VINEYARD 150 Acres CARNEROS
180 Acres STATE LANE
Clos Du Val Vineyards
Our story began with 150 acres in the Stags Leap District, which became a world-renowned appellation. Today Clos Du Val owns vineyards in three outstanding Napa Valley appellations: Stags Leap District, Carneros, and Yountville. Each has a unique microclimate perfectly suited for the varietals that grow there. And each lends a distinctive flavor to the wines we produce from these vineyards.
Carneros Estate Vineyards
Following the decision to select Stags Leap District as the ideal estate home for its Cabernet Sauvignons, in 1973, Clos Du Val purchased a 180-acre vineyard in Carneros to grow Burgundian varietals. Just as Stags Leap District became the first AVA recognized for its distinctive soils, Carneros became the first California wine region granted AVA status specifically for its unique climate in 1983. Situated at the southernmost parts of the Sonoma and Napa valleys, the climate of Carneros is shaped by cooling maritime breezes and fog off San Pablo Bay, resulting in conditions that have established the region’s reputation for lush and complex Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
Carneros is the only California AVA to span two counties, and Clos Du Val’s Carneros vineyard is located on the Napa Valley side of the appellation, neighboring such famed winegrowing sites as Brown Ranch and Hyde Vineyard. Of the site’s 180 acres, 135 are under vine, with 56 acres and 10 clones of Chardonnay, 41 acres and 10 clones of Pinot Noir, and smaller amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The vineyard ranges in elevation from approximately 50 feet to over 300 feet, and has slopes as steep as 25%. The more hillside sections feature rocky clay loam over shale, while the lower sections predominantly feature Haire loam soils. Overall, the vineyard is divided into 33 unique blocks based on clone, rootstock and soil type. Through replanting, much of the vineyard has been designed to feature north-south row orientations for ideal sun exposure and airflow. Trellising primarily features vertical shoot positioning. While most of the vines have been replanted since 1997, the vineyard also includes three prized hilltop blocks of clone 4 Chardonnay planted in 1984.
State Lane Estate Vineyard, Yountville
Though spanning a mere 8,000 total acres, with less than 3,000 planted to vines, Yountville has some of the richest winegrowing history in Napa Valley. In 1836, George Yount planted the first vineyards in Napa Valley, in the area that today is known as NapaNook. One of the defining elements of the Yountville AVA is its unusual combination of soils. While volcanic soils on the appellation’s eastern flank are similar to those in the neighboring Stags Leap District, ancient coastal deposits with sedimentary and alluvial soils to the west are interspersed with sandy, gravelly loam and clay.
Clos Du Val’s State Lane Estate Vineyard showcases the diversity of Yountville’s soils. As a result, even though it only has 17.5 acres of vines, there are eight separate blocks, with a total of 10.5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 acres of Cabernet Franc and 2 acres of Sauvignon Blanc. In 2002, the entire vineyard was replanted to Clos Du Val’s specifications. Because cool air and fog traveling north from San Pablo Bay get trapped by the Yountville Mounts, Clos Du Val’s vineyard benefits from the region’s “natural air conditioning,” making it ideal for producing beautifully structured Cabernets, as well as exceptional Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyard uses vertical shoot positioning, and is planted exclusively with an east-west orientation, with the exception of the Sauvignon Blanc.
Farming & Sustainability
Outstanding fruit can only come from healthy soil and an ongoing commitment to the environment. We have more than 40 years of farming excellence under our belt across 347 acres of Napa Valley estate vineyards. With complete control over our viticulture practices, we consistently produce outstanding fruit. Our continuing commitment to sustainability is essential as we steward the land for the current generation and those to come.
Clos Du Val is enrolled in the Fish Friendly Farming Certification Program, which is run by the California Land Stewardship Institute. The Fish Friendly Farming program provides expertise on erosion and soil loss, stream bank failure, and water quality. Clos Du Val is also a member of Napa Green, a comprehensive best practices program for land use and wine production. Napa Valley vintners and growers develop farm-specific plans tailored to protect and enhance Napa’s ecological quality.
Since 2001, Clos Du Val has planted permanent grasses in all of its mid-rows and vineyard roads. By avoiding tilling, the winery preserves soil structure, encourages beneficial insects, and reduces the flow of sediment off the land. Mowing instead of tilling also delivers significant amounts of clippings, which act as mulch. Clos Du Val applies up to 1000 tons of organic compost to the vineyards each year to improve soil health and microbial activity.
The winery’s non-till policy helps prevent pests, and Clos Du Val also releases predatory insects to control pests. Each vineyard site has its own weather station, which provides data for enabling the operations team to minimize spraying while increasing its effectiveness.
Weather stations at each vineyard collect data that support watering decisions. Plant stress readings and soil moisture monitoring helps maximize irrigation effectiveness. On 150 acres of vines and the winery landscaping, the winery uses recycled water from the town of Yountville to conserve ground water.
Clos Du Val has installed owl boxes for rodent control at each vineyard. In addition, the winery allows deer and other mammals to traverse the vineyards to maintain the habitat.
Many of the grapes in the Carneros vineyards are picked by hand. When needed in the vineyards, trucks and tractors run on bio-diesel fuel for better efficiency.