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Forty years ago, the Carneros had hopes of becoming the Burgundy of California. It didn’t – but neither did anywhere else. Now, it’s back in the limelight just by being itself.

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Los Carneros, late 1970s. Duhig Road veers off from Route 12 and heads south, splitting in half this hilly region where Napa and Sonoma valleys come together at the foot of the Mayacamas Mountains before both fizzle out into the marshlands bordering San Pablo Bay. It is an early fall afternoon, and a drive down Duhig and its side roads is mostly a serene one. Here and there, rectangular patches of vineyards, now green but turning red and yellow, stretch across dune-like rolling hillsides. From time to time, a truck full of grapes makes its way north...

 
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...I've got a few wines from Carneros beginning with a fine, quite flavorful Sauvignon Blanc from Cuvaison that is aged in concrete (or "beton" in French) and has a lovely purity. Still in the white department, the Truchard Roussanne has been one of that estate's signature wines for years.Moving on to red, but staying in the Carneros breeze, I've got a few Pinots as well, starting with the beautifully aging Saintsbury reserve, that was probably pretty hefty in its youth, but is aging into a seamless and complex whole that is really appealing...
 

 

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On Nov. 13, the Carneros Wine Alliance (CWA) hosted “Unusual, Unknown and Aged Wines” seminar and tasting, showcasing some of the top wine producers from the Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA) who are making use of the region’s specific mesoclimate and varied topography in unique ways.

Carneros has built a reputation on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sparkling wine production, but the region is not limited to these two grape varieties alone. The CWA event brought together a few winemakers who are looking beyond the usual suspects the dual Napa-Sonoma AVA has to offer...

 

 

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Carneros is the coolest of all AVAs nested within the Napa Valley AVA. In my opinion, it is also the most versatile of them. It produces crisp sparkling wines but also excellent Merlot and Syrah.

The Carneros AVA actually straddles the Napa-Sonoma County line though. It even represents more acreage in Sonoma County than in Napa County. But, Sonoma County has so much vineyard acreage in close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Carneros’ cool-to-moderate climate is less unique to Sonoma County than it is to Napa County....
 

 

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Carneros Wine Tasting & Cornhole Tournament: 4-6 p.m. Aug. 11. ZD Wines, 1080 Cuttings Wharf Road, Napa. This Carneros Wine Alliance event, a benefit for the Carneros and Schell-Vista fire departments, includes a walk-around wine tasting of Carneros all-star wines, followed by a lively cornhole tournament. $40.
 

 

You are invited to join Carneros wineries and enjoy a summer evening of the latest wine releases as well as a lively game of cornhole during the Carneros Wine Alliance Carneros Wine Tasting and Cornhole Tournament, Saturday, August 12, 2017, from 4:00pm – 6:00pm at Liana Estates in Napa. The event will start with a wine tasting of Carneros all-stars including Bouchaine, Cuvaison, Etude, Hyde, Liana Estates, Schug, and Truchard Vineyards. The tasting will be followed by community cornhole tournament with all proceeds donated to the Carneros and Schell-Vista Fire Departments...
 

 

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The community is invited to join Carneros wineries, and enjoy a summer evening with a classic tasting of Carneros all-star wines, followed by a lively Cornhole Tournament. All proceeds will be donated to the Carneros and Schell-Vista Fire Departments.

The Carneros Wine Alliance is Hosting

Second Annual Carneros Wine Tasting and Cornhole Tournament.

Saturday, August 11, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
 

 

Carneros Wine Alliance
The Carneros Wine Alliance is a non-profit association of wineries and grape-growers in the Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA).  Carneros is the only appellation located at the crossroads of two major wine regions, the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.  Influenced by the maritime breezes and fog from its southern border with the San Pablo Bay, Carneros produces the region’s finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines. The Carneros Wine Alliance is committed to promoting the distinction, diversity and above all, quality, of the grapes and wines from Carneros.