With an enthusiasm for the red wines of Burgundy and confidence in California’s potential for producing world-class wines, Francis & Kathy Mahoney have realized a dream: growing fine Burgundian Pinot Noir in the Northern California soil and climate. Francis was captivated by the concept of terroir – the influence of soil, wind, fog, sun exposure, and rainfall on the style of wine they produced. Turning his focus towards the undiscovered “Los Carneros” region in the southern portion of Napa and Sonoma valleys, Francis felt that conditions in this wind-swept countryside were ideal for Pinot Noir to thrive. So, it was here that the Mahoneys set their roots.
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. Fleur de California wines showcase exuberant fresh fruit flavors, highlighting the unique qualities of the vineyards. The style of the wines is crafted on the vine, with picking decisions based on the interplay between fruit flavors and acidity. The resulting wines display texture, balance, and true varietal character. With restrained use of oak and moderate alcohol levels.
Ken Foster joined Mahoney Vineyards in June of 2002. The former winemaker/production manager at David Bruce Winery in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, Ken had been making wine there for 15 years. During his tenure, he gained experience with Pinot Noir from fifty different vineyards and a dozen appellations, making him a big name in the world of Pinot Noir winemaking. During that period, he helped to convert the focus of the winery from Chardonnay to Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel. He helped Fleur de California expand their focus to include Petit Sirah.