Patz & Hall was founded in Napa Valley in 1988 when two couples, Donald and Heather Patz, and James Hall and Anne Moses, decided to make single vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Donald and James had worked together at Flora Springs Winery, and Anne was a winemaker at Far Niente. The winery sources its grapes from numerous small, family-owned vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Monterey Counties. Patz & Hall makes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in a Burgundian style, and their wines have been well reviewed by such wine writers as James Laube, who calls their Chardonnays “simply delicious; they are very rich and creamy, and all are worthy of outstanding ratings.”
Carneros AVA, also known as Los Carneros, is at the southern end of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys at the top of the San Francisco Bay. The 8,000 vineyard acres are mostly planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, both of which thrive in the district’s cool, marine climate. Carneros became an AVA in 1983 and it has attracted foreign wine companies along with local producers. It has been especially appealing to European producers of sparkling wines including the giant Spanish cava producers Codorniu and Frexinet, and the French Champagne house Taittinger. Codorniu in Carneros is called Artesa, and Frexinet’s Carneros brand is Gloria Ferrer. Taittinger calls its Carneros winery Domaine Carneros. The European producers also make still wines in Carneros.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.