Montesquieu Winery has long been committed not only to sourcing and crafting for our clients some of the finest wines in the world, but also to offering our clients a unique experience of the good life. In all that we do, we seek to champion the value of direct relationships and the joy of personal experience. After all, what else is great wine about?

Our barrel room

It is with this in mind that we designed The Montesquieu Winemaking Experience. For the first time, we are offering our clients the opportunity to experience what it means to be a winemaker in Napa Valley. A limited number of clients will have an opportunity to purchase an entire barrel of our best 2010 wine (approximately 25 cases) to call their own – to name, brand, label and even blend in person in Napa with their broker under the guidance of our winemaker Hélène Mingot.

Our winemaker Hélène Mingot tending our Red Hills parcel

To make this dream a reality, we have set aside ten of our top barrels from the 2010 vintage, which is among our favorite harvests in Napa—a year that promises to produce elegant, complex and age-worthy wines. Our best barrels represent Bordeaux varietals from our favorite high-elevation properties, each lovingly tended by our winemakers Hélène Mingot and Stéphane Derenoncourt (called the “world’s hottest winemaker” by Wine Spectator Magazine in the November 2010 issue).

We can’t imagine a greater experience to offer our clients than to visit our vineyards and cellar, and to spend time with our winemaker learning, understanding and appreciating all that goes into the creation of a unique wine of great depth and character.

Merlot from our Stagecoach vines

The clients who purchase a barrel will be invited—along with up to three guests— to join their broker and our winemaker Hélène Mingot for a weekend in Napa Valley, experiencing the life of a vintner and blending their own wine. The experience will include visiting key mountain-top vineyards we work with; learning about vine-tending and winemaking; touring our state-of-the-art cellar on Howell Mountain; and conducting tasting and blending sessions from selected barrels of our top Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

One of our plots on Howell Mountain

With Hélène’s guidance, these clients will craft the exact composition of their unique barrel, with a chance to re-visit that blend to make the final decision before the Napa trip is over. Additionally along the way these wine lovers will make other key decisions including: naming the wine, designing the front label with the assistance of our graphic designer, branding the corks, and choosing between 750 ml and magnum formats. Even one’s name or name of the wine can be branded on the oak barrel top for a special keepsake. These custom creations will be bottled in the fall and available for delivery in time for the 2012 holiday season.

Pristine conditions in our underground tank room

As we announce this inaugural winemaking experience, we would like to say to all of our clients that it is a pleasure to work with you, and to thank you for joining us on our exciting journey to source and create some of the very best wines in the world. To those that will be joining us in Napa to create your very own wine, we look forward to a grand experience together!

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