Fleur de California wines are vibrant, fresh, and approachable. These award-winning wines are crafted to be food-friendly and affordable. With the enthusiasm of his twenty-five years and confidence in California’s potential for producing world-class wines, Francis & Kathy Mahoney and set out to realize a dream: to grow Pinot Noir and make wines that would stand up to the French Burgundies. Although centuries of experience in French vineyards and cellars indicated that Pinot Noir was considered to be a difficult varietal to nurture, Francis decided to challenge the possibilities within the Northern California soil and climate. Francis researched the elements that were linked with French Pinot Noirs. Burgundians were captivated by the concept of terrior - the influence of soil, sun exposure and rainfall on the style of a wine. Francis found “Los Carneros” which lays in the southern portion of Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Often obscured by fog from the San Francisco Bay, year-round temperatures are cool and grapes are allowed to mature slowly in the Carneros region, similar to Burgundy, France. A mixture of old and new vines was preferred in the Burgundian wine growing region where several clones had been identified. The world over, several hundred clonal varieties of Pinot Noir exist. Francis decided to begin a tedious, twelve-year clonal research project to understand this varietal. On a modest budget, a small, functional winery was built in 1972. Francis knew that his best tool was his palate. Calling on his experience in the cellars of Burgundy, the profile of superb Pinot Noir was in his memory, soon to be expressed at Fleur de California Winery.