Evolution, not Revolution
It’s been over four years (July 28, 2014) since I took the reins here at Clos Du Val. Having grown up here in the Napa Valley, I always saw Clos Du Val as one of the Valley’s great treasures. As a 14-year-old in 1976, I remember reading the story in the local newspaper about the Judgment of Paris and how Clos Du Val was one of the wineries selected for participation in this groundbreaking event. This family-owned winery is truly a part of the fabric of the Napa Valley and I am honored and humbled to be working with a team of incredibly dedicated colleagues to position it for the next 45 years.
One of the great challenges in stewarding a historic producer is finding ways to maintain relevance to the consumer and at the same time, preserve the authenticity which defines the legacy. There are over 10,000 wines and over 100,000 individual wines vying for your attention. Can you imagine 100,000 options of dishwashing liquid or toilet paper? The competitive ‘noise’ in the wine industry is deafening, which makes it difficult for small independent wineries to get noticed over the larger corporate brands with large marketing budgets. The next time you walk down the wine aisle in your favorite store, pay attention to the screams from the shelves and I think you’ll see my point.
At Clos Du Val, we’ve chosen a different path. History and heritage are impossible to create – you either have them or you don’t. We’re immersed in this every day, whether it be Javier, Enrique and Lucio (the core of our cellar crew with over 30 years of tenure each at Clos Du Val), Bernard Portet (our founding winemaker) popping by for a tasting, our extensive cellar of wines dating back into the 1970s, or our incredible vineyards that we developed in 1972 from pasture land, you ‘feel’ the history and heritage here. This is the ‘real’ Napa Valley and this is who and what Clos Du Val is.
So, while we’ve chosen to evolve around the Goelet family’s (our owners) original vision upon which they founded the winery some 46 years ago – the crafting of the world’s finest estate-based wines, we’ve expanded this idea to include providing the world’s finest experiences. Most recently, we’ve created a hospitality space (you NEED to visit our new ‘Hirondelle House at Clos Du Val’ once it's been opened next month) that’s informed and defined by our inherent authenticity. You’ll feel and taste our evolution in the warm, personal, gracious hospitality, delicious wines and the history that is Clos Du Val when you visit us. So whether you experience Clos Du Val at your favorite restaurant, at home with friends, or here at the winery, I hope that you’ll see why we’ve chosen the road less traveled and stayed true to who we are. Hope to see you at the winery soon!