Napa Valley may be most known for its cabernet sauvignon, but don’t discount the beauty of sparkling wine from Napa — particularly when your palate needs a break from the big, bold red wines. Hello, palate cleanser! Though you can’t refer to California sparkling wine as “Champagne” — that’s reserved for bubbly coming out of the Champagne region of France — this beloved celebratory drink has long been revered in Napa Valley, making a name for itself as a premier region for sparkling wine.
Among those producers who have paved the way for sparkling production in Napa Valley is Mumm Napa, which was founded in the late 1970s after the leading French Champagne brand, G.H. Mumm, recognized the enormous potential for producing exceptional sparkling wine in Napa. Mumm Napa released its first vintage in 1983, and has since carried on the tradition of producing hand-crafted sparkling wine from the prominent grapes of Champagne: chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier, and pinot gris. Made in a wide variety of styles, from brut to demi sec, and varietals, from the classic Brut Prestige to the award-winning DVX, each of Mumm’s sparkling wines is produced using the traditional winemaking techniques of its French heritage, formally known as the Méthode Traditionnelle.
While one can enjoy Mumm’s array of California bubblies at home and for any occasion — sparkling wine has a way of elevating everything from milestone events to Tuesday night take-out — the best way to fully appreciate Mumm’s dedication to their craft is by visiting their Rutherford winery in person.
Fall is a great time of year to visit, as the vineyards display gorgeous shades of red and gold, but it’s also an opportune time for sparkling wine lovers to stock up before the holidays — especially since the winery just released their much-anticipated Sparkling Pinot Noir. This fun, elegant, relatively rare 100% pinot noir sparkling wine is a must for Thanksgiving fare and holiday spreads. Shares winemaker Tami Lotz, “I’m still finalizing the dishes I’ll prepare for the holidays, but there is one thing that will always be on the table: a bottle of Sparkling Pinot Noir. I love the way this lighter expression of pinot noir unites all the varied flavors of the Thanksgiving table.”
Price: $40 per person / complimentary for Club Vivant Members. Limited to groups of six or less.
Price: $40 per person / complimentary for Club Vivant Members. Limited to groups of four or less.
Price: $75 per person / $60 for Club Vivant Members. Limited to groups of six or less.Reservations are required in advance for all tasting experiences and guests must be 21 or older. Images courtesy of Mumm Napa