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Terroir

Clos du Val currently farms over 225 acres of estate vineyards located in the Stags Leap District and Yountville AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) within Napa Valley.

A lot of people like to talk about terroir, and we are no exception — our terroir is Clos du Val’s raison d’être. In the late 1960s, young Bernard Portet, son of the technical director at Château Lafite in Bordeaux, was hired by John and Henrietta Goelet for a singular mission: to find the best site in the world in which to grow Bordeaux varietals. The only catch? The Goelets wanted to look outside of France.

Bernard spent the better part of the next two years years exploring four continents and traversing winemaking regions including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, and the western United States. In Chile, while he didn’t find his perfect vineyard site, Bernard met the love of his life, Helia, who would later become his wife. She agreed to come with him to the next stop on his world tour: the Napa Valley, where the two have lived ever since.

But let’s not jump too far ahead… legend has it that one day while Bernard was scouting the Napa Valley, he took a drive from the northern part of the valley heading south. Passing hay fields and fruit orchards with one arm out of his truck window, he noticed that while entering a small, sheltered nook of the valley, the temperature suddenly dropped. It was there that Bernard found his perfect vineyard site. It would later be known as Stags Leap District, the smallest AVA in the Napa Valley, and home to Cabernet Sauvignons revered around the world.

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