Book Review: A Perfect Score

by | Oct 31, 2016


I was thrilled when I got asked to review A Perfect Score: The Art, Soul, and Business of a 21st Century Winery. This  book is the story of Craig and Kathryn Hall and Hall and Walt Wines.  As a former wine club member (due to shipping restrictions once my mailing address went to NJ) I realized I didn’t know much about the story of the winery or their owners.  All I knew is they had some great red wines!

Boy was I fascinated with this book and the history of not just the winery but of the owners themselves. Every winery has a story.  What might look big and glamorous didn’t happen overnight and unless you are friends you really don’t know of the struggles people have to get to the point they are today.

First visit to Hall (Rutherford) 2012


The Hall’s were novices with a dream. Kathryn having grown up on a vineyard in Mendocino, CA ran the vineyard after her parents passed, she actually lived in Dallas TX. She met Craig when she was running for Mayor of  Dallas. A political career that took her to be the US Ambassador to Austria.  When you visit Hall, you will see many of the touches  from her trips abroad.

The journey of  Kathryn, Craig and Hall Wines had it’s ups and downs.  They lost their very first vintage to a fire. Kathryn and Craig speak in their own voice about the experiences and struggles. You will see and understand why they created the Walt brand. Very good marketing behind that decision. Everything is very well thought through.
Never did they ever think they would achieve a perfect score. Deciding during a rainy vintage, not to pick the grapes can be risky. But that risk paid off along with skilled winemaking for their 2010 Exzellenz.
Sit down with a glass of Hall Cabernet and read their story.  It might just have you wanting to be a part of their community when you are finished.
One thing I did when I finished the book was to go through my wine cellar and see if I had a bottle of the 2010 Exzellenz.  Unfortunately I did not.