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California :

California

DaveValvo

Updated: Mar 12, 2011 11:13am PST

Chateau De Meursault :

Chateau De Meursault

DaveValvo

Updated: Mar 12, 2011 11:12am PST

Artesa Winery : Artesa Vineyards & Winery is Napa's newest, most exciting winery. Our architecturally-acclaimed facility opened as Codorniu Napa in 1991, dedicated solely to méthode champenoise sparkling wine production. But in 1997, with the arrival of a world-class winemaker and a $10 million conversion, the winery shifted focus dramatically. Artesa was born with the inaugural release of ultra-premium still wines in September 1999. Artesa (ahr TESS uh) means "craftsman" and connotes "handcrafted" in Catalan, language of Barcelona and our owner, Codorníu one of the world's largest and oldest wineries. The Codorníu Group actually consists of eight spectacular wineries whose wines are enjoyed daily in over 100 countries around the world.

Artesa Winery

JimG944

Artesa Vineyards & Winery is Napa's newest, most exciting winery. Our ...

Updated: Jan 26, 2011 8:21am PST

Clos Pegase Winery : Clos Pegase. Where Vine Meets Divine! Just down the road from the town of Calistoga, there is a crossroads. It's the intersection of wine and art. And at that crossroads, you'll find something rare and remarkable: balance. You'll find serious, passionate estate-grown winemaking balanced with an open-hearted spirit of sharing and celebration. You'll find great works of art living in harmony with the earthy simplicity of the soil and the vine. You'll find a majestic temple that's somehow both awe-inspiring and welcoming. Wine that offers both true varietal intensity and food-friendly approachability. You'll find a place that captures the spirit of Bacchus: equal parts divine and joyfully down-to-earth. Look for the crossroads, and there, you'll find Clos Pegase. 

About Clos Pegase

Estate of the Art
Can a winery elevate the craft of winemaking to a fine art? Of course it can. Can a winery dedicate itself as a temple to works of fine art? Why not? But can a winery that does one also achieve the other? Good question. Now, if you were to put that question to Bacchus, god of wine, mischief-maker and generally acknowledged originator of the practice of horsing around, we know just where he'd send you: straight to the horse's mouth. 
And not just any horse. He'd send you to Pegasus, the winged horse of ancient myth whose hooves brushed against the earth, unleashing the sacred spring of the muses. Lucky earth. That spring gave life to grapevines, and the wine that flowed from them inspired poetry and art in all who drank it.

In that spirit, a couple of millennia later, we set out to create a place where the wellspring of wine and the muses of art could live together -- a sort of temple to wine and art. Not a museum or a sacred shrine way up in the clouds, but a haven here on earth. The kind of place we know Bacchus would approve of, where art and vines seem to spring from the same fertile soil, where smiling is encouraged, and pleasure and serendipity are all around you. 

And in tribute to those fateful hoofbeats that started it all, we called that place Clos Pegase. Clos being the French word for an enclosed vineyard -- an estate winery, where every wine is made from that vineyard's own grapes. Which is what we are. And Pegase being the French word for "Pegasus." Which sounded nicer with clos. 
Can wine and art come together to create an experience as lofty as Olympus and as lusty as the rascal Bacchus? We think so. Here's our story. 
 
The Making of a Winemaker
Now, if you were to ask the wise-acre, Bacchus, "how do you make a small fortune in the wine business?" chances are he'd reply: "start with a large fortune." In the case of Clos Pegase, that large fortune came from -- of all places -- the Japanese publishing industry. In 1955, our founder, Jan Shrem, who was studying for his Master's degree at UCLA, took what he thought was going to be a little vacation in Japan. He fell in love with the place -- and with a woman named Mitsuko -- and he decided to stick around. For the next thirteen years.

To support himself, Jan began importing English-language reference and technical books to a market hungry for all things Western. He was in the right place at the right time. Building on his success, he began translating and publishing books in Japan as well, and, by the time he sold his company in 1968 to elope with Mitsuko to Europe, it had grown to some 50 offices and nearly 2,000 employees.

In 1980, after 25 years in the publishing business, Jan found himself at a crossroads. He had built a publishing empire. And, in the meantime, Mitsuko had introduced him to the mysteries and pleasures of wine -- an interest that had quickly turned into a consuming passion. He decided the time had come to listen to his "inner Bacchus" and devote his life to winemaking.

Jan enrolled in the enology program at the University of Bordeaux, where he soon became fascinated with the idea of combining ancient winemaking practices with emerging technologies. Nowhere was this combination more vital and exciting than in California, so, armed with the Napa Valley address of the dean of American winemakers, Andre Tchelistcheff, Jan headed west.

With Tchelistcheff's help, Jan eventually created a unique wine estate -- and an equally distinctive style of winemaking. He began by purchasing a 50-acre vineyard in Calistoga in 1983. Later, he would add more than 400 additional acres in the northern and southern ends of the Napa Valley.

A Temple Among the Vines
By the mid-1980s, it became clear that Jan's new wine estate would need an anchor -- a building to serve as its base of operations. But Jan was thinking bigger than a mere roof and walls. He envisioned a place designed to showcase his extensive art collection in a way that made it accessible to everyone; a focal point that could match the majesty of the rocky knoll that rises above the valley from the center of the vineyard; a place of celebration, education and pleasure; and a visible, visit-able symbol of his winemaking philosophy.

Working with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Jan sponsored an architects' competition. From a field of 96 entrants, the judges selected renowned Princeton architect, Michael Graves. He was commissioned to build a "temple to wine and art" at the base of the knoll and a home for Jan and Mitsuko at its summit, with sweeping views of the Napa Valley below. Within the knoll itself, 20,000 feet of aging caves would be excavated, including the breathtaking Cave Theater, a dramatic setting for celebrations, presentations and special events.

Construction was completed in 1987. The spectacular structures Graves created -- and the surrounding sculpture garden that includes some of the world's greatest twentieth-century works of art -- have won international awards and generated great excitement in the wine industry. The national press has been generous in its praise as well, describing Clos Pegase as "a place of pilgrimage" and "America's first monument to wine and art." 
And, just as Jan had hoped, the stately symmetry of the building reflects his own winemaking ethos. "In architecture, as in our wines," he says "I believe we have achieved balance, harmony and symmetry in the classical Greek sense, avoiding the baroque concepts of high oak, high alcohol and high extract to create food-friendly wines of quiet elegance. These are the hallmarks of what has come to be known as the 'Clos Pegase style.'"

The Clos Pegase Style. It's there as you walk through the grounds. It's there in the cool stillness of the caves. You find it when you round a corner in the vineyard and come face to face with a sculpture that's both beautiful and as disarmingly irreverent as Bacchus himself. And it's there on our label, in Jan's favorite painting from his collection. There, depicted by the great 19th-Century French artist Odilon Redon, is the winged horse, Pegasus, his front hooves rearing toward the heavens, his back hooves firmly planted right here on earth.

Clos Pegase Winery

JimG944

Clos Pegase. Where Vine Meets Divine! Just down the road from the town ...

Updated: Jan 23, 2011 3:01pm PST

Lancers :

Lancers

DaveValvo

Updated: Oct 07, 2010 6:05pm PST

Concha y Toro :

Concha y Toro

DaveValvo

Updated: Oct 07, 2010 6:04pm PST

Wine Country :

Wine Country

Pam Cox

Updated: Apr 29, 2010 9:15pm PST

Corcoran Vineyards : http://www.corcoranvineyards.com/

Corcoran Vineyards

Loudoun Enterprises

http://www.corcoranvineyards.com/

Updated: Mar 23, 2010 5:21pm PST

Lost Creek Winery : http://www.lostcreekwinery.com

Lost Creek Winery

Loudoun Enterprises

http://www.lostcreekwinery.com

Updated: Mar 23, 2010 4:35pm PST

Hidden Brook Winery : http://www.hiddenbrookwinery.com/

Hidden Brook Winery

Loudoun Enterprises

http://www.hiddenbrookwinery.com/

Updated: Mar 23, 2010 9:33am PST