Photo Credit: Napa Valley Register
Clos du Val winery has been in business nearly fifty years, founded in 1972 by French expatriate Bernard Portet with owner John Goelet. Portet’s French winemaking approach to fruit from Napa Valley earned the brand a dedicated following of consumers early on. Clos du Val captured the terroir of the famous Stags Leap District, Carneros, and Yountville, with the goal of making classic, timeless wines. Industry veteran and Napa Valley native Steve Tamburelli was appointed president of the winery in 2014 with the task of overseeing all operations, concentrating on estate-grown wines, and overall tightening the brand’s focus, production levels, and image. Tamburelli’s previously roles included Stags Leap Wine Cellars chief operating officer, general manager at Chappellet, and just prior to Clos Du Val, chief operating officer at Flora Springs Winery.
1. What makes Clos Du Val so special? Clos Du Val is one of the founding fathers of fine wine in the Napa Valley. Still owned by the Goelet family (that started the winery back in 1972), we are a winery that is grounded by our rich history while wholeheartedly embracing the future of winemaking in Stags Leap.
2. Why do you think Clos Du Val has become such a beloved brand? We have always over-delivered in terms of quality.
3. What do you think it takes to run and remain a successful brand in today’s competitive market? A real sense of your ‘raison d’etre’ – your reason for being. If your goal is just to produce good wine, you’re going to find the path rocky as that’s the price of admission today.
4. Is wine made in the vineyard or the winery and why? Both. A great chef can’t create a wonderful meal with poor ingredients and it’s the same for winemaking. A great winemaker working with great grapes will produce an artful and delicious wine; any other combination will result in an inferior product.
5. Given concerns over climate change, drought, and a changing ripening period, where do you see Napa Valley wines in the next forty years? Researchers are actively working on the impact of a warming planet and how it impacts today’s world class grape-growing regions. I’m confident that we’ll be doing things differently in forty years and equally confident that we’ll still be making amazing wines.