Chandon California

Chandon California
Chandon California

Chandon Chandon California

In the 1973, Domaine Chandon became the first French-owned sparkling wine venture in the United States. Chandon California has been producing high-end sparkling wines in the heart of the Napa Valley for over 40 years.

Creation date: 1973
Estate Director : Susan Caudry
Head office: One California Drive Yountville, CA 94599 - United States of America
Website: www.chandon.com

Identity

Founded in 1973 by Moët & Chandon, Chandon California was the first wine estate to be established in the United States by a Champagne House. Located in Yountville, deep in the heart of Napa Valley – the signature region for US viticulture – the estate produces sparkling wines made following the champenoise traditional method. Three grape varieties are used to produce these wines: chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. The grapes come from vineyards located in Mount Veeder, Yountville and Carneros, regions where vast temperature variations provide perfect conditions for grapes to take on complex flavors. The estate also produces a range of still wines from the three grape varieties traditionally used in the Champagne region. On the cutting edge of sustainable development and farming practices, Chandon California offers a unique wine discovery tour based on how wine is made and tasted, which makes it one of the most visited destinations in Napa Valley.

Visitors taste grapes from the estate among the vineyards © Chandon California

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The fine and elegant étoile is the sparkling wine that perfectly represents the style of Chandon California. It is produced by blending chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. These grapes come from the vineyards of Sonoma and Carneros counties, the coolest parts of Napa Valley, which give the wine a unique liveliness.

Bottle of étoile brut © Chandon California

Insights

Profile of Pauline Lhote, Winemaker © Chandon California

“The Champagne region and California have quite different climates and terroirs, which of course means that the approach to harvesting the grapes needs to be adapted. We also have greater flexibility in crafting the wines, allowing us to really apply our creativity.”

Architecture

Designed by ROMA Architects in 1973, the property occupies an area of 4,000m2 in the middle of the vineyards. The building is an elegant combination of wood, copper and stone, inspired by the curved lines of wine tanks. On the cutting edge of sustainable development and farming practices, Chandon California offers a unique wine discovery tour based on how wine is made and tasted, for the 230,000 visitors who come to the estate each year.

Chandon California estate © Eric Wolfinger
Chandon California estate © Eric Wolfinger

Savoir-faire

They are two reasons why Domaine Chandon California is unique: Firstly, for the blending of each cuvée of sparkling wine, the estate uses more than 60 different wines from the three grape varieties: pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay.  The fruit comes from 25 vineyards which are spread over Yountville, Mt Veeder and Carneros. And secondly, the wines from Yountville, the warmest district, provide a strong and robust character for the cuvée.  The wines from Carneros are like the area itself: fine and cool.   The wines from Mount Veeder are intensely fruity.  Blending these wines with their many different characteristics produces a remarkable cuvée that echoes the unique Californian character.

Chandon California estate © Chandon California
Estate - Chandon California © Chandon California

Key figures

  • 1973 Estate creation date
  • 1st wine estate to be established in the United States by a Champagne House
  • 400 hectares. Surface area of the vineyards surrounding the estate