Gently rolling hills cascade endlessly away from
Domaine Carneros Winery
's eighteenth-century château-style estate. Seated between the Mayacamas 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 their award-winning sparkling wines. Ample sunshine offset by cool temperatures, fog, and an afternoon wind brush excellence into these vineyards. While sipping a Brut Vintage Cuvée completed in the méthode champenoise from the winery's terrace, it may be all too easy to take this land for granted. Good thing Chief Winemaker and President Eileen Crane has not.
Located within the Carneros region, four different estate managed vineyards have been planted on 350 acres and each has been certified organic. "We've always taken an active role to preserve the health of the land," says Eileen who has kept the winery's sustainable agricultural practices relatively quiet because as she relays, "Our first commitment is to produce the best wines." However, inevitably this love for the land and its vines would evolve into organic farming. The benefit of organic viticulture materializes over time yielding healthier vines capable of producing higher quality grapes. Certification undergoes an arduous three-year process. In December of 2007, Domaine Carneros received its certification and became the first certified organic American sparkling wine producer. In 2003, a further ecological commitment was demonstrated with the winery's installation of the largest photovoltaic solar collection system in operation at that time at any winery in the world.
The green terrain slopes, backed by commanding views of Carneros, San Pablo Bay, Mount Diablo, Mount Tamalpais, and San Francisco may have just become "greener." In a time when resources demand respect, Domaine Carneros is exercising responsible leadership in order to provide exceptional wines labeled under environmental sensitivity. How does the green movement taste? Elegantly complex, fresh, and never too sweet.
What to Buy:
'05 Vintage Brut Sparkling, pear, and citrus peel, creamy finish $26
Cuvée de la Pompadour Brut Rosé Sparkling, strawberries, hint of peach, true Brut $36
'06 Estate Pinot Noir Chinese five-spice, berries, herbal elements, wisp of smoke $35
'06 The Famous Gate Pinot Noir Black cherry, berries, cocoa, and baking spice $68
1240 Duhig Rd.
Napa, CA 94559
Take Hwy 121/12 four miles southwest of Napa and six miles southeast of Sonoma to Duhig Rd.