Plan your next wine tasting experience focused around the Carneros wine growing region in Napa and Sonoma Valley! We are thrilled to partner with Beau Wine Tours who provide intimate VIP experiences that are unique to each client’s taste and wine preferences. Learn more about Beau Wine Tours and book your next tour!
Below, you’ll find some of my favorite wine tasting spots in Carneros! You will notice they share a few things in common: stunning views, award-winning wine portfolios, and unforgettable hospitality experiences! Unlike most of the Napa Valley’s famous AVA’s, Carneros is known largely for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, as well as famous sparkling houses like Domaine Carneros (check it out below!). Recently, other varieties have been planted as viticulturists experiment with the region’s rolling hills, cool fog, and warm daytime temperatures.
1. Ceja Vineyards
No brainer! Enhance your wine knowledge as you learn about our rich Mexican heritage and see what makes the Carneros region such a premier grape growing region. Nuestra casa es su casa, we look forward to hosting you in the near future!
2. Domaine Carneros
Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles. Sit on the patio and enjoy the gorgeous views of the Carneros countryside.
3. Bouchaine Vineyards
Overlooking San Pablo Bay and both the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Liana Estates is a picturesque winery perfect for an afternoon escape.
4. Artesa Winery
It's like a walking art gallery with wines and a view to match the beauty of Carneros.
Over the past few decades, night harvesting has been embraced as the best way to harvest wine grapes. Many of the finest wineries in the world practice this method, including Ceja Vineyards! Here are a few reasons why we've decided to take on this method:
BETTER WORKING CONDITIONS FOR THE VINEYARD CREW
Let's be real, picking grapes by hand is back breaking work. All of our grapes are picked strictly by hand, making it extremely hard, meticulous work.
Although the Carneros agricultural zone may get cold at night, the days can be very warm, and our vineyard management crew quickly realized the benefits of not laboring through hot, sunny days. Pickers were able to work faster and more efficiently.
IT PRESERVES THE PURITY OF THE FRUIT
Keeping grapes cold protects the delicate flavors, skins and pulp. Heat can “cook” fruit destroying important acidity and softening pulp so the fruit tastes “flabby.” By picking when fruit is chilled, the grapes remain clean and fresh. You can taste the difference in the juice even before it’s made into wine.
IT MAXIMIZES WINERY EFFICIENCY
Interestingly, picking the grapes when they’re cold saves energy, because they don’t have to be mechanically pre-chilled before they’re crushed.
IT SHOWCASES BALANCED FRUIT FLAVORS
Cold temperatures keep acidity higher, minimize phenolic extraction of the skins and keep astringency in check. Warmth also changes the sugar composition of grapes, and can promote undesirable wild yeast fermentation. Higher sugar levels lead to the higher alcohols that Ceja avoids. By picking chilled, the resulting wine is fruit-forward but elegantly balanced, showcasing stone fruit nuances and vibrant acidity. Balance is key!
Please enjoy some raw night footage of our Ceja Vineyards harvest during previous years!
Exciting week! We bottled a variety of Ceja wines and are delighted to share with you these balanced, approachable and food friendly new vintages. Take a peek behind the scenes and what goes into bottling. Each wine was perfectly handcrafted by our winemaking team, Armando and Belen Ceja. Stay tuned for each new wine release over the next few months. Salud!
Coming Soon | New Wine Releases
2016 Reserva Carneros Chardonnay
2016 Vino de Casa White Blend (Arneis & Chardonnay blend)
2017 Bella Flor Rosé
2016 Carneros Pinot Noir
2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
P.S. Which one are you excited to try?!
America The Great Cookbook | Holiday Gift Idea!
We are honored to be included in it! What is American food? America The Great Cookbook's editor Joe Yonan of the Washington Post says, "American food is native food, and it is immigrant food.” Please read Diane Peterson's wonderful write-up on the Press Democrat highlighting Amelia Ceja's Chilaquiles and Coconut Oatmeal recipes. Recipe book raises funds for the Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. It's the ideal gift paired with Ceja wine for all foodies and winos this holiday season!
For your holiday needs, we invite you to share the love with a gift of Ceja Vineyards estate grown wines – they make every occasion memorable. Purchase online today! With warmest wishes for the holiday season and gratitude for your support throughout the year.
Celebrate the fall season and join Dalia Ceja and NG: Next Generation in Wine for a Sunday funday wine tasting event in San Francisco!
Sunday, Nov. 12th, 2017
Presidio Golf Course at the Club Lounge
300 Finley Rd, San Francisco, CA 94129
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Meet and greet eleven next generation Napa Valley wineries and enjoy 33 wines while sampling tantalizing bites from the Club Lounge. What's more, you will have the opportunity to purchase the wines onsite -- perfect for stocking your cellars or for holiday gifts.
-$50 for WC members & Fans | Promo Code: CEJAWC
-$55 regular pre-sale until October 27th
-$65 at the door
Gather your friends and family for this fabulous event. We can't wait to see you all there!
Summer is almost over but it doesn't mean that you have to put your hostess with the "mostest" party hats away! We're excited to be part of the new coffee table book, Napa Valley Entertaining. In Napa Valley, eating, drinking and entertaining with friends and familia is a feast for all senses and seasons. This book is an insider's guide to entertaining with a bit of wine country flair by highlighting a variety of dishes, décor and diversity that make Napa such a special place to call my hometown.
Go behind the scenes and experience a meal with dozens of Napa Valley's most preeminent hosts and wineries through this gorgeous collection of photography, recipes and stories by Blakesley Chappellet and Briana Marie. Our colorful and festive spread will have your mouth watering and excited to throw your next fiesta!
P.S. Books are available for purchase HERE and will soon be available at our Ceja wine tasting rooms. Salud!
Pedro Ceja harvesting grapes in 1982
Behind The Vines: Meet Pedro Ceja, Founder & Engineer
If there’s a way to build it, Pedro Ceja will find it. Coming as he did to the Napa Valley at the age of 12 and working with his father—a bracero—Pedro’s heart has always been in Napa’s vineyards and the pursuit to leave a legacy of the Ceja familia.
Pedro, who graduated from Napa Valley College in 1977 with a degree in electrical engineering, is a great fan and supporter of the NVC where he studied telecommunications, electronics and radio frequencies is grateful for the education he received. “The NVC gave me the opportunity to secure my future and my existing job as an electrical engineer with Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.” The company is the world leader in scientific products and services with revenues of $17 billion and approximately 50,000 employees in 50 countries. The company’s mission is “to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.”
Pedro knows from his work as an engineer that even the simplest product represents a lot of skill and work. He brings a forward-looking practicality and analytical eye to the family’s expanding the Ceja winery plans. “Creating a beach with one grain of sand at a time is a lot of work.” As Pedro unfurls the architect’s rendering of the new winery building that Pedro designed many times in his mind over the years, there’s an understated pride in his explanation of each detail. There’s also a sense that this milestone in the life of the family is only the beginning of a long future that Pedro can already see.
Behind the Vines: Meet Amelia Morán Ceja, President & Founder
Her philosophy: Amelia Morán Ceja reveals her conviction that the diligent pursuit of a passion is key to success. She notes, “My grandmother told me, whatever you do, if you love it and learn everything you can about it, you will always be successful.”
Amelia’s love affair with food started in Las Flores, Jalisco, Mexico, where she began cooking on her own at the age of eight in the farm kitchen of a strong maternal grandmother. “Mamá Chepa” taught Amelia to cook with fresh, home grown ingredients. When Amelia joined her father, Felipe Morán, in Rutherford in 1967, Amelia threw herself into her new world. On her first weekend in the Napa Valley, Amelia was in the vineyard, harvesting with a knife that seemed half the size of the petite 12-year old.
Along with her key roles at Ceja Vineyards, some of her other passions include social justice causes and giving back to the community. She's the recipient of the 2016 Dolores Huerta Farmworker Justice Award and she's honored to share her story as the Keynote Speaker at the upcoming MLK Monday Community Celebration. Join her for a community gathering celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King while continuing his legacy through a day of action and compassion.
MLK Monday Community Celebration Event - Everyone is Welcome!
When: Monday, January 16th, 2017
Where: St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
Address: 960 Caymus St, Napa Ca 94559
Photo by Sarah Deragon
Behind The Vines: Meet Armando Ceja, Winemaker
His philosophy: “Making wine is more like making preserves than jam,” he says; he favors preserving bright fruit over highly-extracted flavors and high alcohol because it creates wines that stay balanced, youthful and vibrant.
Armando made his first wine when he was 17 years old. He jumped at the offer of a free lot of Duckhorn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon grapes turning it into his first vintage. After earning an associate degree in chemistry, he graduated in 1985 from UC Davis with a BS in Enology. From there, he worked at Kenwood Vineyards in both winemaking and vineyard management before joining the management team at the Christian Brothers winery on Mt. Veeder. His experience as a viticulturist and enologist continued to thrive from there.
Balance and perspective is key for him as a winemaker. “I know my roots,” says Armando. “I enjoy being with my crew and I enjoy being with other winemakers. I am who I am. My job is to ensure that the fermentation is going clean and that the things that make good wine are in place. The biggest compliment is when someone says, ‘I had a glass of your wine. I really enjoyed it.'