Businessman Scores Big in Stags Leap District
Clos Du Val
Through the past four decades, Clos Du Val has consistently upheld its original mission to make distinctive, terroir-driven wines of elegance and balance.
The winery was founded in 1972, two years after American businessman John Goelet sent French-born Winemaker Bernard Portet on a mission to find a new, distinctive terroir to produce world-class wines. Bernard was struck by the Napa Valley, and more specifically, the volcanic soils and moderate climates of the then-undiscovered Stags Leap District. John was in full agreement and purchased 150 acres of land there and named it Clos Du Val, meaning "small estate of a small valley."
Since then, Clos Du Val has woven a rich reputation for creating wines for the wine lover, made to pair with food, to age with strength and grace, in quiet deference to the earth and to Mother Nature. The winery has achieved many milestones along the way, including the distinction of being named Winery of the Year by Wine & Spirits Magazine four times in five years.
Bernard, who is now considered to be one of the forefathers of the Napa Valley wine industry, leaves today's day-to-day decisions to Winemaker John Clews. Separately and as a team, they continue to make wines that age with grace and style for consumers to enjoy for decades to come.
Despite its esteemed reputation, the tasting room at Clos Du Val has a warm ambience. Outside, there is a demonstration vineyard designed to teach guests about sustainable farming, trellising, wine grapes, and more. The winery's delightful Olive Grove has picnic tables that often need to be reserved on weekends, and there are péntanque (the French version of bocce ball) courts for those who want to linger.
And inside, there are magnificent wines to taste. They are wines that have been crafted—not in hopes of achieving a great score, but in hopes of achieving greatness. Clos Du Val has certainly succeeded at that.
WHAT TO BUY
'06 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon Ripe black fruit, dried herbs, mocha, coffee, toast, black fruit, spice $70
'08 Napa Valley Chardonnay Pear, citrus, tropical fruit, citrus, toast $24
'07 Napa Valley Pinot Noir Raspberry, black cherry, cloves, cinnamon $30
Tasting Room Open Daily 10–5
5330 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
Private tastings, private tours, picnic grounds, wine club events, sustainable farming practices.