The state of California is the hub of the US wine industry. It produces over 80% of the country’s wine and is a world-class centre for viticultural and wine production research.
The USA is the world’s fourth largest wine-producing country in the world and California on its own would still count as the fourth largest!
Even though it only produces 4% of the total volume of wine in California, Napa Valley is responsible for 20% of the value of all of the state's wine. Its modern history starts in 1966 with the construction of the Robert Mondavi winery. It is the third largest county in terms of area under vine (18,620 hectares, with more than 300 wineries and over 1,000 growers).
Opus One was founded by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, legendary proprietor of Château Mouton Rothschild, and renowned Napa Valley vintner Robert Mondavi. By combining the great winemaking traditions and innovations of both families, the founders’ singular goal was to create an exceptional wine in the heart of Napa Valley.
“At Cardinale, as we sat down to blend the 2013s, we knew that Mother Nature had created her transcendent work. It was up to us to present Cardinale to you as one of the wines that would exemplify this vintage now and far into the future.”
Dominus Estate, Yountville, California, was established in 1983 by Christian Moueix. Situated on the famed Napanook vineyard, it was, in the 1940s and 1950s, the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines. In fact, the vineyard’s history can be traced back to Napa Valley’s beginnings, when in 1838 George Yount, for whom the town of Yountville was named, first planted grapevines there.
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Santa Barbara County has a history of wine making and wine grape growing stretching back more than 200 years to before California was a state. From the Mission Era of early California through the Ranchero and Pueblo Era, struggling through Prohibition to the beginning of the modern era of wine making that started in the 60's, Santa Barbara County continues to combine traditional, hand-made techniques, with the latest cutting-edge innovations in grape growing and wine making.
Tyler is dedicated to producing wines of delicacy and balance, where structure and nuance are favoured above all else. Our focus is exclusively on exceptional vineyard sites throughout the Santa Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley within Santa Barbara County, and feel pinot noir and chardonnay are the best mediums to express each vineyard site. Within these two appellations, the unique combination of marine-based soils, transverse ranges and valleys, and cool ocean influence make this a truly wonderful place for growing pinot noir and chardonnay.
Sonoma County is the second largest in terms of area under vine (more than twice the size of Napa) with almost 24,000 hectares, second only to San Joaquin. Sonoma is more complicated than Napa with its various AVAs (American Viticultural Areas). Climate, as for California generally, is all about the presence or absence of fog and the consequential cloud cover.
The wines of Vérité, French for “truth”, are the result of a combination of old-world experience and new-world fruit. Each wine is a distinct blend of unique components harvested from small vineyard blocks, culminating in a meticulously formed union of grape varieties, climate, soil expression, and winemaking technique.
Oregon’s relatively mild climate is reflected in its fairly lightweight wines.
Oregon has famously produced very Burgundian Pinot Noir. The modern period of wine production in Oregon goes back to 1961 and the development of Pinot Noir. Early producers in Oregon had often moved north from California, believing that Oregon would be more suited to the styles of wine they wished to produce than California had proved to be.
The breakthrough for Oregon and Pinot Noir came in 1979, with the success of a 1975 Eyrie Vineyard Oregon Pinot Noir in a French-sponsored competition.
If Oregon is Burgundian in its wine offering, Washington State, now the second biggest V. vinifera wine producing state in the USA, is arguably more like Bordeaux, with an emphasis on Merlot in particular.
Washington State lies to the north of Oregon. It is divided into two by the high Cascade Mountains. The key vineyard area lies inland, to the east of the Cascades. The latitude lies somewhere between the latitudes of Bordeaux and Burgundy, and the continental climate gives good ripening.