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Clark-Claudon’s WeBlog

Engage, Experience, Educate

Premiere Napa Valley is a wonderful event where vintners auction off unique 5-20 case lots to national and international trade.  This year it raised a record breaking $2.4 million!  It is a relaxed day of seeing old friends, visiting with vintners and enjoying a wonderful lunch prepared by the CIA.

This year I left from PNV for a trip to Antigua, Guatemala to see my daughter Briana and her family.  Briana was there for a photo shoot documenting the work of Constru Casa and Transitions.  Contra Casa works with local Guatemalans to build homes.  Transitions helps rehabilitate men who have lost the use of their legs; victims of drug wars, political conflict or birth defects.

In many ways the contrast from Premiere Napa Valley to this work being done in Guatemala was extreme.  Yet, the vintners  of Napa Valley are some of the most generous people I know.  Through their association, Napa Valley Vintners, they too do much to give back.  Consequently, from Premiere Napa Valley to Antigue Guatemala, my soul is full.

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The 2011 Season has begun...

I love the smell in the winery right now; baby wine all fruity and lively as it goes to barrel.  I pull out the bung allowing all the wonderful aromas to leap out and then I stick in the “thief” to steal a taste.   Following the wines evolution is such a tough job, but someone has to do it!

In the vinyard, the air is crisp and moist.  The fog swirls around me.  The vines are bare and stark with short canes sticking out at strange uniform angles.

These vines do not have some kind of blight, rather they have been pre-pruned.  All the leaves now gone; the wild canes, once controlled by trellis wires, have been cut to about 2 ft.  This early “haircut” supports the health of the vine while  preparing it for the focused decisions made during the final pruning…The 2011 season has begun.… Read more

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2010 has been like a good suspense novel; luring you in slowly and then waking you up with surprise, intrigue and a great cast of characters.  Of course Mother Nature always has the lead roll, but when you learn to dance with her the results  are amazing!

It is that dance that sets Clark-Claudon apart.  Rather than try to control or manipulate what the terrior and season give us it is the balance & joy of the dance that shows in our wines from vintage to vintage.  This is the true art of winemaking.

Our 2010′s from the Wild Iris Sauvignon Blanc to the Estate Cab are already showing tremendous promise.  As I taste through the lots I know 2010 will not just be good, but rather a great vintage for Clark-Claudon.… Read more

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Given the cool season, this year could turn out to be the best or worst of times. I am betting on the best.  Given the micro climates that make up the Napa Valley, the out come will depend on vineyard location & what Mother Nature hands us over the next weeks.

Right now, the Clark-Claudon Vineyards look better than ever.   The cooler temps are allowing the fuit to mature gradually.  Each day they are a little closer to perfection.  Also, due to location, we were 10 degrees cooler than many other sites during the 2 day heat spike.  And lastly, our retro-fited trellis system accomplished what we had hoped in providing perfect “sun hats.” 

I am absolutely betting on an exceptional vintage!… Read more

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Our 2007 Estate Cab will be released tomorrow. The buzz is building! Not only was ’07 the best growing year of the decade, but a meticulous process of tasting, blending and culling led to our smallest production since 1995; only 500 cases.

Our 1995 Estate Cab was included in a Gordon Getty re-play of the Paris Tasting as a prelude to his Imagine Auction in 1998. We were so excited to have our wine included and then extactic to have taken 1st place. The 2007 Estate Cab is a similar wine with beautiful structure, balance and abundant fruit. We can’t wait to release it. This wine will also hold its own with the best of the best!

I had such a good time sharing the 2007 Estate Cab at 2 pre-release tastings in Houston; one for the trade and one at Vin de Garde, a private storage facility.  The buzz started and hasn’t stopped yet!  Once you taste it, you too will be talking!… Read more

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© 2014 Clark-Claudon Vineyards
Photos by Briana Marie Photography