Mira Winery—a name inspired by the Latin root of “miracle” and Greek for “destiny”—is a family owned, 16 acre estate in the heart of the Napa Valley. Guided by the perfect proportions of the “Golden Ratio” in every aspect from building to barrel, this innovative winery’s aim is to farm sustainably, use 100% Napa Valley fruit, make the wines in the gentlest, most natural way possible and then let the wine reveal itself as a pure voice of Napa. Winemaker Gustavo A. Gonzalez has both extensive global winegrowing experience and a 25 year, deep local knowledge of Napa terroir, having worked across every AVA of the Napa Valley. At Mira, he shapes small blocks of sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties, Pinot Noir, Syrah and even the rare Sauvignon Gris into limited allocations of single-vineyard, single-varietal Napa Valley wines.
A chance meeting that changed everything.
Miracles happen every day in a variety of ways both small and large from the growing season that produces the grapes, to a chance meeting, to sometimes just getting through a day. Mira’s miraculous journey began one spring evening in 2005, when two guys—Napa winemaker Gustavo Gonzalez and entrepreneur Jim “Bear” Dyke, Jr.—walked into the Off the Record bar at DC’s Hay Adams hotel. “I had just finished hosting a winemaker dinner,” recalls Gustavo. “I was having a beer and talking with the bartender when Bear walked in and we struck up a conversation.” The two discovered a shared love of wine while Gustavo discussed his fascination with mathematics, in particular the perfect beauty of the Golden Ratio and its relationship to the Fibonnacci sequence, a mathematical concept used at least since the ancient Greeks and Egyptians that is expressed in nature, architecture, art and even the stock market.
Gustavo noted that while he was happy as the head red winemaker at Robert Mondavi Winery, “Like a lot of winemakers we all dream of having our own little side project.” He explained how it doesn’t take infrastructure or a big investment to get started, just relationships that give you access to high quality fruit and a nearby custom crush facility. “I had heard plenty of stories about how difficult the wine business can be, so Gustavo’s perspective was surprising to me,” says Bear. “And Gustavo is such a deep talent, so real and passionate, that it left me wondering if this could be something special.” A few hours and a few glasses of wine later, the two new friends parted with the idea of starting a winery together someday.
A “Golden” opportunity.
Gustavo and Bear’s dream sprang to life in 2009 with the serendipitous purchase of coveted fruit from Hyde Vineyard in Carneros, soon followed by Cabernet Sauvignon from the venerable, 100+ year-old Schweizer Vineyard in Stag’s Leap District. In 2016, the Dyke family purchased a 16-acre plot of land in Yountville that was first planted to wine grapes in 1885. There they built Mira Winery and Hospitality House, with the Golden Ratio’s perfect proportions incorporated into everything from the design of the buildings and landscaping to the size of barrels and tanks.
A particularly stunning example is embodied in the gleaming wooden egg-shaped fermenter called Ovum. Fibonacci’s principles not only create beauty on the outside but in this case also allow for the fermentation to mix itself inside the egg naturally, without the human intervention of punch downs. Tonnellerie Taransaud makes only two of these works of art per year and of the 12 in existence, Mira is the only winery in the Americas to receive one.
An approach of partnership and purity.
“We believe that exceptional wine requires a partnership between soil and sun, grapes and process, and people working together toward a common goal,” says Gustavo. “By farming sustainably, using 100% Napa Valley fruit, and making sure the winemaking techniques we use elevate rather than overpower the fruit, we feel gives these wines a kind of purity, a clear voice of Napa.” Mira’s diverse barrel program also serves this goal: Rather than rely on manipulation, Gustavo takes a single grape variety from a single vineyard and puts the wine into 100% French oak barrels of different grain, shape, age and toast. This emphasizes different aspects of the wine, which will then be blended together before bottling, making a more interesting wine, naturally and without interventions. Made with the enthusiastic collector in mind, Mira wines are built to age from 15 to 30 years but are confidently drinkable upon release.
Miracles don’t grow on trees. But they can grow on vines.
Every great bottle of wine starts in the vineyard. In the past 25 years, Gustavo has overseen vineyards in many of the world’s most renowned winegrowing regions—from Burgundy, to Tuscany, to Mendoza and to nearly every corner of Napa Valley and Sonoma. Famous for its unique soils and microclimates, the Napa Valley is where Gustavo has overseen close to 3,000 acres, planting 15 different grape varieties. From the heights of Howell Mountain and Atlas Peak to the depths of Oakville, Rutherford, and Stags Leap on the valley floor, Gustavo’s approach is informed through his ability to comprehend these differing soil profiles. In addition to Mira’s newly planted estate vineyard, Gustavo’s relationships and reputation have earned Mira access to fruit from two of Napa’s most coveted, internationally renowned vineyards: Schweizer and Hyde.