1134 Dealy Lane

Napa, CA 94559

Tel. (707) 253-9463

 

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Mahoney Family Vineyards

Fleur de California

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Los Carneros Header with ram in background

The Carneros Appellation

 
In the early 1970s, “Rincon de Los Carneros“ was the name of a place that only existed on outdated maps and in historical society records. Today Rincon de Los Carneros is known worldwide as the Carneros Appellation. This wind-swept and fog-blanked region located in the southern portion of Napa and Sonoma Valleys is quite literally the gateway to wine country. San Francisco native Francis Mahoney came to the Carneros region in pursuit of a dream – to grow wines that would rival those he admired from France’s Burgundy region…

By the early 1970s, “Rincon de los Carneros” wasn’t much more than obscure words scrawled across outdated maps. That was when San Francisco native Francis Mahoney came to wine country looking for the ideal place to grow wines to rival those he’d tasted in France’s Burgundy region, and decided to settle in this “Corner of the Rams” (named for the herds Spanish missions raised there). It was located in the southern reaches of Napa Valley, below the warmer confines of the central valley floor.  Many wine industry experts said the weather was too cool there to produce great wines.

Francis thought otherwise.  He understood the greatness of the renowned wines of Burgundy were due in no small part to that area’s terroir – the climactic conditions in which the grapes are grown. Francis saw similarities in those windy, foggy areas at the lower ends of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, and noticed there were in fact many things this region had in common with the vineyards in Burgundy.

It turned out he was right.  The swath of territory straddling these cooler regions of rolling land, situated not far from the north coast of San Pablo Bay, is now known the world over as the wine-growing region of Los Carneros. Its climate is heavily influenced by the cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean and a combination of summer fogs in the mornings, temperate days, and a long growing season, making it particularly superb for growing pinot and chardonnay. The Carneros wine region is an independent American Viticultural Area, having received its AVA designation in 1983.

 

Weather Conditions

It is common for fog to slip over Carneros in the early evening and continue to blanket the area until well into the morning. The fogs and cool sea breezes help to moderate the vineyard temperatures, providing ideal conditions for growing cool-climate varietals and allowing them to mature more evenly on the vines. This extended hang time allows the grapes to reach their peak acidity and sugar levels much later in the growing season than would be possible in warmer climates. The end result is fruit with a higher level of intensity and structure, characteristics that are quite evident in wines labeled Carneros.

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Rows of Vineyard going up a hill
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Winemaking

We believe that winemaking should aim to express the terroir of the vineyard sites. Toward that end, we pick at moderate sugar levels, ferment at cooler temperatures, and exercise restraint in the extraction of tannins, maintaining a fruit forward, balanced style with nice acidity and a smooth, supple feel . While most of our wines mature in barrel, we aim for a subtle oak profile, never dominating the fruit.

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Grapes

Our plantings consist primarily of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Vermentino, with small blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Montepulciano, as well as Albariño, Pinot Blanc and Riesling.

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Climate

Carneros is reliably cooler than the heart of the Napa Valley to the north, with fog that often lingers late into the morning, and strong breezes that start blowing in the afternoon to provide additional cooling. Summers are warm and dry, with daytime temperatures most often between 70 and 90 degrees, and nighttime lows in the 50’s. These conditions promote slow ripening, good flavor development, and preservation of acidity in the grapes.

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Soils

Carneros has a diverse group of soil profiles that range from shale to Diablo clays, clay-loam mixtures, or gravelly, sandy deposits. Our Mahoney Ranch has a mix of shale and clay, where Las Brisas Vineyard is largely gravelly loam deposited by a meandering stream.

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Sustainability

In our vineyards, cellars, and offices, Carneros Wine Company | Mahoney Vineyards focuses on stewardship of the lands that provide for us. From the energy efficient tractors and owl boxes in our vineyards, to the solar arrays and recycle programs in our offices, we try to minimize our carbon footprint whenever and wherever we can. In fact, because we are in the agriculture business, our goal is to produce less CO2 than our vineyards offset.

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Vineyard Geography

The Carneros region spans the southern reaches of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, on rolling hills overlooking San Pablo Bay. The AVA was established in 1983 as a region defined by the cooling influence of fog and wind from San Francisco Bay to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Estate Wines

All of our Estate Wines, including Las Brisas Vineyard, Mahoney Ranch, and Gavin Vineyard. These wines showcase the true flavors of Los Carneros, and we invite you to try some today.

Gavin Vineyard

2020 Mahoney Vineyards Gavin Vineyard Chardonnay Flip Box front

 

This Chardonnay grows on the rolling hills of Carneros, overlooking the San Pablo Bay, on a portion of our ranch called Gavin Vineyard.

Las Brisas Vineyard

 

This Albariño grows at Las Brisas Vineyard, a foggy, windy site overlooking San Pablo Bay and showcase lovely floral aromas.

Mahoney Ranch

2019 Mahoney Vineyards Pinot Noir Mahoney Ranch Flip Box front

 

The sloping hillsides of Mahoney Ranch, along with the shy-bearing Pinot clones, often yield wines that fit into a dense and structured style.