Born in Barcelona-Raised in the Napa Valley
From the Spanish Renaissance – to the 21st Century
Arriving at Artesa, you will be “WOWED” by the avant-garde futuristic architecture, modern art, water features, and expansive grounds surrounded by vineyards. Prepare to enjoy wines of character and distinction, steeped in history. From one generation to the next, Artesa is the continuation of a family legacy reaching back nineteen generations-to 1551, the year of its founding.
Welcome to Artesa
The US venture of Raventós Codorníu, Spain’s oldest winemaking family, the creator of Cava (*), Codorníu
Opening in 1991 (440 years after Raventós Codorníu was founded), Artesa (meaning “handcrafted” in the native Catalan language), sits atop a prime location in Carneros, where grapes are grown and wine produced; not only world-famous Codorníu Napa, “sparkling wine,” patterned after the original Cava, but in addition, highly acclaimed Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, plus other select grape varietals.
The terroir is conducive to growing different varietals, allowing the fruit to express the unique characteristics of the land. As described by geologist Ben Schupack: “Artesa sits on a unit of rocks which are unlike anything around it. The bedrock of the vineyards is marine sandstone, siltstone, and shale from a prehistoric Miocene Ocean. In contrast, just a few hundred feet to the west you will find volcanic rock flows, and several hundred feet to the east you will find marine rocks over three times as old (more than sixty-six million years old).”
(*) Cava: A sparkling wine from Spain, crafted in the traditional method, from the Spanish varietals Macabeo, Xarl-lo and Parellada).
Exciting Your Senses
A visit to Artesa will excite your senses. Just approaching this state-of-the-art winery, will energize you. The winery is creatively designed, being integrated into the surrounding hillside, blending in with, and being a part of the environment. Viewing water features and outdoor sculptures as you approach, will prepare you for the “grand entrance,” where you will eventually enjoy an ultra-premium wine tasting experience, in a breathtaking locale.
During your visit to ARTESA you will understand the emphasis is on “ART.” The artistically designed building, the land, combined with the art of winemaking, the artful way the seating areas, inside and out are arranged, overlooking a vast pastoral setting that is in concert with the surrounding vista of hills; it is simply magical. From the tasting salon or from the patio, on a clear day as you sip the wines, you will be mesmerized by the sparkling waters of San Pablo Bay in the distance, with a view of “The City” beyond, which seems close enough that you can reach out and touch it.
ARTESA Winery blends the senses together in a sophisticated, elegant, relaxing, and comfortable manner. Whether you choose to sit inside and enjoy the view through the expansive windows, or outside on the patio, feeling the breeze and listening to the sounds of nature as you indulge in the wine tasting experience-THIS is a winery that is simply: Unique.
From Cava to Cabernet
Being the creator of Cava, when Raventós decided to start a new winery, Carneros was chosen, due to its location, terroir, and sense of place; the focus for Artesa was originally to be on sparkling wine. However, it did not take long to recognize that the exceptional terroir of Carneros and Mt. Veeder, with the distinguishing micro-climates, was the perfect terrain for growing, and producing other types of grapes, and wines. While still concentrating on a selection of their historically famous sparkling wines, Artesa also produces award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Albarino, and Tempranillo, in addition to its soon to be released 2019 Estate Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon.
Making a statement recognizing and honoring the Old-World roots and traditions of Spain, along with the exciting New World venture of California, one of Artesa’s small, elite production wines is Galatea, a blend of the traditional Spanish varietal Tempranillo, along with the “king” of California grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon.
Taste the Magic of Artesa Terroir
Portuguese-born Ana Diogo-Draper moved to California in 2005, joining Artesa in 2013; since 2015 Ana has been Artesa’s Director of Winemaking. Ana’s smile, passion, and bubbly personality (apropos for a winery with its root in bubbles) is expressed with every sip you taste. With each vintage Ana and her team “start over” as they respond to the weather, terroir and what the fruit tells them. Producing small lots from fifty specific blocks, experimenting year after year, Ana and the winemaking team take their cues from the vine. As every year is different, every wine is different year after year. The wines are fun, exciting, expressive, each reflecting its, and the land’s individual character, geography, geology, and climactic conditions.
The Experiences: Tasting Spanish Roots and History
There are various tasting options at Artesa. All are magnificent, giving you a full introduction to the wines of Artesa. Sipping, while seated on the expansive patio outside, surrounded by nature, or in the elegant ‘tasting salon,’ you are assured of a singular, elegant experience.
Your wine host will walk you through the tasting. As you relax, experiencing the liquid part of Artesa, you will learn about the fascinating history of this nineteen-generation Spanish jewel.
With assorted tasting options to choose from, the piece d’ resistance, is the Tapas and Wine experience. What could be more apropos, than to have tapas (traditional Spanish small bites or appetizers), served alongside your wines-a perfectly paired accompaniment of old-world gastronomy with new world wine.
This option begins with a tour of the production facility, as you sip one of Artesa’s sparkling wines. Finally, you will relax in one of the private areas and let your taste buds and senses go wild. A current selection for the Tapas and Wine experience includes:
*Shrimp Ceviche accompanied with Rose of Pinot Noir
*Queso Chevre Con Miel with Estate Chardonnay
*Tortilla Espanola (Spanish style omelette) with Estate Pinot Noir
*Churasco Con Chimichurri (Marinated and grilled skirt steak) with Tempranillo
*Albondigas Entomatadas (Spanish Meatballs) with Cabernet Sauvignon
This gourmet five-course paired tasting expertly blends traditional Old-World Spanish culinary elegance and flavors, with New World produced and focused wines-a perfect balance and fusion created over almost five centuries by one family.
A Class of its Own
Beginning wine lover, or experienced oenophile, a visit to Artesa is an extraordinary, unique encounter. Unpretentious yet elegant in all aspects, you will be enamored and surprised at the sensory experiences you will be taking part in. Your sensations will be stimulated as you take in the merging of what began during the Spanish Renaissance, maturing over the centuries, to be blended with New World vision and creativity in Napa, California.
The staff of Artesa will enthusiastically welcome you, making your visit fun, exciting and memorable; this is a not to be missed adventure highlighting one of Napa’s most elegant wineries. Visit Artesa as you absorb 450 years of history while experiencing ARTESA’S vision of the future with wines, art, food, and friendliness from the family of Raventós Codorníu.
Don Sonderling is a freelance writer covering California’s Wine Country lifestyle and culture, from Santa Barbara to Napa, while focusing on the Central Coast. He has earned his WSET2 certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has completed the Bourgogne Masterclass through the Napa Valley Wine Academy, and is a member of the LA. Wine Writers.