What is the difference between Villa Mt. Eden and Mount Eden Vineyards?
Villa Mt. Eden is a large winery located on the valley floor in Napa. Grapes for this winery are purchased from all over California. It is one of a portfolio of wineries owned by Stimson Lane, who also owns Conn Creek, Columbia Crest, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Col Solare, Domaine Ste. Michelle, Northstar, Red Diamond, Snoqualmie and Stimson Estate Cellars. Mount Eden Vineyards is a 60 year-old fine wine estate located 2000 feet above the Santa Clara Valley adjacent to a geographical Mount Eden in the Santa Cruz Mountains. As one of the oldest continuous producers of estate bottled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in California, it is run with the care of a family-owned business. Due to trademark agreement the “ Mt.” in Villa Mt. Eden must always be abbreviated and the “Mount” in Mount Eden Vineyards must always be written out and never abbreviated.
Who owns Martin Ray brand today?
Martin Ray started vineyards on our mountain top in 1942. He was the proprietor for thirty years under the Martin Ray label. Martin Ray died in 1976 and after his death, his stepson Peter Martin Ray and partners went into business resurrecting the Martin Ray brand. They purchased grapes mainly from Napa and Sonoma until 1984. Eventually, they sold the name Martin Ray to Courtney Benham who is based in Emeryville, California. There is no longer a connection to the historic Martin Ray brand of old and the current Martin Ray brand. Mount Eden Vineyards has been growing grapes and making wine on the former Martin Ray estate since 1972.
Why Does the Mount Eden Chardonnay age for so long?
The synergy of the vine selection, soil, low yields, climate and minimalist handling of the wine in the cellar creates chardonnays that age eight to ten years consistently.