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Wine Notes

Can a Once-Hip Wine Region Be Cool Again?

August 11, 2016

Napa Valley offers a diversity of soils and climates, allowing the opportunity to make an exceptional portfolio of wines. In the Carneros AVA, featured in the Wall Street Journal article “Can a Once Hip Wine Region be Cool Again,” Mira has blocks in both Hyde Vineyard and Stanly Ranch, each a source for our two Pinot Noirs. Hip and cool can come and go, but these two vineyards in the Carneros AVA produce exceptional grapes vintage to vintage.

Excerpts from the article are below or you can read the full article on the Wall Street Journal here.

Can a Once-Hip Wine Region Be Cool Again?

California’s Carneros region may have been overshadowed by other appellations, but a small group of vineyard owners and vintners are looking to restore youth and excitement

By: Lettie Teague | August 11, 2016

One time, not so long ago, the most famous and sought-after place to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in California was Carneros. The region, which lies partly in Napa and partly in Sonoma, showed so much promise that big-name sparkling-wine producers from France and Spain opened Carneros outposts. Today, the former hot spot has been overshadowed by newer, cooler appellations.

“Cooler” in terms of both climate and fashion, places like the Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley are now attracting the talent and earning the big critical scores as winemakers looking for a challenge, and perhaps a place to make a name for themselves, turn to uncharted territory farther north. And Carneros, the well-trodden ground of more-established, often less-exciting brands, is considered “middle-aged,” said winemaker Scott Rich, who makes his Talisman Pinot Noirs from several regions, including Carneros.

Lee Hudson, the owner of Hudson Vineyards, who has been farming in Carneros for more than 30 years, remembers the early excitement about the region, when it was pretty much the only Pinot Noir region in the U.S. anyone talked about. “There was a lot of buzz,” he recalled.

The Los Carneros appellation—the first in California to recognize specific climactic conditions and not a political boundary (i.e. county)—was created in 1983. Four years later, Claude Taittinger, of the Champagne Taittinger family, chose the area for his new venture, Domaine Carneros. The estate is still the most visible winery in Carneros, rising high above the fields off Highway 121 like some sort of Gallic mirage. Other sparkling-wine giants, including Spain’s Freixenet and Codorníu, set up shop around the same time. Freixenet founded Gloria Ferrer, while Codorníu created Codorníu Napa, now known as Artesa Napa Valley.

Read the full article on the Wall Street Journal.

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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