A little slice of the Loire Valley placed right in the middle of Napa. The chateau at Domaine Carneros is modeled after the historic Taittinger-owned Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne. It is just stunning and a lovely way to spend your afternoon.
I decided to make this a stop on our trip because I love sparkling wine! (who doesn't?) Domaine Carneros makes some of the best in the business along with some fantastic pinot noirs. When you come to this winery you are going to want to sit out on the balconies overlooking the vineyards and take in the surroundings as you taste your wines.
Our fabulous guide Heather suggested the grande tasting with the cheese pairing. Now not to worry, all the cheeses come from local artisans and are all made with vegetarian rennet. This cheese plate comes with 3 cheeses the bellweather carmody, the Mt. Tam (from Cowgirl Creamery one of my favorites!) and midnight moon. Along with the cheeses you get some crackers, cashews, dried apricots and pears. A pretty nice little presentation if you ask me!
It's so hard to critique anything about this winery… we had a lovely time and all of the wines were exceptional! One of my favorites is the 2007 brut rose. As soon as Heather suggested that is would make a nice breakfast or brunch wine, I immediately knew it needed to be served with my vegan whole wheat peach pancakes.
Two of my other favorites include the 2005 Le Reve Blanc de Blancs and The Famous Gate 2008 Carneros Pinot Noir.
The Blanc de Blancs (pictured below) is an estate grown blend of 99% chardonnay and 1% pinot blanc. It's been aged in the bottle for a minimum of 5 years. Yada, yada, yada, the stuff tasted incredible! It's a perfect special occasion wine!
I really do love this winery! It's elegant without being obnoxious. The wines are delicious and the people at Domaine Carneros makes it a fun and educational experience.
If you get a chance, definitely add this winery to your list of must tries!
1240 Duhig Road
Napa, CA 94559
Tasting price: Tour: $25 Table Service: $16-$25
Wine price per bottle: $24-$96