Sep. 22nd, 2010

Winery Review: Domaine Carneros in Napa, California

Wineries in California: Gently rolling hills cascade endlessly away from Domaine Carneros Winery’s 18th-century château-style estate. Seated between the Mayacama Mountains and San Pablo Bay, the 36,900-acre property is rich in all elements favoring outstanding Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, two of the essential varietals in its award-winning portfolio of sparkling wines. Ample sunshine offset by cool temperatures, fog, and an afternoon wind breathe excellence into Domaine Carneros’ estate vineyards, which received organic certification by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in April 2008. The winery was the first and remains the only producer of sparkling wines in the United States with 100 percent organic estate vineyards. Domaine Carneros’ commitment to the environment and sustainability remains the driving force behind its winemaking practices.

The year 2010 is a particularly exciting one at Domaine Carneros. It started not with the pop of a cork, but with the release of a non-sparkling wine: its first still white Pinot Noir, crafted by Pinot Noir Winemaker TJ Evans. The 2008 Domaine Carneros Pinot Clair gives Pinot Noir enthusiasts the opportunity to taste the purity of the grape’s stone-fruit characteristics. In April, a new jewel to the winery’s sparkling crown was added with a very special 2006 Brut Rosé Sparkling wine. “Over the years, we have found that our Rosé ages in our cellars beautifully,” Founding Winemaker/CEO Eileen Crane reveals, “The lovely fruit remains, but an equally lovely complexity also develops. With that discovery, we created our 2006 Rosé Sparkling wine—aged a full three years and vintage dated.” As always, a lot is happening in the vineyards and winery of Domaine Carneros.

In the future, one can continue to count on this innovative, dedicated, green winery to create distinctive wines that pair beautifully with food and are elegantly complex.

  • ’06 Vintage Brut Sparkling, meadow flowers, citrus peel, vanilla, spice $26
  • ’06 Brut Rosé Sparkling, wild strawberries, roses, peach $36
  • ’07 Estate Pinot Noir Raspberry, black cherry, smoke, orange peel, exotic spice $35
  • ’04 Le R?ve Blanc de Blancs Sparkling, baked pear, ginger, cr?me br?lée, toasted nuts $85

    1240 Duhig Rd
    Napa, CA 94559
    Tasting Room Open Daily 10–5:45

    Take Hwy 121/12 4 miles southwest of Napa or 6 miles southeast of Sonoma to Duhig Rd.
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