TwoTone Farm Chardonnay 2004
Chardonnay grapes grown in several vineyards located in the Yountville and north Napa areas were fermented and aged separately. Because the fog lifts around mid-morning, these vineyards get nice and warm in the afternoon, which translates into grapes that have rich, concentrated flavors. The majority of the wine was barrel fermented and aged for ten months in seasoned French oak barrels to encourage a good body and add subtle nutty spice nuances.
TwoTone Farm is a painting by Santa Fe artist Patrick McFarlin. Depicted on the label, the painting, like the wines, evokes a mood of farm-style down-to-earth straightforwardness and unpretentious fun.
TwoTone Farm is the first screw cap only line to be introduced by a major Napa Valley wine company. The line is a collaboration between two assistant winemakers at Beringer, they wanted to make the kind of wines that they could drink everyday. Many winemakers now agree that screw caps are better than corks at preserving a wine’s freshness, but the jury is still out on whether screw caps are appropriate for wines destined for prolonged aging. We believe that screw caps have a pretty viable future, and there is more and more trade and consumer acceptance of closure. But each winery should decide for itself which closure to use. We believe there’s room for all closures—cork and its alternatives.
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.