S. As much as possible, the grapes she uses comes from vineyards that are farmed organically, biodynamically, or at least sustainably. Moreover, she prefers to use fruit from old-vine, higher elevation, and marine-influenced vineyards that experience moderate climates, thereby fostering slower maturation of intensely flavorful grapes.

Laely strives to make her wines a reflection of her spirit: pioneering, adventurous, daring, smart, adaptable, thrill seeking, irreverent, non-traditional, and international.