Whether you’re a brunch fiend, are always in the mood to celebrate, or you just love the way it tickles your nose, a bottle of bubbly is probably your go-to beverage. So, have you thought about exploring Napa’s sparkling wine houses during your next visit? Here are four places where you can experience the best champagne in Napa. Cheers!
Technically, any bubbly produced in Napa Valley cannot be called “champagne.” Only the sparkling wines produced in the historic province of Champagne in France itself can carry this distinction.
However, three of the largest sparkling wine producers in Napa happen to be owned by French Champagne houses and they employ the same production methods. So, while the beverages poured at these Napa tasting rooms go by a different name, the bubbles and the flavors are just as delicious and unforgettable as their French counterparts.
Domaine Chandon is owned by (you guessed it) Moet & Chandon. It’s been producing sparkling wines using traditional French techniques since 1973. Robert-Jean de Vogüé, who was the managing director of Moet & Chandon in France, applied his passion and knowledge to Chandon Napa. He founded the business with John Wright, a New York-born wine pioneer and visionary.
Chandon Napa offers four main wine collections:
The “étoile Collection” in Brut and Rosé styles (Étoile is the French word for star, and is known for its unique local flavor. It’s made with grapes sourced from Carneros, the coolest area in wine country, and it’s aged for five years. The result is mature and distinctive.
The “Signature Collection” in Brut, Rosé, Blanc de Pinot Noirs, Sweet Star, and Sparkling Red. The Chandon Napa Brut and Rosé are the company’s flagship wines and represent more than 40 years of history, tradition, and commitment to the highest quality.
You may be surprised to know that “Still Wines” are also an area of expertise for the award-winning Domaine Chandon. A limited number of bottles of reds, Chardonnay, and Rosé are crafted and available for purchase on the website and at the winery.
Last but not least, Domaine Chandon’s “Winery Exclusives” are a special treat and only available for purchase at the winery or online! Celebrate exceptional growing seasons with Chandon’s Vintage Collection or a special varietal with careful ageing with Chandon’s Reserve Collection.
Mumm Napa’s goal is to “make everyday special” with its sparkling wines. Mumm Napa’s origins begin halfway around the world at GH Mumm in France. GH Mumm opened in Reims in northern France in the 1820s. But It wasn’t until the late 1970s that the Mumm traditions and techniques would begin to take hold in California. Still, it didn’t take long for this hand-crafted sparkling wine with a rich French heritage to become an established and beloved part of the Napa wine country.
Visiting Mumm Napa means discovering whether you like bold and toasty, rich and elegant, crisp and fresh, smooth and sweet, or all of the above. It also means you can expand your range of favorites by sampling their pink and red sparkling wines, too!
DVX Collection is Mumm Napa’s finest offering and named after founder Guy Devaux. It’s perfect for special evenings. Select from Extra Brut (rare and difficult to produce), DVX, and DVX Rosé.
The Reserve Collection is intriguing and complex. Due to the limited production, you’ll want to be one of the few who pick up a bottle of their Brut Reserve or Reserve Rosé, Devaux Ranch, Blanc de Blancs Reserve, just to name a few.
The Classic Series is relaxed, elegant, versatile, and award-winning. Brut, Rosé, Cuvee M (for those who like it a little sweet), as well as red and white sparkling wines.
Mumm has a few other tastes to share with you, including a collaboration with rock guitarist Carlos Santana, several white and red still wines, and Tom & Daisy brandy, which is distilled from Mumm Napa Chardonnay grapes.
Visit the Mumm Napa website for an overview of their onsite tastings and experiences, to make a reservation, or to inquire about their membership advantages and online purchases.
Here’s a fun fact: Award-winning Schramsberg sparkling wines have been poured at official State functions hosted by each U.S. Presidential administration since 1972. And another: The Blanc de Blancs were used in President Nixon’s “Toast to Peace” with China’s Premier Zhou Enlai in 1972.
When you visit, you’ll learn even more about the rich history of this California winery, which was started in the 19th century by German immigrant Jacob Schram. It’s since become known as “America’s most prestigious wine,” which only makes tasting this bubbly even more special.
Sparkling Wine Series, which includes the aforementioned Blanc de Blanc, as well as Blanc de Noirs, Brut, and a 2015 Extra Brut for which a portion of the sales will be contributed to Feed it Forward.
Shramsberg’s Sparkling Rosé has been described as elegance in a glass. Can’t you just imagine yourself sipping a glass as you enjoy a fresh seafood course? Choose from J. Schram Rosé, Brut Rosé, and Mirabelle Brut Rosé.
Are you always interested in finding a new still wine? First, we need to tell you about the Davies family. Jack and Jamie Davies purchased the 200-acre Schramsberg property in 1965. Their son Hugh was born one month later. Fast forward to the year 2000 when young Hugh became the head winemaker at Schramsberg and later created a sister winery that produces delicious Cabernets and Pinot Noirs. These wines are sampled and sold at Schramsberg as well as at Davies Vineyards in St. Helena.
Visit the Schramsberg website for information about visiting, tastings, online purchases, as well as how to make a reservation.
If you’re familiar with Champagne Taittinger, you also need to become familiar with Domaine Carneros. There are many common threads between the two, beginning with Claude Taittinger, who founded Domaine Carneros in 1987 after having searched for nearly 20 years for the perfect spot to expand the French brand to the U.S. The French-style chateau that you can see from the road as you approach Domaine Carneros might be your first impression of the vineyard, but the méthode traditionelle sparkling wines will likely be the lasting one.
The award-winning sparkling wines at Domaine Carneros include Estate Brut Cuvée, Brut Rosé, Ultra Brut, and many more. For those who love a sweet sparkling wine, Vermeil Demi-Sec is a palate pleaser. For those looking for an exceptional wine to celebrate a special occasion, Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs is the top choice.
One sip and you’re sure to want to begin planning a return trip!
Napa Valley is known for its red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon in particular. So, it may surprise you that it’s also home to some of the best champagne in Napa, or technically sparkling wine. It’s one more reason to visit Napa Valley, non? After you’ve had your fun popping, sipping, and savoring our region’s best bubbly, come back to Churchill Manor B&B.
Come and discover the old-world craftsmanship and elegance of an 1890 mansion at the Churchill Manor. Our luxurious downtown Napa accommodations feature modern amenities (private bathrooms in each room!), as well as the ultimate in guest comfort. Browse our rooms and book your favorite! We can’t wait to welcome you!