Carter Cellars started out in the 1980s, not as a winery, but as a small bed & breakfast. The accommodation became so popular that Mark Carter had to expand fast and open Hotel Carter, along with a restaurant. The wine list featured the best wines of the moment, ranging from Bordeaux to Napa Valley. Soon enough, the restaurant won the Wine Spectator Grand Award for best wine list. Around that time, Mark also befriended Nils Venge, a well-known local winemaker. In 1999, they decided to buy some grapes together and turn them into wine. This is what led to Carter Cellars a year later.
One of the very first vineyards from which they bought their grapes was Beckstofer to Kalon; Napa Valley's most acclaimed vineyard. Over the years, their portfolio has grown to include eight different vineyards spread across Oakville and St. Helena. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most important grape variety in these vineyards, but a small amount of Merlot is also used.
After harvesting, the bunches are manually selected for quality. Any grape that does not meet the criteria is discarded. The grapes are then gently pressed, to keep any bitter oils and tannins out of the juice. When the fermentation is finished, the wines are transferred to French oak barrels for a period of 18-20 months. In total, the winery produces 18 different wines. The Grand Daddy, The Three Kings and The O.G. are the three top cuvées from Carter Cellars.
Mark Carter is a very talented winemaker, seeing that he has not one, but several 100-point scores to his name. The most iconic vintage is 2013. This is the year Carter received 100 Parker Points three times. These were the wines in question: The O.G., Las Piedreas and The G.T.O.Read more