Meet Chandon's new limited edition wine: Chandon Altius Upper Yarra Cuvée 2012
Our wines have a confident, sophisticated, food-friendly style that will excite your senses and inspire your palate. We make wine and live life with a genuine, energetic and creative outlook. With roots in France and our hearts in California, our sparkling wines reflect California character yet are true to the practices of method champenoise. Educational and fun, our tours provide lighthearted explorations of our history, winery, grape-growing regions, the winemaking process and our distinctive wines. Casual to informative, our wine tastings offer insight into the world of sparkling wines and the grapes used to make them.
Located in the heart of Yountville, California.
- Taste, sip, dine, enjoy.
- Meeting / Conference Facilities:
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Tom's love affair with wine began long before coming to Chandon. The son of an Italian immigrant chef and retail wine-and-spirits merchant, food and wine are in his blood. Tom worked in the family stores since early childhood, and along with family and friends, made wine at home using a shared press in the garage. After earning a degree in Environmental Studies and Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and an early foray into microbiology, Tom reconnected with the family's passion and parlayed his scientific training into a professional winemaking career. He's now spent the last 21 years mastering the art of sparkling winemaking at Chandon. His expertise in the science of sparkling winemaking along with his creative blending skills have played a key role in the creation of Chandon's diverse sparkling-wine cuvées. Currently, Tom continues to demonstrate his exceptional talents as he oversees Domaine Chandon's sparkling program, carrying on a tradition of crafting the finest and broadest range of sparkling-wine styles in America.
But Chandon’s beginnings date back to 1690 with the father of champagne. A Benedictine monk and
cellar-master at the Abbey of Hautvillers, named Dom Pérignon, set out to unlock the secret of sparkling
wine and ultimately developed the traditional champagne method.
The Abbey of Hautvillers was purchased by Moët & Chandon who named their prestige cuvée, Dom
Pérignon, in honor of the Benedictine monk. Claude Moët, a Dutchman by origin, founded the house of
Moët in Champagne, France in 1743.
Expansion to the United States did not begin until 1968 when Moët & Chandon started searching for
the world’s next great sparkling wine region. In 1973 Moët-Hennessy (a partnership formed in 1971
between Moët & Chandon and cognac producer Hennessy) sought prime growing locations in Napa
Valley. They found it at Mt. Veeder, Carneros – a virtually undiscovered region cooled by bay breezes –
and the Yountville location Domaine Chandon now calls home. The founders planted vineyards and
designed an architectural and ecological winery that blends into its surroundings and reflects Chandon’s
legacy of excellence. Its first sparkling wine was released in 1976 and in 1977 the Visitor Center
opened its doors. Chandon’s pioneering legacy continued, being the first to introduce smaller containers
to preserve delicate grapes during harvest, the first California winery to use Pinot Meunier in its
sparkling wines, and in 1977, the first to bring fine dining to Napa Valley
Pauline Lhote is a native of Champagne, France where she comes from a family of farmers. She always knew she had a future in wine and decided at the age of 14 that her specialty would be winemaking. Blazing her own trail shortly after graduation, she set out for California. She came to Chandon for a three-month internship, expecting to learn a few things about New World sparkling wine. She never intended to fall in love with the California sunshine and its spirit of innovation, yet at Chandon she's found an opportunity to learn new techniques, be part of a small creative team, and use cutting edge technologies in the winemaking process. She's been here ever since, learning, creating, trying new things, and working her way up to Assistant Sparkling Winemaker.
Joel Burt - Assistant Winemaker, Still Wines:
Joel Burt was born and raised in California’s Central Valley into a family of organic farmers who grow table grapes, oranges, almonds, and vegetables. He spent summers working in the family vineyards in the hot Central Valley and in Arizona. After high school, Joel worked as a line cook and chef while taking classes at the local college. Through this restaurant experience, Joel was exposed to wine. He became so interested in the process of winemaking that he quit his job and took a seasonal harvest role at a local winery in Lodi. When harvest finished, Joel became the wine buyer at Whole Foods Market during the week and continued working in the winery on the weekends.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
Here a slightly warmer climate produces riper Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit, which contributes to the richer more robust style of our reserve wines.
Napa's cool and breezy district is one of California's finest areas for growing Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which are integral to sparkling wine.
The steep well-drained slopes of this portion of the Mayacamas Range produce small, intensely flavored Chardonnay grapes, which are also essential for making bubbly.