Miracles Happen Every Day

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.

 

 

Video Transcript

 

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OUR STORY

Miracles happen every day.

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.

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Gustavo A. Gonzalez

A True Global Winemaker

For over 20 years Mira winemaker and co-founder Gustavo A. Gonzalez has been practicing his craft in the Napa Valley and around the world to critical acclaim. Gustavo has worked in California, Italy, France, Argentina and Brazil. His local knowledge and global perspective bring a highly experienced and creatively expansive approach to Mira’s vineyard practices and winemaking techniques.

The roots of Gustavo’s love for wine reach deep into his childhood. He grew up in California’s Central Valley, surrounded by family with longstanding ties to agricultural business who instilled in him a love of the land and an appreciation for wine. “I spent a fair amount of my summers at orchards, vineyards, cotton fields, tomato fields and canneries,” he recalls. “I really loved seeing all of this but it never occurred to me that I wanted to be a farmer, much less a winemaker. Rather, my dreams were filled with airplanes and rockets and cars.”

Gustavo enrolled in college planning to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering but felt himself drawn to art, philosophy and chemistry. As he shifted his studies toward those subjects, he found wine flowing through the history of Western Civilization. “One day I found a bottle from Robert Mondavi Winery that my father had put away. I read the back label and written there was the mission statement that defined what it is that unifies all of this history, science, creativity and humanity that I had been studying: wine. It had never occurred to me that something so simple could be so noble, so gracious.”

Gustavo’s newfound appreciation for winemaking’s heritage took him to the Napa Valley where he joined the Robert Mondavi Winery in 1995 as a harvest lab sampler, taking samples of fermenting tanks and barrels and measuring sugar and temperature. It was this first opportunity to witness the transformation of grapes into fine wine that made it clear: Winemaking was not just Gustavo’s job, it was his vocation. “I realized that I was called to do this and all of the paths I curiously followed leading up to this were finally in context.”

In his 17 years at Robert Mondavi Winery, Gustavo earned the title of Head Red Winemaker and established the Robert Mondavi Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon as one of the leading Napa Valley Cabernets. He produced the best Sauternes-style wine of the new world and raised the Pinot Noir program to cult status, all while working with other wineries around the world.

Thanks to all of these experiences, by 2009 Gustavo’s winemaking philosophy was becoming much more defined and he was ready to take advantage of an opportunity to showcase the vocation he had been honing. It was Gustavo’s strong relationships with leading Napa Valley grape growers that brought Mira from shared dream to reality, providing the young winery with unique access to the finest blocks of grapes in some of the Napa Valley’s premier vineyards including Hyde Vineyard in the Carneros AVA and Schweizer Vineyard in the heart of the Stags Leap District AVA.

With his superb craftsmanship and attention to detail, Gustavo quickly established Mira as one of the top producers of small production, single-vineyard wines from the Napa Valley. “It is the vigilance, vision and attention to detail of the decisionmaker along with geography, varietals and folklore that permits a vineyard and a wine to be recognized as noble,” he states. “Noble, then, is pure, absent of chemicals or chips but truly shining on its own. The vineyards and the wines are a product of reason over dogma and are a reflection of our own intelligence and humanity, taking the drinker on a bewildering journey that sometimes leaves you speechless but many times spurs conversation and places you in a moment in time.”

Gustavo’s love of winemaking has never diminished because he knows there is always something new to learn in the pursuit of producing the highest quality wine. Every vintage is different and presents unique opportunities for those who understand how to embrace those differences. The Napa Valley offers an unmatched combination of optimal climate and exceptional soils, and with 20+ years of knowledge and experience Gustavo is able to allow the innate spirit of the fruit grown in this special place to shine through in the wines of Mira.

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Napa Valley Growers

Our Vineyard Partners

Our Collectors Series wines are 100% varietal, hand crafted and produced from the best small blocks from internationally renowned Napa Valley growers Hyde and Schweizer Vineyards. These limited production wines, representing the soul of Mira Winery, require longer aging in 100% French Oak Barrels, as well as in bottle, to allow their delicate nuances to fully express themselves.

Meet Our Vineyard Partners

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The Mira Difference

Our Process

The Mira process begins before the vineyard. Napa Valley is renowned for its diversity of soil and micro-climate which means different grapes grow better in different locations. Therefore in order to produce a exceptional broad portfolio of wine we have identified the best blocks from vineyards around the valley. Our blocks from these different vineyards provide the best grapes for the type of wine we want to make whether its a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stags Leap AVA or a Pinot Noir from the Carneros AVA year after year.

The decision to harvest grapes is a combination of science, intuition and experience. Our primary objective is to pick the grapes when they are closest stylistically to the type of wine we are making. The grapes will ultimately reflect the season and their origin. All Mira blocks are hand harvested.

From harvest to fermentation we are minimally invasive so that the grapes are in pristine form when they make it to the tank. We use three 5 ton Taransaud French Oak Fermentors which were the first of their kind in the United States among other tanks for fermentation which includes a mix of whole clusters and de-stemmed grapes depending on the wine.

We use French Oak Barrels from 6 different cooperages with a variety of toasts for aging as well as some stainless steel barrels on our whites. Typically our white wines age for 12-24 months and our red wines age from 14-24 months depending on the wine.

After bottling mostly nonfined and nonfiltered we hold the wine for 12-18 months or until the wine is ready for release.

Mira Locations

Southern Roots, Napa Grapes

Napa, CA

Home of our boutique, limited production winery.

Charleston, SC

Home of our tasting room for our Napa Valley wines.

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