The Bacigalupi Family and John Tyler Wines release special bottling in memory of wine country icon.
John Tyler releases their inaugural vintage of 2008 Russian River Petite Sirah, as a perfect pairing for Christmas and remembering family. This Petite Sirah bottling is not just any new wine release. Winemaker, Tyler Heck wanted to pay tribute to his late grandmother, Anna Marie Heck. The wine was dedicated in her honor, Anna was also the wife of Paul Heck co-proprietor of Korbel Champagne Cellars, she spent much of her life living at the winery and raising a family there.
“She was his rock” states Pam Bacigalupi, Anna Marie’s daughter and, co-owner of John Tyler Wines. “We lived at the winery in Guerneville; I have found memories of growing up there with my brothers. Mom would always be at dad’s side when he was entertaining at the winery, she was his support system. You know the saying: behind every great man there is a great women, I think that really sums up their relationship. “
Pam and her husband John, joined with Pam’s nephew Tyler Heck in 2002 and formed John Tyler Wines. They recently opened a tasting room off Westside Road in Russian River Valley to showcase their wines.
“It was Tyler’s idea to dedicate the wine to Mom. I think we have all been inspired in some way by her. As his wife, Mom was an advocate for my Dad in the industry. She wanted the family to have a successful future. I think one of her most memorable events at Korbel was the Look Magazine photo shoot with the three brothers and their wives. Dad and his two brothers, Adolf and Ben had a feature on the cover and their wives were on a page inside. Mom wore a suede full length coat. It was quite the gathering with Richie, Dof’s wife and Natalie, Ben’s wife. That was probably one of mom’s most glamorous times. “
Anna had a special bond with her grandchildren, especially Tyler. “They spent a lot of time together when Tyler was little. She used to say a quote to him, it started when he was about two, and you know how two year olds can be, wanting everything under the sun. She used to tell him “Tyler, life isn’t always a bowl of cherries, sometimes it’s the pits.” That was probably his first life lesson. We put that saying on the back label, it’s a good reminder that life isn’t always what you expect it to be.”
As Paul’s wife, Anna was a constant advocate for the growth of the wine industry in Sonoma County. Her common sense and solid spiritual approach to life were an inspiration to all who knew her.
“This is a special offering that we want to share with others who are inspired by wine,” states Nicole Bacigalupi, one of Pam’s twin daughters who manages the tasting room. “I can’t wait to pour it for people and share my grandmother’s story.”