Artesa, which means "craftsman" in the Catalan language, is a nod to Codorniu Napa's roots. (The winery is owned by Codorniu, the Spanish cava producer.) The new portfolio will include Chardonnays from Napa Valley and Carneros; Pinot Noirs from Carneros, the Russian River Valley and Santa Barbara County; and a Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley. A Carneros Chardonnay reserve, Napa Valley and Sonoma Merlots and Napa Valley and Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignons are to be released in 2000.
The initial releases will range in price from under $15 for the Sauvignon Blanc to $20 to $25 for the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Prices for the Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay reserve have not been set but are almost certain to be higher.
Codorniu Napa's still wine production will total 20,000 cases in the first year, and the company plans to slowly build the new brand to approximately 150,000 cases. The winery will continue to make about 10,000 cases of one prestige cuvee of sparkling wine, dropping from its current total of 30,000 cases of four different sparklers. "Regardless of the millennium," said Dan Gustafson, the company's vice president of communications, "sparkling wine remains a special-occasion beverage."
For ratings of Codorniu Napa's wines, check the Wine Search.
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