Chandon's pioneer heritage dates back to the actual invention of champagne. In 1690 a French monk by the name of Dom Pérignon stumbled upon a wine with a magical sparkling effervescence while acting as cellar master of a Benedictine abbey in Hautvillers. Recognizing something important about this felicitous accident, he set out to unlock the secret to its process and ultimately developed the traditional champagne method, or méthode traditionelle.
In 1743 Moët & Chandon was founded by Claude Moët in Champagne, France. The company soon acquired the Benedictine Abbey and its legacies and named one of their champagnes-now world-renowned Dom Pérignon-after the monk who started it all.
Fast forward 200-plus years. Count Robert Jean deVogué, chairman of the board of the parent company of Moët-Hennessy, set his sights on California expansion, and in 1973 Moët-Hennessy bought land in Northern California, planted vineyards and designed Domaine Chandon, an architectural and ecological winery that blends into its surroundings and reflects Chandon's legacy of excellence. Our first sparkling wine was released in 1976. In 1977 our visitor center opened its doors, marking the first French-owned sparkling wine venture in the United States.
But our founding was just one of many firsts for the new winery known as Domaine Chandon. We were also the first California sparkling wine producer to be established by a French house using only the traditional method, the first to introduce smaller containers to preserve delicate grapes during harvest, the first California winery to use Pinot Meunier in its sparkling wines, and, in 1977, the first to bring four-star dining to Napa Valley.
Over three decades later we continue to chart new paths while embracing the past. We are leaders in sustainable farming and continue to look for ways to grow the finest fruit while preserving our environment for future generations. We parlayed our experience with the classic sparkling wine varietals of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay into an exciting varietal wine collection. We are also constantly seeking new ways to heighten our reputation as the most complete winemaking and hospitality experience in Napa Valley.
Domaine Chandon Etoile
Rated 89. Racy aromas of toasty spice, cherry and Fuji apple lead to layered, zesty green apple and vanilla flavors that turn crisp and minerally on the finish. Drink now through 2012. 7,000 cases made. - Wine Spectator