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Domaine Chandon, founded by the French Champagne house, Moët & Chandon in 1973, marries the best of old world tradition with new world innovation. In the style of Old World apprenticeships, our California-based winemakers have honed their craft with the winery's founders from France and knowledge of the art of blending. As a result, Chandon's Napa Valley winery uses centuries-old champagne methods and the traditional grape varieties of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, yet is able to showcase the rich fruit flavors of California's vibrant regional character. For Sonora Living, Sparkling Winemaker Tom Tiburzi, who has been with Domaine Chandon now for 23 years, showcases the four sparkling wines in Chandon's Classic Tier, Brut Classic, Blanc de Noirs, Chandon Rosé and Riche; as well as the prestige cuvées étoile Brut and étoile Rose.  With focus on the grape's varietal characteristics, the Classic Tier wines features a California style with focus on fruit and ageing up to 18 months on the yeast in the bottle. The focus of the étoile tier, however, is the elegance and finesse that comes with a minimum of five years aging on the yeast in the bottle.

All of Domaine Chandon sparkling wines are made using the traditional champagne method, undergoing a second fermentation in the bottle that produces the bubbles, and with time aging on the yeast, creamy mouth feel and savory flavors such as toasted hazelnuts and brioche. The traditional method calls for harvesting the grapes while they still embrace a crisp acidity that carries to our sparkling wines the ability to easily pair with many foods. Brut Classic, led by the Chardonnay grape is great with salty or creamy foods such as oysters or Caesar salad.  Blanc de Noirs, made using the clear juice coming from the red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, is outstanding with mildly spicy and more robust foods such as sushi and grilled vegetables or light meats. Chandon Rosé is very versatile for many food pairings, but goes especially well with spicy foods and seafood.  Chandon Extra Dry Riche has the Muscat grape blended in with the traditional varieties to make a more fruity, aromatic sparkling wine that finishes with a whisper of sweetness and pairs with very spicy foods such as Thai cuisine and rich foods such as Pâté or nutty cheeses. Both étoile Brut and Rosé are bended towards an elegant style featuring finesse and delicacy, and with extended time aging on the yeast, a creamy mouth feel enhanced by tiny bubbles. Etoile Brut pairs nicely with caviar, shellfish and grilled seafood, while étoile Rosé likes to be paired with rich decadent foods such as lobster in cream sauce, foie gras or duck.

Located in Yountville, California in the Napa Valley about sixty miles north of San Francisco, the Domaine Chandon Winery is open to the public for tours, wine tastings and fine dining. Visit our website, http://www.chandon.com , for information about our wine, entertaining tips, visiting, special events and joining our club.

Alliance Beverage is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living Live

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