Markham Chardonnay 1999
In 1976, industry pioneer Bruce Markham acquired his first 230 acres of Napa Valley vineyards and founded Markham Vineyards the following year. In 1980, Markham crafted its first vintage of Napa Valley Merlot—becoming only the fourth winery in Napa Valley to make varietal Merlot—and a decade later, Markham’s flagship bottling was named “Merlot of the Year” by Wine Spectator.
Today, Markham Vineyards continues to be recognized for making benchmark Napa Valley Merlots, as well as acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. As Markham’s winemaker since 2001, Kimberlee Nicholls’s artistry, innovative spirit and encyclopedic knowledge of winegrowing and winemaking has helped Markham Vineyards earn countless accolades, and an enduring place as one of Napa Valley’s great wineries. With a gifted palate, Kim crafts wines of uncommon character and vineyard-inspired complexity from Markham’s 350 acres of Napa Green certified sustainable estate vineyards in Yountville, Oak Knoll and Calistoga. Markham proudly holds the Napa Green Land, Napa Green Winery, and Fish Friendly Farming certifications.
Markham practices sustainability without sacrificing quality. For Markham, sustainability starts in the field and focuses on environmentally beneficial land management practices. Some of Markham’s sustainability practices include:
• Protecting the Napa River Watershed
• Water conservation in the vineyards and the winery
• Reduce carbon footprint
• Partnering with local suppliers for wine materials
• Partner with local recycling center to reduce landfill impact
• Certifications include ‘Green Certified’ by Napa Green , Fish Friendly Farming ®.
One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.
The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.