New Clairvaux Vineyards

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Appellation: Butte County
Location: 7th & C St
Vina, California 96092
Phone: (530)839-2200
Winemaker: Aimee Sunseri
Tasting Room: Large
Days/Hours: Sat & Sun, 11:00 to 5:00
Parking: Large
Picnic Facilities: Picnic tables available
Red Wines: Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Barbera, Petite Sirah, Syrah
White Wines: Albariño, Trebbiano
Production: N/A


The Winery

Although actually in Tehama County, New Clairvaux is closer to Chico than to Red Bluff or Redding, and is close enough to be included in a Butte County adventure. This is the only Monastic Winery in the Americas and a nexus of California and European wine history. This small estate is the juncture of centuries of monastic wine history, a railroad magnate and one of California’s most colorful publishing empire's founder as well as one of California's oldest winemaking families. The winery is a must visit for anyone with a serious love of wine architecture and history.

The Vineyards

Hang time, the length of time the grapes can remain on the vines and such a critical part of the maturity of complex flavors, would seem to be short in such a hot environment, but just the opposite is true. A strange characteristic of wine grapes is that they shut down and stop maturing any time temperatures exceed 98 degrees. Since there are so many more days in the far northern valley in that temperature range, the effect is somewhat similar to the cool evenings in the central Sierra Foothills, the warm temperature encourage the grapes to rest thus lengthening hang times allowing heat loving grapes to mature more slowly.

The Wines

The winery produces wines more reminiscent of the Spanish and Italian style than French based on the grapes and their growing environment. The winery currently offers eight wines, three whites and five reds. The petite sirah is of particular merit with its great mouthfeel, intense fruit and spice with a very good tannin structure.

The Winemaker

The winemaker at New Clairvaux, Aimee Sunseri, is a UC Davis graduate and a fifth generation California winemaker. She is descended from the founder of Nicolini Winery in the Napa Valley, the second oldest winery in California still operating under the same family and is a cousin of the Boeger family of Boeger Winery in El Dorado County.  

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