All started with our delicious red blend, Lappa’s. The word, is a shortened version of the slang Italian phrase “Lappa suc”, a phrase often uttered by my father, the late John Ghiringhelli. I was told that it meant “pumpkin sucker” and it was frequently used in situations where “dumb ass” might have also been appropriate!  

I conducted a little research and have discovered that in Italian, ‘lappa’ is a most likely a reference to licking, and “suc” or “zuc” is quite possibly a reference to a gourd or zucchini. Our 2006 Lappa’s is the first blend created by Heibel Ranch Vineyards, and dedicated to the true Lappa! Lappa's is a proprietary Napa Valley blend. It consists of the CCOF certified organic grapes that we grow on our Ranch in the Aetna Springs area of Pope Valley. In 2003, we planted nearly two acres of vineyards. One full acre is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon clone #338, a half acre to Zinfandel clone #8, (a.k.a. “Dempel clone”), and over a quarter acre to Petite Sirah clone #4.

Each Varietal was picked between 24 and 25 brix, and fermented separately in T-bins. The lots spent nearly two weeks on the skins, with two to three daily punch-downs, when they were finally pressed at dryness.  After maturing through the winter in primarily new American oak barrels, the varietals were blended to complement each other. The wine aged for a total of two years, the second year in neutral Chardonnay barrels, which contributed to the softness and complexity of the finished wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon, provides the cassis, complex mouth-feel and well integrated tannins, the Zinfandel provides a core of red fruit, and a little spice, while the Petite Sirah, adds a depth of color, a touch of earth, and some structural tannin.



Captain Bubba, is our newest Napa Valley red blend wine — a powerful and balanced old school blend of Petite Sirah & Zinfandel. This wine is named after Bruce H. Nelson, retired captain of the El Cerrito Police Department and our managing partner. Captain Bubba is Bruce’s nickname and we felt it was the perfect fit for this wine.


George Bennet Heibel is the man who we pay tribute to with our signature Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2013 is our fifth vintage and we wanted to showcase a silhouette from a 1936 photo when he was chef at the Women’s City Club in San Francisco. Three barrels were selected as the core for this vintage. Aged for nearly three years, and blended with 8% Cab Franc & 5% Petit Verdot…this wine is layered, rich, and down-right scrumptious, yes, I used scrumptious.



Earl Oscar Dangers was an adventurous young man. Born in San Francisco in 1890, his passion for exploration led him to run away from home at the age of 16 and to ultimately become a sea captain (pictured on the bottle on the hull of a submerged ship off Valparaiso Chile in 1921)! The 2013 "Dangers" is our newest bottling ... a bold, right bank influenced Bordeaux-styled blend honoring his intrepid spirit.