Caraccioli Cellars Brut Cuvee Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2009, USA

Judges Comments

“Beautiful and lively bubbles. Spicy and citric. Complex and deep.” – Eduardo Brethauer, Chilean Judge

Toasted lees. Remarkably lively, high acid, pure, powerful. Packs a punch!” – Patrick Comiskey, American Judge

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Caraccioli Cellars


Santa Lucia Highlands, California


Trophy – Class Winner


Chardonnay Pinot Noir



About Caraccioli Cellars

Gary Caraccioli grew up working on his family’s farm in the Salinas valley at the foot of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Gary and his brother Phil spent many hours as children watching their Swiss-Italian grandfather labor with love over his home grown, homemade wine. Wine with dinner was truly an integral part of their Swiss-Italian heritage. As a result, Gary grew up with the belief that wine is not just a beverage it is an experience.

In 2006 Gary enticed his Uncle Jim and brother Phil, to expand their agricultural roots into the wine business with the idea that they would make an exclusive and original wine that was not being produced anywhere else in the area. His goal was to develop a sophisticated and complex sparkling wine specific to the Santa Lucia Highlands.

When Gary met Michel Salgues and Joe Rawitzer, the plan was set into motion. Salgues, who was born and raised in France, and Rawitzer a Monterey County native of Swiss Italian decent, view wine very similarly to Gary. Their belief: to enhance the consumer’s experience through the best grapes and most stringent procedures in not only still wines but also sparkling.

Today the Caraccioli’s continue to produce Brut and Brut Rose sparkling wine varietals as well as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The fourth generation of the Caraccioli family has joined the founders in their venture, and Joe has since retired. In fact Gary’s son, Scott, is head of marketing and oversees day-to-day operations.  In between running a thriving winery, guests can likely see the Caraccioli family members pop in and out of the tasting room or along the streets of the city. Scott is often found heading to a meeting in Carmel or Monterey where he sits in executive positions on boards for several organizations including the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, the Carmel Chamber of Commerce and the Carmel Wine Walk.

Caraccioli wines have been described as “Old World” with deep roots, which is no surprise coming from this old world family!


About the wine – Caraccioli Cellars Brut Cuvee Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2009

From 2006 through 2010 we worked very closely with Talbott and Hahn to source our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The sites we chose showcase the balance and acid we look for in our sparkling wines. All of our grapes are hand harvested into small totes, dis-allowing any premature crushing to occur prior to press. All sparkling lots are processed in 4 tons press loads, which is optimal when using our Coquard Gravity Press. We utilize extremely light whole cluster pressing, and only take the first 120 gallons/ton. The cuvée begins fermentation in 316 stainless steel tanks, with 40% of the wines finishing the fermentation in neutral French Oak Barrels. The remaining 60% of the cuvee will also see time in Oak, however the fermentation finished prior in stainless tanks. Total time on oak is approximately 2 months. The cuvée is then racked back to tank, and bottled. The Brut Cuvée is then left to age sur lies for 4 years. Riddled and disgorged in house we age for an additional 16+ months  prior to release on cork.


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