Bouchaine Vineyards

Owner(s) Gerret Copeland, Tatiana Copeland
Web site
Link to this site

Bouchaine is the oldest continually operated winery in Carneros. It was first planted to vines and orchards by the Carneros legend, Boon Fly, as part of a larger tract in the 1850s. A couple of owners followed, including Italian immigrant Johnny Garetto and the Beringer Brothers. In 1981 the winery was acquired by Burgundian enthusiasts Gerret and Tatiana Copeland and a group of nine other partners. When they came upon the property, the vines had been pulled out and a derelict shed stood on the property. The christened the property Chateau Bouchaine after the maiden name of the general partner. A decade later, the investors lost interest in the project and the Copelands acquired the entire property.

The Copelands replanted vineyards and bought more land, including the Garetto hills. A massive renovation of Bouchaine was undertaken in 1995 and in 2002 Michael Richmond was hired as winemaker and general manager.

Michael Richmond is a veteran of over 30 years in the winemaking business. He co-founded Acacia Winery in Carneros and later managed Carmenet Winery for Chalone. He is one of the co-founders of the Steamboat Pinot Noir Conference in Oregon. As an avid cyclist, you may pass him on your travels in Carneros.

Andrew Brooks, the son of Larry Brooks, the first winemaker Richmond hired in 1979 when he founded Acacia Winery, joined Bouchaine as assistant winemaker in 2007.

The Copelands have a focus on the arts and sponsor the Bouchaine young Artists Series, the only musical event at Festival del Sole that is free to the public. They also focus on open land preservation and animal rescue.

Bouchaine Vineyards wines are available on the website. There is also decent retail distribution. The winery is open to visitors daily from 10:30-4:00. The address is 1075 Buchli Station Rd, Napa. The phone is 800-654-WINE.

Reviewed Wines

2006 Bouchaine Carneros Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $30. A combination of fruit from estate and neighboring vineyards. Dijon, Pommard and Swan clones. Gold Medal San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2008. · Ripe flavors of dark cherries, blackberry jam and a little dark chocolate. There is a moderately lush entry attack of dark stone fruit, berries and root beer flavors with an accompanying velvety mouth feel, supple tannins and lively acidity on the dry finish. A reliable drinker from a consistent producer. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Bouchaine Vineyards Carneros Estate Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 2,500 cases, $30. · Closed initially, then opening nicely in the glass with swirling. A rich and sturdy wine with a tasty core of dark red cherries and berries with currants, tobacco and smoky oak that linger on a persistent and noticeably tannic finish. This wine will pair well now with hardy meats. Still fine the next day from an opened and re-corked bottle indicating this wine will age for 5 to 7 more years without difficulty. Reviewed February 12, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Bouchaine Napa Carneros Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $20 (website retail for the 2006 vintage is $30). Dijon, Pommard clones and Swan selection. · Deep ruby color. Flat out terrific nose featuring black cherries, shrooms, dark chocolate, and smoke. A beautiful drink of Pinot. Darkly fruited and substantial, yet smooth, light and elegant. Very easy to like. I call this a “Just Right” wine since everything about it is harmonious. There isn’t another Pinot Noir in this issue that can match the quality here at such a low price. For value seeking Pinot lovers who want something they can count on. Reviewed July 19, 2008 ARTICLE »