Mira produces hand crafted, all-natural wines, each a singular expression of unique grapes. Aged to produce flavors defined by their purity and understated elegance, Mira wines are ready to drink upon release and are built for enjoyment after years in the cellar.
PHILOSOPHY AND HISTORY
Building our Miracle
In 2009 entrepreneur Jim “Bear” Dyke and winemaker Gustavo A. Gonzalez launched Mira Winery and began to acquire some of the best blocks from leading vineyards exclusively from the Napa Valley. We were determined to build a broad portfolio of single vineyard 100% varietal wines with production limited to the grapes from each block. Wines that were interesting, balanced and a true reflection of their place, varietal, and season.
Mira has small blocks of Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc at Hyde Vineyard in the Carneros AVA of the Napa Valley and produces a vineyard designated wine from each block.
Mira’s two small Cabernet Sauvignon blocks at Schweizer Vineyard, one of the oldest continuously planted vineyards in the Stags Leap AVA of the Napa Valley, ferment in three specially designed 5 ton French Oak fermentation tanks. Mira’s 2012 Schweizer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is the first vineyard designated wine from the historical property released in 2016 quickly proving to be one of the Napa Valley’s leading Cabernets.
In the spring of 2018 we planted small blocks of Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris and began construction of our new winery and hospitality house on our 16 acre property at 6170 Washington Street just south of Yountville. In June of 2019, on Mira’s 10th anniversary, we will open to visitors by appointment. Our new winery will allow us to further our hands-on small block approach to winemaking. Visitors will have a vine-to-bottle and beyond experience that reflects hundreds of years of wine making history in a facility inspired by early settlers of the Napa Valley and could have been built by George C. Yount himself.
Albert Einstein famously said there are two types of people in life. Those who don’t believe in miracles and those who believe everything is a miracle. Mira has other meanings but we chose it because it is the Latin root of miracle. Many miracles are unexpected but in our case we have been believing and building it everyday for 10 years. We couldn’t be more excited about the future as we continue our quest for perfection.
For over 20 years Mira winemaker and cofounder 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. He enrolled in college planning to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering but felt himself drawn to literature and philosophy, and as he shifted his studies towards those subjects he found wine flowing through the history of Western Civilization.
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 sampler, working in the field collecting samples. 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.
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, consistently receiving Wine Spectator ratings of 95 or higher. 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. He was responsible for the 2001 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia “Masseto” Toscana which received 100 points from Wine Spector and was described by James Suckling as, “possibly the best Tuscan red ever.”
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 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. At a blind tasting commemorating the historic Judgement of Paris and featuring eight of the world’s top wines from Bordeaux and the Napa Valley, the 2012 Mira Cabernet Sauvignon Schweizer Vineyard took the top slot for Cabernet from the Napa Valley besting Screaming Eagle, Schrader To Kalon, and Shafer Hillside Select.
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.
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.
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.