Groth Vineyards & Winery is a 140-acre estate in Napa Valley. It was founded in 1982 by Dennis and Judy Groth. Dennis had been a partner at Arthur Young & Co. and later a top executive at Atari, but he and Judy decided to move their family to Napa and realize their dream of becoming vintners. They bought an estate in the heart of the Oakville appellation and hired Nils Venge as winemaker. Michael Weiss became winemaker in 1994. The estate producers Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, but the star is the Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve, which generally earns compliments from reviewers. Wine Spectator called the 2005 a wine with “wonderful richness, density and focus, with tiers of smoky plum, currant, blackberry, loamy earth, sage and underbrush notes. Though firmly tannic, there's a measure of finesse and polish.”
Napa Valley AVA is the most famous winemaking region in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. With nearly 43,000 acres of vineyards and more than 300 wineries, it is the heart of fine wine production in the United States. Winemaking started in Napa in 1838 when George C. Yount planted grapes and began producing wine commercially. Other winemaking pioneers followed in the late 19th century, including the founders of Charles Krug, Schramsberg, Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards. An infestation of phylloxera, an insect that attacks vine roots, and the onset of Prohibition nearly wiped out the nascent Napa wine industry in the early 20th century. But by the late 1950s and early 1960s Robert Mondavi and other visionaries were producing quality wines easily distinguishable from the mass-produced jug wines made in California’s Central Valley. Napa Valley’s AVA was established in 1983, and today there are 16 sub-appellations within the Napa Valley AVA. Many grapes grow well in Napa’s Mediterranean climate, but the region is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay is also very successfully cultivated, and about 30% of the AVA’s acreage is planted to white grapes, with the majority of those grapes being Chardonnay,
This white variety originated in Burgundy, but is now grown around the world. Its flexibility to thrive in many regions translates to wide flavor profile in the market. Chardonnay is commonly used in making Champagne and sparkling wines.