Domaine Chandon Yountville Reviews
Cheers May 22, 2010
This is an amazing place. There is so much history that it would take forever to share it with you. I suggest that you check out the website or better, take a visit here. If you do go on line, you will have to verify your age, which is not a bad thing. They offer a variety of tours and tastings. There is a fee, well worth it, so check before you go.
The place has an award winning restaurant attached as well as beautiful gardens. The tasting bar is great. The sparkling wine just flows from the guys who are having so much fun sharing incredible samples. Not only do they sample their labels, but you can get mixed drinks made with various varieties they are pouring. It was interesting to see the wide range of cocktails they made including what Julien had called The Chandon Hibiscus Royale. The flower was edible and Julien enjoyed it.
A tour of the grounds and facility include the large stainless vats, the gift shop and the tasting room. They show a short film that tells about the group that owns Domaine Chandon that includes the famous French designer house Luis Vuitton. They have a wide range of sparkling wines and still wines that are sure to please any palate or wallet.
Part of the California wine tour travel blog
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
A Little Bubbly Sep 19, 2008
Domaine Chandon is located in the Napa Valley and practices the traditional French sparkling winemaking practices established by their French Champagne house founders centuries ago. The history of champagne dates back to the late 1600's with its discovery by none other than, Dom Perignon. In the mid 1700's, Moet and Chandon was founded by Claude Moet in Champagne, which ultimately acquired the Benedictine Abbey. In the 1970's the chairman of the board of the parent company of Moet-Hennessy, looked to California expansion and Domaine Chandon was born, with its first relase in 1976. In 1977, the visitor center opened, making it the first French-owned sparkling wine venture in the U.S.
Chandon has 1,000 acres in Yountville, Carneros, and Mount Veeder which impart their own characteristics in the soil, which are important elements in both still and sparkling wine production. The regions' characteristics are:
> Yountville - slightly warmer climate produced riper Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, contributing to the richer more robust style of the reserves.
> Carneros - one of the best grape growing regions in California, the cooler region produces excellent Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier
> Mount Veeder - Known for the steep, well drained slopes on the Mayacamas Range, produces small, intensely flavored Chardonnay grapes
The three main grapes that go into sparkling wine might surprise some - Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are pretty mainstream, but the Pinot Meunier is a unique one to many California wine lovers. It's a close relative of Pinot Noir and is the most widely grown grape in the French Champagne region. The flavor is similar to a Pinot Noir but is said to be a bit earthier, with almost a nutty flavor.
Domaine Chandon offers an excellent tour which I highly recommend as the grounds are beautiful and it was very interesting to learn about sparkling wine production. If you are interested in just a tour with no tasting, it is $12.50. The regular tour and tasting is $25.00. The Ambassador tour and tasting is $30 and I highly recommend this one. You get a private sit down tasting with your tour guide and it's a very pleasant and interactive environment.
Once you've completed your tour, there are several tasting flights to choose from. We did the Brut flight which was prechosen for our group. Chandon features California Sparkling Wines, their exclusive wines (limited production), their Etoile collection which is a highly coveted cuvee, and their still wines which one of was included in our tasting flight.
After finishing your tour and tasting, make sure to check out the art that fills the grounds, Salon, and Etoile Restaurant. The art exhibits feature local artisans. They indicated everything was for sale if you find something you are interested in.
If you do the tour, make sure to find out what tour James does as he is an excellent guide and very knowledgeable. Also, make sure to say hi to Brock in the Salon if he is working! Both of these guys really contributed to our overall experience at Chandon!
Part of the Tip Toe Through the Grape Vines.....Ok, More Like Drunken Stumble! travel blog
Part of the list Boutique & Unique Wineries in Napa