Have you heard of Moet et Chandon? Of course you have! There’s no doubt that it’s one of the most recognizable names in viticulture - the French champagne house is a favorite amongst many celebrities, royals and sparkling enthusiasts. Well, the French can’t have all the fun - California is also lucky enough to be home to a fabulous offshoot.

You don’t need to travel to the Champagne region of France to experience some absolutely delightful sparkling. Domaine Chandon brings the French obsession with sparkling right to the beautiful Napa Valley, producing exceptional wine in a stunning location.

When Domaine Chandon opened in 1973, it became the first French-owned sparkling winery in America. It had all the ingredients for phenomenal success - the French experience and finesse in crafting exceptional sparkling, as well as the cutting-edge approach and gorgeous sun-ripened fruit of California.

It was no surprise that the venture proved to be exactly as successful as predicted. Domaine Chandon quickly established a stellar reputation, not only for phenomenal sparkling (although there is that), but also for overall brilliant hospitality.

The sprawling and luxurious property is enchanting for both casual visitors and sparkling enthusiasts. Try the incredible wine, learn more about the unique way that sparkling is made, and just enjoy the stunningly beautiful setting in the famed Napa Valley.

It’s no wonder that Domaine Chandon is , attracting some quarter of a million visitors each year. Now that’s something to raise a glass of bubbly over!

History of Domaine Chandon

It was 1973 when a little bit of France arrived in the Napa Valley, in the form of the dynamic duo Robert-Jean de Vogue and John Wright. Hailing from France and California respectively, the pair’s expertise and enthusiasm saw the story of Domaine Chandon begin.

Together, the pair had a vision to craft French-style sparkling in California. To make this a reality, they carefully scoured the state looking for the perfect setting - eventually choosing an estate in Yountville.

The unique venture was one of the first sparkling ventures in the US to be French-owned, bringing an authenticity to the production process. This, paired with the divine and sun-soaked fruit of the Napa Valley, was an immediate winner.

Over the next few decades, Domaine Chandon perfected their process - establishing an impressive reputation along the way. Today, head winemaker Pauline Lhote is at the helm, and continues to build upon the impressive reputation of Domaine Chandon.

What to Expect

Prepare to step into a little bit of France - but under the shining Californian sun, of course.

Domaine Chandon is a true fusion of cultures, remaining true to its heritage and offering a memorable experience for visitors. Of course, it is those who are partial to raising a glass of sparkling who will be most besotted with Domaine Chandon - but everyone can appreciate the beauty of its setting and wine.

Architecturally designed to blend in beautifully with the epic natural surroundings, the cellar door at Domaine Chandon is a true gem. Large trees provide an escape from the sun, while moss and hanging flowers adds to the deep romance of the location.

The sprawling estate offers a range of tasting experiences and tours, which suit everyone from the sparkling novice to the full-on enthusiast. These tours range from a simply brilliant tasting of a flight of wines (no reservation required), through to a sit-down guided tasting (bookings required).

Then there’s the sumptuous restaurant and fabulous bar - both the perfect setting for everything from a casual catch-up to a larger celebration.

Domaine Chandon also hosts numerous exciting events throughout the year. From special tastings - such as a cozy fireside tasting experience in the chilly months - to holiday dinners, there’s always something new and exciting happening at the winery.

Afterall, at its core, Domaine Chandon offers the famous joie de vivre - the typically French love of life, all in the Californian sun. From celebrating beautiful sparkling wine to sharing good times with friends and family, Domaine Chandon is all about the great things in life.

Plus, the exceptional quality of the winery’s produce certainly helps add to the joy and appeal. Of course, the sparkling is to die for - with a stunning signature range that showcases the brightness and vibrancy of the winery’s terroir. From complex dry sparkling to sweet treats, the range of sparkling is truly exceptional.

While the focus may be on the bubbly, other varietals aren’t totally forgotten. For the red lovers, there’s some excellent Cabernet and Pinot Noir, while the Chardonnay and Rose also impress.

Awards and Accolades

Domaine Chandon comes under the umbrella of parent Moet et Chandon, one of the world’s most esteemed wine labels. It would be impossible to list all of the accolades that have been notched up by the label, which is recognized worldwide as one of the world’s top luxury brands.

Of the wines produced at Chandon in California, it’s the flagship Brut which consistently ranks amongst the top drops - most recently notching up 90 points from Decanter Magazine.

Not to be outdone, the estate’s Rose managed to do even better - coming in with a whopping 93 points from Sommelier Challenge.

As part of one of the most esteemed and enduring luxury companies in the world, you can certainly be assured of the quality at Domaine Chandon.

Wines to Try

The sparkling, of course! It goes without saying, but you simply cannot leave the estate without a generous try of the famous sparkling. The flagship Brut is utterly exquisite, with ample green fruits and citrus, with a soft, dry finish.

For a special treat, the etoile Tete de Cuvee 2009 is aged on the yeast lees for a minimum of nine years before it’s opened up to the adoring public. The result is a rich, complex and rare sparkling that’s sure to be a showstopper at your next celebration.

For something more unusual, you can’t miss the sparkling red. While this concept might seem more than a little unusual to the American market, it’s been a hit in Australia and Germany for decades. Give it a go - you might just find your new favorite!