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Carneros Creek Winery

Napa Valley AVA

Considered by many to be one of the top Pinot Noir producers in California

The unique cool climate of the Carneros district in Napa Valley has drawn grape growers and winemakers to the appellation since the 1830s. Carneros Creek Winery was co-founded by Balfour Gibson and Francis and Kathleen Mahoney in 1972. Originally, there was an abundance of fruit orchards and sheep pastures (carneros is Spanish for sheep) in the region.

The Carneros Creek Winery developed from Mahoney's desire to grow and produce a Pinot Noir comparable to the famous varietal he tasted while visiting Burgundy, France. Even before his Carneros Pinot vines began to bear fruit, Mahoney teamed up with the U.C. Davis School of Enology and Viticulture to conduct the first research focused on developing California Pinot Noir.

Mahoney learned by isolating unique flavor characteristics of various Pinot clonal selections, he could create various styles of Pinot Noir by vinifying these clones in separate small lots for blending. He began with 20 proven Pinot clones from around the world and, after years of intense scrutiny, Mahoney identified eight clones as the foundation for Carneros Creek’s multi-award winning Pinot Noir.

Carneros Creek’s very talented winemaker, Ken Foster, is no stranger to California Pinot Noir. He came to the winery in 2002, following 15 years in production and winemaking at the highly-regarded David Bruce Winery. Today, Carneros Creek is considered by many to be one of the top Pinot Noir producers in California.