When you say Opus One to anyone, whether they are Vinophiles or not, they get an idea of an expensive California Napa Valley Wine. And they are right, at $200 a bottle for the current release, it is one of the most expensive bottles of wine in the Napa Valley.
Opus One Facts.
- This was the brain child of Baron Rothschild and Robert Mondavi
- The first vintage was in 1979
- They make only wine per year.
- It takes 3 years from harvest to bottle release.
- The wine will be kept in New French barrels for 17 to 20 months.
- The French oak barrels are only used once.
- The grapes are all hand sorted
- The fermentation tanks only hold a single varietal lot each season.
- During aging each barrel is tested by the winemaker on a regular basis.
- The winery design is a combination of old and new world design
- Opus One produces about 25,000 cases of wine per year.
- In 2004 Constellation Brands purchased Robert Mondavi Corporation and took 50% ownership of Opus One.
This past month, I was given the opportunity to take a tour of the Opus One winery. This was my first visit to Opus One. What took me so long? I think the price, the attitude and the price…. Did I say price? The cost of the tour and tasting of one wine is $40 per person. Was it worth it? Will I do it again, absolutely.
|Hand Sorting 20 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon|
Now if you balk at paying $200 for a bottle of Opus One wine, think about this, a 2005 Chateau Lefleur Pomerol is currently going for $2000 a bottle.
I have been focusing on small family run wineries most of my wine career, looking for those diamonds in the rough- this tour has reminded me however, not to ignore the big guys- there is a good reason they are the landmarks of the California wine industry.