Our grape varietals hold within their skin the power to transport us to the foggy valleys or the mountaintops of California. We’ll delve into their unique characteristics and offer a glimpse into the careful cultivation and masterful crafting that turn simple fruit into something truly sublime. So, uncork your curiosity, and let's embark on this vinicultural voyage together.

Cabernet Sauvignon 

Cabernet Sauvignon is celebrated for its depth, complexity, and longevity. Its most prominent flavors are dark fruit flavors, particularly black currant and black cherry. But like we said, it’s complex; it carries undertones of vanilla, spice, cocoa, or cedar from oak aging. 

This tough varietal is quite adaptable, flourishing in a variety of climates, though it does particularly well in warmer regions, like Napa Valley. The grapes with which we made the Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019 Napa Valley grow on the valley floor. In 2019, long, warm summer days were balanced by cool nights, resulting in grapes with bright acidity and rich dark fruit flavors.

Oak aging helps Cabernet Sauvignon wines last longer; the varietal is actually known for its aging potential. The Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Mt. Veeder can be aged for 10 or more years. Elegantly powerful with delicate brightness, this oak-aged wine has hints of vanilla, blackberry, cocoa, and juniper berry. 

As for pairing when you think of a Cab, think red meats. A juicy, grilled steak or lamb chops complement its full body and high tannins. For the meat-averse, pair it with a veggie burger or grilled portobello. 

See our Innovative Wine section below to see how we took this varietal rarely used in sparkling to a whole new level with our Sparkling Cabernet.


One of the most popular types of wine grapes in the world, Chardonnay is known for its wide range of flavors depending on the climate and wine-making techniques used. In cooler climates, it can exhibit green apple, pear, and citrus flavors. In warmer climates, the fruit profile leans towards tropical notes like mango and pineapple.

Oak aging can impart flavors of vanilla, cream, and butter, which you can taste in the CHANDON Chardonnay, 2019 Los Carneros. Another process called malolactic fermentation can give Chardonnay a buttery or creamy mouthfeel. "Unoaked" Chardonnays, which are fermented in stainless steel or neutral vessels, showcase the pure, unadorned flavors of the grape. Only 15% of the CHANDON Réserve By The Bay Blanc de Blancs is briefly matured in French oak barrels, while the rest is fermented in stainless steel tanks, giving you the best of both worlds. 

Chardonnay is a versatile wine for food pairing. Rich, oaky, and buttery Chardonnays pair well with white meat, rich fish dishes, and dishes with a creamy sauce. Lighter, more acidic Chardonnays can go well with seafood, salads, and soft cheeses.

Pinot Noir 

Pinot Noir thrives in cooler climates, and our Los Carneros vineyard, with its winds and fog from the nearby San Pablo Bay, is a dream home for this grape. This cooler climate provides a long, slow ripening period, allowing Pinot Noir grapes to develop complex flavors while retaining their vital acidity.

Pinot Noir wines are light to medium body and are known for red fruit flavors, especially cherry, raspberry, and strawberry. It can also exhibit notes of earth, spice, and, in aged wines, leather or tobacco. California Pinot Noir grapes tend to be more fruit-forward. The rich CHANDON Pinot Noir, 2019 Carneros is the epitome of a California Pinot Noir with flavors like cherry, pepper, and sage.

Pinot Noir is famously versatile for food pairing. Its bright acidity, complex flavors, and lower tannin levels can match with everything from salmon to vegetables to lamb, and it's one of the few red wines that can pair well with a wide variety of dishes.


Meunier is a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape, so they’re actually quite similar. Both have similar flavors; however, Meunier has higher acidity with more citrus notes and a lighter, less earthy profile. Thinner skinned than the Pinot Noir varietal, the CHANDON Pinot Meunier, 2019 Carneros showcases velvety dark fruit flavors complemented by smooth

tannins and refreshing brightness. Meunier wines can be round and supple, and the CHANDON Réserve Sparkling Meunier is just that with a long, distinctive finish.

Due to its bright acidity and fresh fruit flavors. It goes well with white meat, rich seafood, pork, a variety of cheeses, and is especially good with dishes featuring fruit elements.


Innovative Wines

Our biggest differences are our greatest strengths. While, yes, we do the classics well, we’ve set out to buck convention from the beginning. Our winemakers are constantly exploring varietals, process, and craft, which is clear in the CHANDON Sparkling Cabernet. A rarely seen expression of Napa Valley’s signature grape variety, this sparkling wine is full of dark fruit flavors and fascinating layers of spicy complexity.

The CHANDON Garden Spritz Tea takes innovation to a whole new level. Our winemakers highlighted the surprising parallels between two worlds: tea and wine. Climate, soil, geography, craftsmanship, culture, and blending are at the heart of each product, combined with centuries of tradition and experimentation. By blending sparkling wine with a housemade Earl Grey tea, Garden Tea showcases the delicious freshness of our California sparkling wine and the elegant complexity of the world’s finest teas.

From Vines to Wines: The Grape Finale 

As we close our grape varietal 101s, remember that each grape—whether it's the bold Cabernet Sauvignon, the versatile Chardonnay, the elegant Pinot Noir, or the vibrant Meunier—brings its unique story and character to the glass. They paint a vivid portrait of their terroir and the craftsmanship that shaped them. So, the next time you swirl, sniff, and sip, you're not just enjoying a wine—you're delving into a rich tapestry of flavors, places, and traditions.