In the early 1970s, Balfour Gibson and Francis Mahoney came to the Napa Valley looking for ways to expand their San Francisco operations.
“In the southernmost area of the Napa Valley, just north of San Francisco Bay, lies the Carneros District. Because of the bay’s moderating effects, the Carneros District enjoys more temperate weather than other areas of the Napa Valley- warm, breezy summer days and mild summer evenings. The climate especially favors Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. The sandy loam soil, punctuated by small rocks and gravel, provides the superior drainage essential for producing classic wine grapes.
To this hospitable site came Balfour Gibson and Francis Mahoney. They recognized it as a superior location in the Napa Valley, one in which they could create memorable wines. Gibson was a successful wine importer who sought to produce fine, European-style wines in the Napa Valley. Mahoney, who had assisted him in the import business, brought a connoisseur’s appreciation of wines to his winemaking skills.
Together they founded Carneros Creek Winery, a small winery dedicated to producing distinctive wines. Since its first bottling in 1972, Carneros Creek Winery created wines that have achieved national and international recognition along with their on-going success.
In 1986 Fleur de Carneros debuted and was considered by Francis “Pinot 101”. The wines were aged in stainless steel or oak tanks and bottled within 8 months of harvest. The resulting wines exhibited bright fruit, with forward aromas of red fruit typical of the Carneros region. The style was inviting and straightforward, and most of the grapes were purchased from local growers.
The Mahoney’s sold Carneros Creek Winery in 2006, and gave them an opportunity to focus on Mahoney Family Vineyards and Fleur de California. Since then, our wines have won Double Gold at the San Francisco Wine Competition, and have been on shelves and in homes all over the country.