DAVID MAHAFFEY & Kira ballottA
Winemakers & Owners
David Mahaffey has been making wine in Napa for 39 vintages beginning with the planting of Heron Lake Vineyard in 1980 and formerly establishing the surrounding Wild Horse AVA in 1988. He thinks of himself as a craftsman as much as a winemaker with occasional lucky intuitional leaps into something like art.
Kira Ballotta met David in 2010. While working in the field of Valuation she had the opportunity to analyze vineyard projects and felt drawn to the “going-ons” behind her spreadsheets. She met David at the Heron Lake Vineyard after being instructed to “follow her nose” around many winding turns to arrive at the remote estate.
Nine years later Kira has made her way around Napa and Australia learning the craft of winemaking and engendering a true reverence and love for this 7,000 year old trade. As a fifth generation Californian she feels intimately tied to the land and driven to be of service to this precious resource.
David and Kira share a dedication to a business organized around sustainability and gentle practices for the earth. They both strive to make wines that are driven by balance and ultimately an age-worthiness that is distinctly Californian.
ESTATE vineyard proprietor
David and John have been farming the Olivia Brion estate vineyard (Heron Lake Vineyard) as a team since 1980. They applied for and got the Wild Horse AVA approved as a special designation in 1988; it is only the third such AVA destination in Napa after Napa Valley in 1980 and Los Carneros in 1983. In 2008 they built the winery and cave next to the vineyard site. John enjoyed a career as an epidemiologist at the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco, and has a published several books of his stories and essays.