Gallery Content

  • Vineyards and Carneros Hills

In 1987, the Taittinger Family, with the dream of making the finest sparkling wine in the United States, purchased our 138-acre parcel in the heart of Carneros. Today, Domaine Carneros has 400 acres of Carneros estate vineyards in our care, the beauty of this prized land captured in every bottle.

The Great Estate - Celebrating Carneros Terroir

We are winegrowers dedicated to crafting wine that expresses our unique Carneros terroir. Domaine Carneros farms 6 ranches in the Carneros AVA, and all of them are within 4 miles of the Château. We are proud to be the only sparkling wine producer to use exclusively estate grown Carneros grapes.

Why does "Estate Grown" matter?

As of 2020 we are crafting all our wines with 100% Estate Grown fruit. Owning our vineyards and fine-tuning our fruit from planting to harvest results in an even finer wine. "Estate grown" means we are producing with our own grapes exclusively from the Carneros AVA of Napa and Sonoma. Our vineyard and winemaking teams have complete control of the process in the production of our wines from the soil all the way to the bubbles in your glass.

Living Lightly on the Land

At Domaine Carneros, our intention is to create the best wines and most memorable sparkling wine experience through healthy land, vines, and people. Since our founding, Domaine Carneros has pushed the envelope to ensure the winery lives as lightly on the land as possible while producing excellent grapes and wines.

By controlling all our farming, we can make decisions that allow us to achieve our sustainability goals and certifications such as:

1) Napa Green Land and Napa Green Winery Certified
2) Fish Friendly Farming Certified
3) Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing
4) California Green Medal Business Award

What is the Carneros AVA?

Two Valleys. One Distinct AVA.

The Carneros, Spanish for “ram”, spans the cool, southern ends of both Napa and Sonoma County. Characterized by a long, moderately cool growing season sweetened by the breezes and lingering fog of the San Pablo Bay, temperatures in this American Viticultural Area (AVA) are slightly cooler than Burgundy, yet slightly warmer than Champagne. As such, Carneros provides optimum conditions for the slow, even ripening of and perfect balance in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes – the principal grapes in champagne and fine sparkling wine.

“Receiving its AVA status in 1983, the Carneros area was the first wine region in California to be defined by its climate characteristics rather than political boundaries. This is one of the coolest AVAs in the area, producing crisp Chardonnays and acidic Pinot Noirs. Elevations of most vineyards range from 400 ft. in the foothills to near sea level by the bay. Afternoon breezes coming off the bay are cool and often quite strong. Daytime temperatures rarely break 80 degrees. Carneros doesn’t get much rain, about 18-27 inches in typical, non-drought years. Only four or five inches come during the growing season, mostly during spring.” – Carneros Wine Alliance.

Situated in the very heart of the region, the Domaine Carneros estate encompasses 400 acres in six separate sites, 250 acres devoted to Pinot Noir and 150 acres planted to Chardonnay. We are proud to be the only sparkling wine producer to use exclusively estate grown Carneros grapes.

Map of Sonoma and Napa Carneros AVA

Here are just 3 of the reasons our Carneros home grows world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir:

1) The proximity of the San Pablo Bay equates to cooler growing temperatures. Our grapes have time to ripen fully while retaining the high acidity necessary to make outstanding sparkling wine.
2) Carneros soil contains a high percentage of clay which aids in water and nutrient retention. Each of our six ranches possesses unique soil compositions with various elements of clay resulting in dinstinctive vine expression and fruit character.
3) Our landscape of rolling hills offers various sun aspects and microclimates of our vines, allowing us to farm block by block, vine by vine, to produce distinctly expressive fruit.

Estate vineyards with Magnolia tree and sun shining

Explore our 6 Estate Vineyards

Napa County

  • Entre Amis

The newest addition to our collection of Carneros vineyards was planted in 2017, half to Pinot Noir and half to Chardonnay. Located on the Western end of Las Amigas Road, the vines look right out at the San Pablo Bay and gleefully absorb cool breezes that consistently blow through. The 2021 harvest was the first vintage of this vineyard that really came into its own.

We have several still wines coming from the Entre Amis vineyard that are being blended now, but it is also playing a prominent role in our Brut Rosé. Our sparkling winemaker, Zak Miller, expects good things from this vineyard and will be patiently waiting for the 2021 vintage to evolve over the next 3 years before these wines are released.

  • La Rocaille

Situated East of the winery on the South side of the Carneros Highway and marked by a line of pine trees, this is our smallest vineyard. We selected this site in 1995 for its light soils, which have proven to be exceptionally fine for historic clones of Pinot Noir that go into our sparkling wines.

The La Rocaille vineyard is consistently featured in our tête de cuvée - Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs.

  • Domaine Carneros Estate

The Greate Estate - the vines surrounding our Château were the first and only winery vineyard we had when Eileen Crane was hired as winemaker in 1987. The selection of clones and the quality of the planting (and perhaps the beauty of the site) were an inspiration that led to the creation of Le Rêve and Famous Gate as our staple wines.

You can taste the Domaine Carneros Estate vineyard featured in our Famous Gate Pinot Noir.

Sonoma County

  • Le Ciel Serein

French for "the serene sky," Le Ciel Serein vineyard captures this feeling while you drive between Napa and Sonoma County. It is easy to spot this vineyard, just West of the Old Stornetta Dairy on the Carneros Highway. When we added this vineyard to our small coterie, our still Pinot Noir wines were gaining great popularity and it was planted predominately, but not exclusively, for these wines.

This vineyard showcases beautifully in our Le Ciel Serein Pinot Noir

  • Pompadour

On the South side of Old Napa Road (driving from the winery to the town of Sonoma), you may notice on your left an unusual Y-shaped reservoir that is Pompadour’s irrigation water.

The Pompadour vineyard is primarily used for our Brut Rosé and Le Rêve Rosé, and this year is featured in our limited release - Single Vineyard Brut.

  • Tula Vista

In 2011 our still winemaker, TJ Evans, spotted this terrific site on Ramal Road right next to Donum Estate. Tula Vista vineyard features a unique combination of heavy clay soils, both West and Northern exposure, and slopes facing the windy Petaluma Gap, which funnels a consistent breeze onto the vines.

Tula Vista vineyard is a component of our Estate Chardonnay.

We invite you to celebrate the Carneros terroir as you sip on our estate grown wines at home or create memories with us at the Château. Cheers!

We invite you to celebrate the Carneros terroir as you sip on our estate grown wines at home or create memories with us at the Château. Cheers!