One of the earliest wineries in the now famous Stag’s Leap district, Clos du Val was founded in 1972 by American businessman John Goelet and French-born winemaker Bernard Portet. Bernard’s father had been manager at Chateau Lafite, where he and his brother Dominique (ex Taltarni) were raised. Clos du Val began life as 150 acres of vineyards on some of the finest land in the Stag’s Leap district. In 1972 an additional 180 acres of vineyards were purchased in the cool-climate Carneros region. The winemaking team now led by John Clewes are building further on an already outstanding reputation, utilising the very best Napa fruit to produce handcrafted, estate wines famed for their balance, elegance and complexity. The late maturing Cabernet Sauvignon is the benchmark variety for wines from the Stag’s Leap district, where cool night-time temperatures and the reflected heat of the Stag’s Leap Palisades during the day provide ideal conditions. In comparison, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of the Carneros region, where the cool maritime breezes moderate the temperature and allow the extended slow and even ripening that these varieties
demand to achieve the level of concentration and rare delicacy that makes them so sought after.