Many wineries grow their own grapes, and specialize in “estate” wines.
Many do not, and instead purchase grapes each year from growers. Some have long-term contracts to help assure continuity from vintage to vintage, but may lack complete control over how the vineyards are farmed.
So it makes perfect sense that winery owners would want to also own the vineyards that provide the “raw material” — the grapes — for their wines.
That came to mind the other day when the following press release crossed my desk:
Ca’ Momi Napa Valley has purchased two premium vineyards in the Carneros Appellation of Napa Valley. Ca’ Momi recently closed on the purchase of a 10½-acre Pinot Noir vineyard from Napa winemaking legend Kent Rasmussen.
According to Mr. Rasmussen, the majority of the vines now on the property were planted in 1973. They are therefore among the oldest continuously producing Pinot Noir vines in the Carneros AVA, making them likely among the oldest in California.
This purchase complements Ca’ Momi’s purchase of a neighboring 9-acre vineyard planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot.
“The grapes from these vineyards have been a part of our Napa Valley wines for some time,” says Dario De Conti, CEO and Winemaker for Ca’ Momi. “We love the fruit, and the wines have been very successful. We really believe in the future of Napa Carneros and are thrilled to join the fantastic family of wine producers in the region. These vineyards will secure continuity of style for our Napa Reserve Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for decades, if not generations, to come.”
The release also noted that the Pinot Noir vineyard is fully permitted for a winery and tasting room.
“We are moving forward with plans for a winery on that property,” De Conti says. “It will give us additional winemaking capacity, and will also give us a beautiful location for hosting visitors.”
We’ll keep you posted as winery plans are announced.
What is it that makes Carneros a unique and acclaimed viticultural area? We’ll explore that question here tomorrow.