The Winery: The name James MItchell comes from the founders of the winery, James Roberts and Mitchell Clark, who both worked for Mondavi and started their own label some 15 years ago. The winery was purchased by Spain's Aveniu Brands, owned by Codorniu Ravent?s Bodegas Y Vi?edos, the largest sparkling wine company in Spain, and maybe even the world.
Codorniu is one of the oldest companies in the world. It was founded in 1551 and is still operated by the 17th generation of family members. They own 11 wineries around the world from the Napa Valley to Argentina.
The Region: The grapes come from Lodi, and are certified Green by the Lodi Rules for sustainable Winegrowing. The Lodi Rules members have to protect the safety, health and welfare of not just the plants and the soil, but also the employees and the habitat that provides a beneficial ecosystem. This includes planting grasses which conserve water instead of wasting it and promoting beneficial insects that prey on those that can harm the system.
The Wine: All this attention to the details of organic farming and sustainable practices wouldn't mean a thing if the outcome didn't reflect that effort. Well, we can certainly say that it does! The wines produced from this kind of farming seem to have more elegance, nuance and flavors than those produced by traditional methods.
There seems to be more complexity in the wines. Yes, there is the telltale black cherry and earth mixed with some licorice. But there are also hints of cocoa, mint, vanilla, spice and touches of cranberry that seem to just swirl around the palate and never give up. Nothing short of spectacular.
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