Farming Carneros

If you're going to grow Chardonnay in the Napa Valley, the Carneros district is probably your best bet. The extreme temperature swings (diurnal shift) of daytime highs to nighttime lows that the upper Valley experiences rarely effect Carneros, making it the ideal location for thin-skinned varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Our twelve acre Estate Vineyard lies in the heart of the Los Carneros appellation. Following nearly two years of development work, including the construction of a reservoir, irrigation, drainage and trellising installation, this twenty-acre site on Carneros Creek was ready to be planted in May of 1999.

Using the lay of the land and soil types as guides, Rob Sweeney selected five separate Chardonnay clones (varieties) to plant: Dijon clones 76, 95 and 96 give the wine sweet aromatics of peach and nectarine stone fruits with a soft creamy texture. Our "Old Wente" clone adds floral notes of lavender, exotic tropical fruits as well as structure and length. And our trusty UC Davis clone 4 adds hints of fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon and gives the palate incredible body, concentration and richness.