Merlot & Pinot: Duckhorn Wine Company

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Upon traveling to St. Emilion and Pomerol, Dan Duckhorn became enchanted with an elegant varietal that to him was under appreciated in North America. At the time, this grape was used more for blending in Napa Valley, and very few wineries were exploring it’s potential as a stand-alone wine. A tradition was born, and co-founders Dan and Margaret Duckhorn focused on the production of Merlot, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and later Sauvignon Blanc at Duckhorn VIneyards. Since 1976 they have emphasized on site and terroir, and today the winery’s seven estate vineyard are located in alluvial fans of the Napa Valley as well as on the coveted slops of Howell Mountain. Each property produces grapes with distinct attributes that reflect the variations in soil, terrain, microclimate, and exposure. Candlestick Ridge Vineyard, Stout Vineyard, Monitor Ledge Vineyard, and Three Palms Vineyard and also joined by Marlee’s Vineyard, Rector Creek Vineyard, Patzimaro Vineyard, and Cork Tree Vineyard in Napa Valley. 

After fifteen years of making world-class Bordeaux-varietal wines, Dan and Margaret embraced their growing love of Pinot Noir. They set out to find a winery that could make a terroir-inspired expression of California Pinot that could stand up to the acclaimed Merlots they had produced at Duckhorn in Napa Valley. They came across Anderson Valley, and thus Goldeneye Winery was founded in 1996. The ideal clay soils and a marine-influenced climate creates all the ingredients perfect for producing world-class Pinot Noir. 

Winemaker Michaey Fay maintains integrity of each vineyard block, and champions detail and diversity to create elegant, deep, rustic powerful Goldeneye Pinot Noir. Born in Vicenza, Italy, raised in Southern California, Michael discovered a passion for West Coast Pinot Noir. “As a winemaker,” says Michael, “my goal isn’t to speak for the wines, it is to allow the wines to speak for themselves, so that their essential Anderson Valley-ness shines through.”

Michael will be representing Duckhorn Wine Company this April and their notable wine portfolio will be accompanied by Chef Tim Creehan’s cuisine. Tina and Bryan Corr are generously hosting the patron dinner at Tim Creehan’s new location, Cuvee 30a. 


By: Jordan Lacenski

Published on Thursday, March 5, 2015