Fleur de California wines showcase exuberant fresh fruit flavors, highlighting the unique qualities of our vineyards. The style of our wine is crafted on the vine, with picking decisions based on the interplay between fruit flavors and acidity. The resulting wines display balance and true varietal character. With restrained use of oak and moderate alcohol levels, these wines are made to grace any table.
In 1986 Fleur de Carneros debuted and was considered by Francis ” Pinot 101″. The wines were aged in stainless steel or oak tanks and bottled within 8 months of harvest. The resulting wines exhibited bright fruit, with forward aromas of red fruit typical of the Carneros region. The style was inviting and straightforward, and most of the grapes were purchased from local growers. Today, the Pinot Noirs are largely grown on our Estate vineyards, fermented in small lots, and aged in French oak barrels for about a year prior to blending and bottling. Compared to the early vintages, today’s wines show more depth and complexity while maintaining their varietal focus. Our Vermentino likewise comes from the Estate, as does a portion of our Chardonnay and Rosé. While our largest production still derives from Carneros, in 2003 the brand name changed to Fleur de California to allow us to work with fruit from other regions as well as our own.
Decades of experience in farming and winemaking guide us in crafting each wine in the Fleur de California portfolio. We rely both on our estate vineyards and those of our small family growing partners, and Fleur de California wines embody the dedication, patience, and persistence of those who have worked the land for generations. Owner and Founder Francis Mahoney brings over 50 years of Pinot Noir clonal research, both individually and in partnership with UC Davis, as well as a commitment to sustainable farming practices in our estate vineyards. The Mahoneys were also the first to plant Vermentino in the North Coast, continuing a tradition of innovation and experimentation that dates back to the 1970’s. Francis was originally inspired by the wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux, and our wines reflect the focus on balance and acidity that typifies wines from those regions. Ken Foster, Winemaker and General Manager, has spent 3 decades pursuing his passion for Pinot Noir. Starting at David Bruce Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1987 as a crush assistant, he grew into roles as assistant winemaker, production manager, and winemaker, playing a key role in the winery’s transformation into a leading producer of Pinot Noir in the 1990’s. Ken has always maintained that great wines are largely the result of work in the vineyards and works closely with Francis and our vineyard manager, Gustavo Infante, to produce wines that reflect the unique qualities of our sites.
Our mission at Fleur de California is to produce wines that stay true to the varietal and terroir of their origin while retaining the balance and acidity needed to complement any meal.